Big Players, Northern U, Valley Academy the Winners.
THE featured final of the 2015 edition of the ECFH / LUCELEC Youth Tournament was the under – 19 clash between Sunrisers FC and Valley Soccer Academy.
Having already lost a penalty shootout to their opponents in the under – 17 category Sunrisers FC were eager to exact some measure of revenge.
Both teams started the match cautiously with the ball turning over without much pressure from opponents. Valley Soccer Academy had a clear strategy of trying to feed the speedy Bradley Cyril who made diagonal runs into the channels, while Sunrisers FC’s early tactics were centred on lofting balls into the attacking third hoping to get behind the Valley Soccer Academy defenders.
There were few genuine goal scoring opportunities in the first half until the deadlock was broken in the 40th minute when Jesus Husbands latched onto a rebound after an acrobatic save from the Sunrise FC goal keeper to give Valley Soccer Academy the lead.
The second half mirrored the first as both teams tried in vain to establish a pattern of play in their opponent’s half. However, Valley Soccer secured the under 19 title when Djal Augustin scored the final goal of the match in the 75th minute. Augustin, the son of former national midfielder Sommers Augustin was awarded the MVP of the under – 19 finals.
All the winning teams and outstanding players received their trophies and medals in a prize giving ceremony after the conclusion of the matches. For the under – 13 category prolific striker Nas Valcin from the champions Big Players was awarded the MVP of the very exciting finals. Valcin is a part of football family which includes national players Germal and Cliff Valcin.
The ECFH / LUCELEC Youth Tournament concluded last Sunday at the Marchand Grounds, with Big Players having already won the under – 13 title it was left to teams to battle in the under – 15, under – 17 categories.
In the first finals of the day Super J Northern United featuring the duo of prolific winger Linus Clovis and striker Diego Largen were the favourite versus First Touch Pioneers in the under – 15 age category. Super J Northern United confirmed their role as favourite with a three goal blitz in the first half which stunned First Touch Pioneers.
Clovis wasted no time getting on the score with a well taken goal in the third minute. Largen did not want to be left off the score sheet in the finals and he too found the back of the nets seven minutes later. The third first half goal for Super J Northern United was scored by Jayeed Norbal in the 25th minute.
The half time interval did not dampen Super J Northern United’s desire for goals and two minutes after the restart, Samuel Lawrence put his team up by four goals.
The prospect of going down by 4 goals to nil seemed to be the wake-up call for First Touch Pioneers and they began to exhibit greater attacking impetus. Their efforts were rewarded in the 49th and 53rd minutes when Jennaire Lesmond recorded a quick fire brace.
However, Clovis who was eventually awarded the finals MVP also scored his brace in the 56th minute. In a classic duel between confident strikers Lesmond got his hat trick with a neat finish in the 58th minute. Ten minutes later Clovis showed that he too could collect one in a finals by scoring the sixth goal for Super J Northern United.
A frantic finish ensued when in the 70th minute Yannick Noel brought First Touch Pioneers within two goals of tying the match. However, they could not score again and so after the final whistle Super J Northern United won the under – 15 by outduelling First Touch FC Pioneers by 6 – 4.
Valley Soccer Academy won the third (3rd) place playoff in the under 15 division.
The under – 17 finals continued after it was abandoned due to fading light earlier in the week. Defending champions Sunrisers FC took on Valley Soccer Academy in a penalty shootout. Nerves got the better of the players with a succession of poor penalty attempts. Sunrisers FC could only convert two penalties out of six attempts while the winners Valley Soccer Academy won the under – 17 title by scoring only three penalties out of six attempts.
Lyndon Desir one of the few players to hold his nerve in the shootout was awarded the MVP of the under finals.
First Touch FC Pioneers won the third place playoff in the under 17 category.