A new champion will be crowned later this evening when the Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc stages the final of the Island Cup sponsored by National Lotteries Authority (NLA). The final between Gros Islet and home team Vieux Fort South is scheduled to kick off from 8.00 p.m. at the Phillip Marcellin Grounds in Vieux Fort.
The two teams made it to the final last weekend at the Gros Islet playing field. In the first semifinal, VFS defeated Mabouya Valley 3 – 0; while Gros Islet defeated defending champions Marchand 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the scores were locked at 1-1 following regulation time.
Fans coming in for the final will seethe two football ‘Titans’in battle, as the final has been dubbed “North versus South”. All eyes will be glued on the pitch as the 2019 Blackheart Big 8 champion Gros Islet and Blackheart champion Vieux Fort South will be coming out firing on all cylinders. With two experience coaches leading from the front the two teams boast a number of past and present national players on their roster.
Just before the showdown, for the third place play off slated for 6.00 p.m., former champions Marchand will play Mabouya Valley.
Head Coach for Vieux Fort South, Emmanuel Belasse spoke to the VOICE about this weekend’s encounter with rival team Gros Islet. This is what he had to say.
“We’ll just have to put our best foot forward; we are aware that the pressure will be on us as Blackheart champions and playing at home”.
We are also aware that we have been beaten twice this year by Gros Islet, so it may well be an opportunity to crown our season with the Island Cup championship trophy”.
“The players are confident and they are all set to play; but there is no underestimating Gros Islet”.
Head Coach for Gros Islet, Francis Mc Donald who also spoke to the VOICE said, “I am always inspired by good football, interestingly I had strong feelings I would have met Vieux Fort South in the finals. Champions never seem to give up despite slow buildup through the group stage”.
“I must first congratulate VFS for making it to the finals and Gros Islet as well. These two teams have much in common, balance on a every side, defensive, midfield and offensive personnel, on the day who want it most and of course this game will be on strategic and tactical plans,” he added.
He continued,”Both teams know how to make their breaks, but will be careful not to allow each other space and time to be creative. I am aware of the style VFS plays and the players that they key players on the field, so they know Gros Islet the same way”.
“Supporters from both side and football fans making the trip will be excited to see football on a higher level and will see good football”.
VFS: Jamil Joseph (captain); Antonio Joseph; Sarn Savery; Kihlan Hason; Azar Charles; No.19 Tristan St. Louis; Trent Alexander; Antonius Mayers; Paulsen Joseph; Kurn Joseph; Noah Nicholas; Narim Jones; Onel Evans; Kihani John; Ricardo Miller.
Gros Islet: Giovanni Deterville (captain); Charlery Mathurin, Brandon Eugene; Nictus Lawrence; Stanley Cherry; Melvin Aurelien; Tonius Simon; Eden Charles; Amaris Lorde; Nicholas Lawrence; Aaron Richards; Gabriel Biscette; Raphael Joseph; Samuel Lawrence; Ed William; Elijah Louis; Christopher Albert, Charlery Mathurin, Bradley Toussien.