Wales’ charge

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This was a case where Goliath triumphed over David. Barbados Soccer Academy’s dream quest to dethrone mighty Weymouth Wales in their initiation into the big league, flopped when the defending champions came from behind to win 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Stag Beer Champions Cup Knockout last night.

It was an action-packed weekend, as teams aimed to secure their places in the final four of the competition at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf. Out of the four quarterfinal encounters played, none was more intriguing than the match-up between newly promoted premier league side RBC Capitals Market BSA, who scored the opening goal compliments St Lucian national Alvinus Myers with a penalty in the 61st minute.

With their title defence of the knockout title under threat from the promising upstarts, reigning premier league kings Wales who are eyeing the double began to play a bit more physically, with attacking midfielders Hadan Holligan, Romario Harewood, captain Jabar Green along with striker Kemar Headley, all probing the final third in search of a quick reply.

Weymouth Wales striker and goal scorer Kemar Headley (right) produced the winning strike despite being put under pressure by BSA defender Aluko Callender. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

However, credit to BSA’s defensive third comprising centre-backs Myers and Aluko Callender along with Tre Hinds and Romario McDowall at left back and right back respectively, for doing a fairly good job. But Wales showed their attacking strength when the prolific, diminutive Holligan skillfully wormed his way inside the 18-yard box until being swept off his feet which resulted in the second penalty of the game rewarded by referee Jamar Springer.

Harewood is always the go-to-guy in those penalty situations and the end result is never disappointing. The talented midfielder stepped up to the charity spot and hammered the 12-yard shot inside the upright of the goal bar. Three minutes later Headley secured the winner for Wales in the 78th minute when a ball was crossed from the left, seemingly going towards Holligan based in the midfield, and he drew BSA’s defence which took the bait.

Instead, the ball found Headley five yards on the right from Holligan for a lovely takedown followed by a right foot shot into the left bottom post of the goal bar past BSA’s goalkeeper Vino Bartlett who had pulled off two fantastic saves earlier in the game. For some reason, Bartlett left his mark on that occasion and was beaten by the attacking strike from Headley.

BSA, coached by Andrew Tudor, were defeated but shouldn’t feel disgraced having demonstrated that they can hold their own against a seasoned heavyweight team such as Wales who were coached by David Ward.

On more than one occasion, BSA looked good on the flanks, their placement from those [flanks] areas were well executed but they just could not beat Wales’ experienced back four led by national centre-back Teriq Highland, and including Duwayne Peters, Ramar Miller and Kemar Barlett who did a good job to ensure goalkeeper Omari Eastmond was covered in the opening half and then did the same for substitute keeper Jerome Blackman in the second half.

Wales are going to meet Paradise in the semifinals after the Christ Church side served up a crushing 7-2 thumping of Silver Sands in the first quarterfinal match yesterday. Captain Armando ‘Suga’ Lashley accounted for three of those seven goals in the 11th, 76th and 85th minutes. Fellow strikers Dario Harewood also cashed in with two of his own in the 43rd and 90+2 minutes while Andre Bourne and Chai Lloyd had one each in the ninth and 45+2 minutes. Scoring for Silver Sands were Sylvester Small and Demario Ward in the 40th and 90th minutes respectively.

Silver Sands striker Donte McClean (wearing maroon) battling for ball possession with Paradise striker and goal scorer Chai Lloyd under the watchful eyes of referee Andrew Herbert.

Meanwhile, in the two quarterfinal matches on Saturday, Brittons Hill won 5-2 when they took on Barbados Defence Force [BDF]. Denzil Fordyce produced a brace in the 28th and 30th minutes while his teammate Norrin Corbin also had two goals in the 37th and 42nd minutes respectively. Elson Miggins scored the opening goal four minutes into the game. Kamal Thompson (45th) and Reshan Cox (87th) scored for BDF.

Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme, unlike their army counterparts, secured a semifinal spot and they will take on Brittons Hill. BDFSP won 3-0 against Crane and Equipment Ellerton Football Club thanks to Rashad Jules, Ian Clarke and Kyle Gibson with a goal each in the third, fourth and 31st minutes respectively.

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