Black Immigrant Daily News
The inaugural One Guyana President’s Cup football tournament culminated in exhilarating fashion on Sunday evening, as New GPC Inc’s Region 4 came from behind to grab the $2M grand prize.
Opposing Region 3 on their home turf, at the National Track and Field Center (NTFC), West Coast Demerara (WCD), Region 4 stumbled for much of the first half, while Region 3 capitalized on their few chances to get ahead.
The first goal of the 2-1 affair, came off the boots of Region 3’s Captain Leo Orion Lovell in the 13th minute. While Lovell’s well-placed strike across the face of the goal brought spectators to their feet, Region 4 slumped into despair and would go on to miss several key chances in the first half.
Upon resumption of the second 45 minutes, Ryan Hackett came to the fore, substituted in for Marcus Wilson and immediately came within inches of the goal. However, it was Kobi Alexander’s cardinal sin of literally pulling Nicholas Mc Arthur to the ground that opened the flood gates for the eventual champions.
After Alexander was ousted from the game, Region 4’s chances seemed to multiply. Eventually, it was a free- kick converted expertly by Captain Daniel Wilson, that levelled the scores for the visitors in the 73rd.
Just two minutes later, a Mc Arthur assist was sent into the corner of the goal by Kelsey Banjamin, much to the dismay of the once- animated Region 3 crowd.
With the lead in hand, Region 4 doubled down on their defenses to ensure the 2-1 score would see them to the end of regulation time, in route to the One Guyana President’s Cup championship.
Individual prizes for the President’s Cup tournament saw Region 5’s Abumuchi Benjamin and Region 4’s Kelsey Benjamin sharing the highest goal scorer accolade, both scoring ten goals. Additionally, Regin 3’s Leo Orion Lovell was adjudged the tournament’s MVP and received a house lot compliments of the Government of Guyana.
Meanwhile, Region 5 thumped Regio 7, 6-3 to clinch third place in the competition.
Abumuchi Benjamin led the charge for Region 5, scoring a hat trick in the 7th, 30th and 66th minutes. Delroy Fraser (53rd), Marc Galloway (58th) and Olvis Mitchell (88th) added one each to Mahaica Berbice’s tally.
On the other hand, Andrew Simmons’ brace (11th, 36th) and one from Whitney Welcome (90+2) accounted for Region 7’s 3 goals.
The winner of the President’s cup took home $2M, in addition to other incentives for winning group games and semifinal games, while second place pocketed $1M, plus similar incentives.