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Goals were the name of the game in last night’s Sunday Night Football Action with a total of 14 goals across the three games played, during the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League demotion and playoff matches.
Leaders of Zone 2, the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) kept the pressure up all night, keeping the Zone 1 leaders Weymouth Wales at bay to end their nightcap encounter 2-0.
The soldiers wasted no time and drew first blood in the second minute of the game, when Raheim Sargeant performed a shake and bake in the box to pocket the ball expertly into the back of the net, after some nifty footwork and a superb pass from Omani Leacock.
The St Ann’s Fort based multi-time champions thought they had taken the advantage in the sixth with goal number two, but it was ruled offside.
It was definitely a fast-paced game, which seemed to rattle Wales as they had a very hard time settling during the first half. While Arantees Lawrence tried his best, he failed to execute on the first clear chance the defending champions had in the 24th, missing the net from a yard away.
Disaster struck in the 33rd minute when Lawrence collected an elbow to the face. Referee Jamar Springer had to quickly get involved to subdue what seemed to be a heated exchange between the two teams, that left Lawrence collecting a yellow and Akeem Hill being red carded.
Defending champions Wales, desperate for the equaliser, was no match for BDFSP’s defence or attack in spite of their deficit and failed to capitalise in the second half, even when goalkeeper Kishmar Primus was clear off his mark.
The soldiers nailed the coffin shut for Wales when substitute T’Shane Lorde, in the 91st minute, perfectly controlling a pass from the touchline. He buried the green machine with a right-foot finish from 12 yards out into the back of the net past Omari Eastmond. This was moments before Renaldo Trim received another red card for the BDFSP to bring them down to a nine-man team.
In the second matchup of the night, UWI Blackbirds throttled Empire 5-1 to stroll into third place, leaving the Mighty Blues to settle for the fourth position.
Empire’s Jabarry “Pappy” Chandler drew first blood in the 18th minute. Although they congratulated themselves for the early lead, UWI came back to equalise six minutes later via a Niall Reid-Stephen strike, ending the first half 1-1.
However, the Blackbirds came back rejuvenated as the second half began and handed Empire four more goals courtesy Alvin Chapman (52), Reid-Stephen (62), Tremaine Cobham (66) and Terryson Mullin (85).
Meanwhile, in the opening encounter, Scotty Car Rentals St Andrew Lions wasted no time and quickly gained the upper hand on Barbados Soccer Academy (BSA), winning their session with the exact score as the mid-match score sheet.
The St Thomas based team scored three goals in the first half complements a brace by Jamol Williams in the 18th and 23rd and a penalty taken by Shamar Edwards in the 21st.
As the second half gained ground, BSA’s Corey Hoyte found his mark in the 61st, but it wasn’t enough as the Lions put two more on the scorecard in the 53rd and 66th via Darico King and Shakir Skeete respectively to keep them in the Premier League and send BSA back down to Division One.
The champions of this year’s Premier League will be decided when Wales and BDFSP meet in their final of three playoff matches at 9 p.m. on Thursday night, while Porey Spring face the St Andrew Lions to determine who stays and who goes in their 7 p.m. encounter.