T&T complete Guinness challenge
June 25, 2013
T&T complete Guinness challenge

Trinidad and Tobago are the new Guinness Street Football Challenge champions, as defending champions St Vincent and the Grenadines failed to advance past the round-robin stage of the competition here last weekend, because of goal difference.{{more}}

The team from north east Trinidad, who call themselves “The Hills Have Eyes,” downed the Dominican team 2-0, at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex last Saturday, in a penalty shoot-out.

The teams were tied 1-1, at the end of the allotted 30 minutes of regular time.

In the fast-paced finals game, Trinidad and Tobago took an early lead, with a goal from Anthony Small in the first half.

The team from down south seemed poised for a clear win, until Shyan Larond equalized for Dominica on the stroke of full time.

Both teams battled for an extra eight minutes in an effort to break the deadlock, but at the end of it all, the finalists remained tied, taking the already tense match into a penalty shoot-out.

For Trinidad and Tobago, Small and his dreadlocked teammate Ako James scored the penalties for their side, while the Dominicans penalty takers were unable to capitalize for their team, giving the Trinidadians a hard fought two – nil victory.

Trinidad and Tobago defeated St Kitts and Nevis one – nil to make it to the finals, while Dominica had earned a 1-0 win over St Lucia in their semi-final encounter.

In the third place playoff, St Lucia had the upper hand over St Kitts and Nevis, giving the Kittitians a sound 4-1 beating.

This year’s national champs, “School Yard Strikers” of St Vincent and the Grenadines, were unable to make it past the preliminary round, despite winning two of their three round-robin matches.

After losing 2-1 to St Kitts and Nevis, the home boys defeated Grenada and Dominica 2-1 in penalty kicks, when their games ended in draws at full time.

The Vincy team had the same number of wins as St Kitts and Nevis, but the Kittitians got the nod over the defending champions, having scored two goals more.

Trinidad and Tobago also registered a win in the Skills Challenge competition, when Mark Taylor won over Kerron Ford in the finals.

Taylor, who was selected when he uploaded his skills video on the Guinness Street Football Challenge Internet page, took home US$1,000 for his efforts.

The tournament saw the appearance of two-time European Footballer of the Year and former Holland player Ruud Gullit, as teams’ mentor and motivator, and Saturday’s finals saw the performance of a number of local and regional entertainers, with Jamaican dancehall artiste Aidonia headlining the show.(JJ)