Topp XX capture title, $700 000 after 3-1 penalty shootout against Coomacka

first_imgBy Joe ChapmanTOPP XX captured their sixth year-end Christmas football championship, which is their first under the auspices of the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA), in a taut match which ended with a heart-throbbing penalty shootout victory over Coomacka. in front of a packed Mackenzie Sports Club on New Year’s night.It was a fitting finale and in the end Topp XX returned to the podium after Coomacka had placed themselves in Linden’s soccer lore. After some giant-killing performances of the top two seeds in this championship, Net Rockers and Botofago finally choked in front of the biggest crowdAfter the deciding penalty shootout win, as if it was prophetic, Topp XX coach Troy ‘Boy Blue’ Nelson told Chronicle Sport: ”We just started 2020 and pattern Topp XX’s name. We are out of the 20teens and this is Topp XX’s time. “Both sides had shown some nervousness in getting their feet on the ground early as the crowd swelled for the big clash. As early as the fourth minute, Coomacka, with a majority fan base of spectators who travelled from the south of Linden, got an early shot to goal. They took the game to their opponents whose pedigree certainly did not scare the Coomacka side.Knowing that this Topp XX side were seeking rebirth of their championship label of some ten years ago, Topp XX sent a free kick that forced a save by Coomacka’s acrobatic goalkeeper Kellon Major in the 14th minute of play then three minutes later one by the sharp-shooting Travis Waterton was just wide on the right side of his citadel.In the 32nd minute, Topp XX again got an outside shot towards the goal which was well taken by Major in goal.However, Coomacka found the back of the net in a brilliant effort down the left flank as Wheatland Thom darted into the area and unleashed a ‘wicked’ flat shot that gave Topp XX goalkeeper Gregory Hinds not much of a chance to save. The score read 1-0 at halftime for the team from the Mines in front of an ecstatic crowd.With that lead Coomacka continued to harass their better known rivals and constantly took the game to them, but 15 minutes into the second half Topp XX knotted the scores through their fast-moving forward Shawn ‘Dash’ Daniels, who was there to make the best of a chance in the second half for a 1-1 score-line.Now on even keel, the game continued to be a tough encounter as both sides played to the end of 90 minutes without troubling the score sheet and even extra period of play could not break the deadlock.It was the more level-headed Topp XX, with three brilliant saves from their goalkeeper from the first shot he got that allowed them a 3-1 victory in the end from the penalty spot shootout.Topp XX goalkeeper Gregory Hinds when asked about his thinking going into the penalty shoot-out affirmed: “I was confident as I have been constantly practising and training and I know I could handle myself in such situations.”Earlier in the evening, Botofago showed why they are the higher ranked club when they humbled Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection 5-1, after conceding the first goal as early as the 2nd minute of play.Jamal Haynes first tied the scores at 1-1 one minute before the first half ended. Then Botofago took the lead in the 67th minute through Floyd Headley, Ranic Velloza in the 73rd minute and another in the 74th minute through Jashawn Moore for a 4-1 tally.Winners reduced that through a goal by Marmalaque Davidson in the 78th minute but another by Jamal Haynes, his second, in the 89th minute ensured the Botofago walk away with the third place prize by a 5-2 margin.Nigel Hinds of Nigel Hinds Financial Services made the presentation of the Trophy Stall trophy and $700 000 in cash to Troy Nelcon of Topp XX and Topp XX goalkeeper Gregory Hinds was also adjudged the Most Valuable Player and collected the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, reportedly worth some $250 000 compliments of Nigel Hinds Financial Services.last_img

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