North Oropouche held off Manzanilla Challengers 3-2 on Monday to advance to the semi-finals of the Fishing Pond Football League. Playing in front their home crowd at the North Oropouche Recreation Ground, North Oropouche came out like a team possessed and deservedly went ahead. Jiron Francis fired the hosts in front and then doubled the advantage before the break.
In control at 2-0, North Oropouche unravelled in the second half under pressure from Manzanilla Challengers, who knotted the scores with two quick goals. But with about ten minutes remaining, Cody Henderson lashed in the winner for North Oropouche to the delight of their supporters.
In the second match of Monday's doubleheader, Pinto United hammered Seed of Greatness 5-2 courtesy a scintillating hat-trick from Brian Sequa.
Pinto took advantage of a discombobulated Seed of Greatness team who started the game at a numerical disadvantage and made matters worse with an atrocious first-half performance.
Pinto went ahead in the first five minutes through Noel Charles, who collected a pass on top the box and checked onto his right foot before spanking a shot to the top left-hand corner.
Sequa got on the scoresheet in comical fashion, his low shot from distance finding the back of the net after Seed of Greatness goalie Alister Ali slipped as he tried to change direction to reach the ball.
Pinto's Clint Mark made it 3-0, controlling a right-sided cross and curling a looping shot over Ali to ripple the net.
Seed of Greatness were reeling and Sequa got his second soon after from another right-sided cross which he met with an acrobatic finish.
After an abysmal first half, Seed of Greatness knowing their exit was certain, managed to put on a much better display in the second period and could have scored at least three goals if they were more clinical. The defending was still shaky, however, and Sequa made it 5-1, pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area to chip past the advancing goalie.
Seed of Greatness refused to lie down and Deron Lewis pulled one back with a near-post finish from a corner. Lewis should have bagged another soon after he was clear on goal from a long pass, but his right-footer was pushed past the post by the Pinto goalie.
Also advancing to the last four was Boys Town who defeated Fishing Pond 2-0 on Saturday, with goals from Brent Jackson and Keirin Vincent.
The final match of the Big 8 kicks off on Thursday with defending champions Gremio meeting Dream Team at 6.30 pm.