Pinto United will tackle Dream Team in the final of the Fishing Pond Football League on Sunday with $20,000 up for grabs at the Manzanilla Recreation Ground. The final kicks off at 7pm and there will be a prize-giving ceremony immediately after the match.
Pinto United, a first-time finalist, got past Boys Town 2-1 last Sunday in the first of a semi-final double header at the North Oropouche Ground. It was a difficult win to pull off for Pinto who trailed 1-0 and also lost star player Brian Sequa to a knee injury midway into the first half. But the boys from Arima battled hard and took advantage of some uncharacteristically sloppy play from Boys Town to eke out the win.
Boys Town, runners-up in the last three finals, looked to be on their way to their fourth straight final when a 'keeper blunder gifted them the opening goal. The road to the final looked to be paved already when Sequa injured himself tackling a Boys Town player and had to be replaced.
But Pinto equalised soon after through a Clint Mark free kick from just outside the box, curling the ball over the wall with the Boys Town goalie badly positioned as the half ended 1-1.
Pinto stunned their opponents upon the resumption, Samuel Charles showing good composure to find the back of the net with a thunderous left-footer after the ball fell to him in the penalty area.
Boys Town pressed hard for the equaliser but luck was suddenly on their rivals' side. A right-sided corner from Brenty Jackson found Kellon Boatswain but his header flew over the bar.
Mark almost put the game beyond Boys Town's reach with a mazy run but his shot badly lacked accuracy and flew well wide of the target.
Boys Town were piling bodies forward and Kerin Vincent looked to be in position to score at the near post but missed his header. A surging run by Kyle Ogaro teed up Kareen Creighton but his side-footed effort was somehow held low by the Pinto custodian.
Jackson had a final chance to send the match into penalties but he lifted the ball over the bar from an acute angle.
In the second match, Tavarous Boswell notched a double as Dream Team professionally took care of business 5-2 against a fiery North Oropouche team in front their home crowd. Akeil Holdford, Oevonte Felix and an own goal accounted for the other goals.
The scoreline might have been a bit flattering for Dream Team who were made to work hard for the victory.
Dream Team coach Hayden Diaz agreed it was a very tight game.
"The team (North Oropouche) played good. It was unfortunate they didn't score (more). The first shot hit the post and it would have been a different game if that had scored. They game would have got hard," he said.
Diaz said his message to his players was to not get carried away with the scoreline.
"The whole message is to stay focused, It was a semifinal game so you have to stay focused and continue playing the football as we accustomed playing the football. Once you do what you accustomed doing, the result will come."