Kai Phillip put in the winning item for St Anthony's College to be crowned the Coca Cola Boys' Intercol North Zone champion in the Secondary Schools Football League at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on Friday.
The final lived up to expectations yesterday between St Anthony's and East Mucurapo Secondary School but it was the "Westmoorings Tigers" emerging with a 2-1 victory to repeat as the zonal Intercol champion.
Phillip's teammate Kiron Manswell netted the opener in the 33rd minute for St Anthony's and the defending champion held on the 1-0 lead at the halfway mark.
On the resumption, the level of play remained intense but neither could find the back of the net until Malachi Celestine hit the target, producing the equaliser for East Mucurapo in the 65th, which thrilled its supporters as he kept his team alive.
However, Phillip ended their celebrations some 16th minutes later, beating the East Mucurapo custodian and put his team up, 2-1. The scores remained unchanged when time expired, resulting in the St Anthony's supporters racing onto the field to celebrate the victory and the title.
St Anthony's College 2 (Kiron Manswell 33rd, Kai Phillip 81st) vs East Mucurapo 1 (Malachi Celestine 65th).
St Anthony’s edge Mucurapo in North Intercol final.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).
ST ANTHONY’S are the 2019 Coca Cola Intercol North Zonal champions, after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over East Mucurapo in Friday’s final, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
Kiron Manswell (32nd minute) and Kai Phillip (80th) were the goal-getters for St Anthony’s, with Malachi Celestine (65th) finding the back of the net for East Mucurapo.
St Anthony’s will advance to the National Intercol quarter-final, where they will host Tobago Zonal champs Speyside at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.
Manswell broke the deadlock midway in the first half, with a neatly-placed right-footed shot past the outstretched right hand of goalkeeper Jamale Blackman after he was picked out, inside the penalty box, by midfielder Zion Williams.
The slimly-built Williams shrugged off the challenges of Zion McLeod and Cecil Young down the right and squared the ball to Manswell who finished from 10 metres out.
Mucurapo equalised after the hour-mark with a route-one tactic – Blackman’s long punt was met by McLeod who held off his marker Malachi Daniel and fed Celestine who, in turn, rounded goalie Josiah Perez and slotted his left-footed shot into the open net.
However, substitute Phillip had the final say, as he raced on to a pass from Jean-Heim McFee, evaded defender Daniel Lake and sent his right-footed shot to the left of Blackman.
The last of the zonal finals will be contested on Monday, with reigning National and South champions Naparima opposing arch-rivals Presentation San Fernando at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella from 3.15 pm.