It was sweet revenge and sweet victory yesterday for Presentation College, San Fernando, who after three attempts this year, defeated rivals Naparima College 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 tie, to clinch the Coca Cola South Zone InterCol title at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
The result also handed Naparima their first defeat in almost two seasons of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL). Ackeel Jacob, the man who was responsible for his team's equalizing goal in the 86th minute, was given the responsibility to hammer home the winner from a penalty shoot-out to spark wild celebrations among players, schoolmates, fans and coaching staff.
The southern champs, however, were pegged back in the opening moments as Naparima, the two-time SSFL Premier Division winners dominated the match and created few chances that went unconverted. In the 13th minute, Isa Bramble, the League's most gifted player, was put through down the right side from a neat build-up, but from an acute angle, Bramble powerful low drive posed little trouble for goalkeeper Isaiah Williams.
Both teams went to the interval with the score goalless, and when the match resumed, Naps took the advantage in the 52nd minute. From another neat build-up from the left side, was quickly shifted to the other side, courtesy Seon Shippley, who picked out Bramble darting down the right side.
Bramble, with only goalkeeper Williams in front him, drilled the ball powerfully past him to the far post for a one-nil lead.
However 'Pres' found their form, and for the first time, were able to string more than three passes together, despite trailing. Their (Pres) best chance of an equalizer came in the 57th when Ezekiel Kaser dribbled inside from the right side, and with the goal at his mercy, he hit straight to Levi Fernandez in the Naparima goalpost.
However, Naps could do nothing when Jacob stormed down the left flank and centre for Jaiye Sheppard to rifle his shot on to the outstretched arm of defender Tyrike Andrews in the 85th minute, forcing the referee to point to the penalty spot. And Jardel Sinclair stepped up and fired his shot past the goalkeeper a minute later to send the match into a penalty shoot-out.
From the spot-kick, Naparima missed their first two attempts from Thaj Neptune and Kaser, with Sheppard handing Pres a 1-0 lead after four kicks. However, with every other kicker scoring, Jacob, who got the responsibility with the final kick, struck it into the far left corner to wrap up the victory.