NEWLY-PROMOTED Fatima College, against all odds, overcame defending Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership champions, Naparima College, 2-1 in an intense affair at Fatima College Ground, Mucurapo on Saturday.
It was a stunning result as the boys from the north pulled off a remarkable comeback victory against Travis Mulraine's unit, especially given that the champions mauled St Augustine 9-1 in midweek and looked in good form.
Fatima, who were promoted from the SSFL Championship in 2019, are the first team to beat Naparima in the league since they themselves won with the same score-line, at the same ground, on September 16, 2017. Naparima’s unbeaten run lasted exactly five years (two and three-quarter seasons), achieving more than 30 games without loss.
The champions took the lead in the 29th minute via an own-goal from Fatima’s Christian Bailey. The rushing defender attempted to prevent Naparima’s Nathaniel O’Garro from scoring after beating the goalkeeper, but he bundled the ball into his own net.
However, the home side found an equaliser in the 67th minute when Chaim Williams slotted the ball past Naparima goalkeeper, Dejon Collingwood, and into the bottom right corner after receiving a well-timed through-ball.
Naparima struggled to create chances on the waterlogged pitch, which proved to work in Fatima’s favour. Fatima continued to press the champions and scored the winner with the last kick of the game, in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Khiba Romany created space for himself inside of the crowded penalty area and blasted the ball home as the home crowd erupted in ecstasy to celebrate Fatima’s first win of the season.
At the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva in the first game of a double-header, Presentation San Fernando recovered from a 1-0 deficit to win 3-1 against Malick. A double from Caleb Boyce and one from Adah Barclay led the ‘Pres Lions’ to claim their maiden three points.
The second game provided a spectacle for neutrals and St Benedict’s fans as the La Romain-based school hammered Carapichaima East 8-0.
San Juan North added to the goal rush on the day by thrashing the third of the three newly-promoted teams, Chaguanas North, 13-0. QRC recovered from their opening-day loss to beat East Mucurapo 5-0, Speyside got past St Anthony’s 2-1 and Trinity East overcame East Mucurapo 3-0.
St Augustine’s home fixture with Pleasantville was postponed due to the field being unsatisfactory for play. That fixture will be played on October 1 at 4 pm.
Matchday Three Fixtures (September 21)
GROUP A – St Anthony’s vs St Augustine (Hasely Crawford Stadium), 4 pm; Fatima vs Carapichaima East (Fatima College Ground), 4 pm; Naparima vs Pleasantville (Naparima College Ground), 4 pm; Speyside vs St Benedict’s (Speyside High School Ground), 3.30 pm.
GROUP B – Moruga Secondary vs San Juan North (Hasely Crawford Stadium), 2 pm; East Mucurapo vs Presentation (Venue TBA), 4 pm; Malick Secondary vs Trinity East (Malick Secondary School Ground), 4 pm; QRC vs Chaguanas North (QRC Ground), 4 pm.
SOURCE: T&T Newsday