“MOVE over San Juan and let Fatima pass!” That was the cry of Fatima College students after the school’s premiership football team emerged with a narrow 1-0 win over San Juan North Secondary in the semifinals of the Secondary Schools Football League Premiership division on Saturday. Fatima had the lion’s share of support at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo as hundreds of students and parents attended the match.
After the match, the Fatima players went into the crowd to celebrate with their fellow students.
The match did not end without controversy as San Juan had a goal disallowed. However, the replay showed the player was onside.
After the match, Fatima head coach Hutson Charles was pleased with his team’s effort.
“I am elated to be here…I told them this is their time. It feels real good when you set goals and you see it materialise,” Charles said.
Fatima tried to play possession football during the match and it is a style of play Charles wants from his players.
“Since pre-season I told them listen to me I don’t like long ball (football). I like to play the ball on the ground because those guys have tremendous ability and if you notice my guys are not big guys so, we like to keep the ball on the ground, move it from side to side, get the opening (and) score goals.”
Charles thanked everyone who turned up to support the school.
“This was tremendous. You have to thank the fans, the SSFL for creating this kind of atmosphere. This is very good for secondary school football.”
Looking ahead to the final against St Benedict’s College on Wednesday, Charles said, “Now we have to go back and prepare because St Benedict’s is a good team, so we will probably watch a couple tapes of them again and prepare for them. As I told those guys this is their time and if they want to be champions we have one more hurdle to cross and that is St Benedict’s.”
Fatima dominated possession in the early stages of the contest stringing passes together.
In the 15th minute, Fatima’s Michael Chaves rounded San Juan goalkeeper Xavion Haynes and then tried to find one of his teammates but could not.
In the 12th minute, a free kick by San Juan 25 yards from the goal did not trouble Fatima goalkeeper Tristan Edwards.
San Juan captain Larry Noel made a promising run on the right flank in the 14th minute, but it did not lead to a clear-cut chance.
Throughout the first half, San Juan attempted shots from distance but Edwards was up to the task.
It seemed that the teams would be all square at half-time, but Alijah Nunes gave Fatima the lead in the 41st minute.
Nunes collected the ball on the left side and from 30 yards out struck a left-footed shot into the goal. It was uncertain if Nunes was attempting a shot or a cross.
Early in the second half, San Juan thought they found the equaliser. It was ruled offside, but the replay showed it was onside.
As the clock started to tick away, Edwards was made to work pulling off a spectacular save to deny San Juan a goal. The crowd came to life as they appreciated the effort by Edwards.
The last few minutes of the contest were back and forth with Fatima trying to seal the contest and San Juan desperate for the equaliser.
San Juan North substitute Niem Thomas tried a shot from distance, but it rolled tamely to Edwards.
After some neat dribbling by San Juan’s Lindell Sween, the ball fell to Kent Guy but it did not lead to a goal-scoring opportunity.
Fatima held on for the win. The venue of the final between Fatima and St Benedict’s on Wednesday has not been confirmed.
ABOVE SOURCE: T&T Newsday
San Juan North Secondary (4-2-3-1): 1.Xavion Haynes (GK); 14.Desailly Lewis, 6.Jaheshua Ferguson (3.J’Sean Batson 89), 2.Joshua Lewis, 15.Kent Guy; 12.Jardell Mitchell, 20.Kedell Jones (17.Jahdel Chase-Charles 77); 21.Christian Browne (7.Elizsha Rogers 17 (8.Adel Black-Haynes 71), 10.Lindell Sween, 11.Jadiel Joseph (25.Niem Thomas 76); 9.Larry Noel (captain).
Unused substitutes: 30.Stephon Langaigne (GK), 18.Rondell Harewood.
Coach: Jerry Moe
Fatima College (4-3-3): 40.Tristan Edwards (GK); 3.Jesse Hospedales, 4.Yohance Atherton, 6.Jaden Williams, 2.Alijah Nunes; 8.Justin Alcantara, 10.Aidan DeGannes (13.Isaiah Zamore 84), 7.Khiba Romany; 33.Christian Bailey (captain), 15.Michael Chavez (5.Jordan Darius 67), 17.Jose Attong (14.Kade Collier 76).
Unused substitutes: 42.Tyrece Romain (GK), 9.Josiah Gobin, 11.Elijah Camacho, 16.Luke Correia.
Coach: Hutson Charles
Referee: Cecile Hinds
Wired868 Man of the Match: Tristan Edwards (Fatima College)
Big 4 semi-finals
(Sat 22 Oct)
San Juan North Secondary 0, Fatima College 1 (Alijah Nunes 41) at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Fri 21 October)
St Benedict’s College 5 (Derrel Garcia 20, Josiah Ochoa 24, Lyshawn Morris 31, Tarik Lee 59, Nicholas Bobcombe 64), Presentation College (San Fernando) 3 (Vaughn Clement 69, Adah Barclay 70, 83 pen) at Ato Boldon Stadium.