QUEEN’S ROYAL COLLEGE will face this season’s Tiger Tanks Secondary Schools Football League runners-up, Fatima College, in next Friday’s Coca-Cola InterCol North Zone final, to be played at Hasely Crawford Stadium from 4 p.m.
Yesterday’s North semis saw QRC come from a goal down to defeat Malick Secondary 2-1, before Fatima completed a 8-0 rout of East Mucurapo Secondary, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
It was routine work for Fatima, leading 4-0 at the end of the first half through Michael Chaves, Khiba Romany, Jaden Williams and Alihah Nunes before adding another four more in the second half.
Meanwhile, QRC had to work much harder, before completing a season double over Malick, having also won 4-2 when the teams met at Serpentine Road earlier in the league season.
Malick had the better of the first 45 minutes and QRC won the second half of a match that never reached high quality. However, all three goals scored were well-taken. Right midfielder Jahsima Duncan gave Malick a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute before QRC replied with second half items from striker Masaddiq Mohammed in the 52nd minute and vice-captain and centre-midfielder Nathan Quashie in the 81st minute.
“I think it the first time in five years that QRC have been able to get to the North Zone final. That is phenomenal,” stated QRC head-coach Kenwyne Jones, the former English Premier League striker, who is plying his trade as a coach in the schools’ league.
The boys from Coconut Drive, Morvant, led in spectacular fashion when Duncan spectacularly found the net with a shot from just inside the half-line centre-circle, after spotting QRC goalkeeper Christiano Austin off his line. Malick had a couple of chances to put the match away from a QRC team, which throughout the season have been capable on attack, but woefully fragile at the back, especially down the middle.
Striker Lendelle Baptiste looked set for his second after he ghosted down centre of QRC’s defence, before his curling shot was impressively turned past the post by keeper Austin — surely a match-saving moment. That opened the way for QRC to rally, first restoring parity when striker Mohammed put an accurate low, left-footer, inside the far post after a free-kick which deflected nicely into his path. With both teams pushing for an advantage, Malick twice had opportunities to take a lead, with J’Lon Mathew and Tyrese both failing to score from close-up.
What was to come was Quashie’s spectacular winner, the ball rolling across the top of the penalty area, where the eventual Man of the Match flicked it up and unleashed a powerful volley, which beat the best efforts of Malick goalkeeper Maheim Affan, crashing high into the net.
QRC head-coach Jones thought the only difference between the teams was Quashie’s spectacular winner, but credited his players for the fight in the second half in which they finished the stronger team.
“Nathan Quashie scored a beautiful goal on the volley. It was something we practised,” said Jones, adding, “Throughout the season we get the inconsistency from the players. But this afternoon I have to say kudos for the way that we won the game at the end.”
North Zone semi-finals
Queen’s Royal College 2 vs Malick Secondary 1
Fatima College 8 vs East Mucurapo Secondary 0
SOURCE: T&T Express