An undefeated feat
BY PETER ZOLEVEKE II
EAST GUADALCANAL Frigates was crowned 2020 Guadalcanal Cup undefeated winners following a thrilling grand final 3-0 showdown against North/West Guadalcanal Noni yesterday at the Lawson Tama stadium.
Both finalists came in the competition as underdogs to set a new record in the major provincial event.
The Eddie Marahare coached side waited till early in the second half to find the back of the net.
“I had to encourage the boys during the breather that they still have the opportunity to prove themselves in the next 45’ minutes and we won, undefeated throughout the tournament,” Marahare expressed in a post-match interview.
“What we did was pack up our fronts with high press in our attack to capitalize and avoid mistakes. I’m impressed with the response the boys have shown.
An awarded free kick just outside of the 18 yard box broke the deadlock, through a Paul Francis well-placed far post shot.
“We respect our opponents, we played them in our Pool game which we won 3-2 and I think the convenience disturbed our play in the first half,” Marahare said.
N/W Guadalcanal Noni had clear chances to secure a point gap had if their chances were rightly executed as head coach Barnabas Loloito blamed finishing was their weakness.
“Actually the first half the boys were contained with the game plan and strategy we are working on. Just finishing is our problem and the second half we try to re-strategize but you know the players are home boys they are merely adapted to the modern standard so they just go back to the typical style of football,” Loloito said.
Francis had a brace to his name before called off for injuries.
East Guale captain Youngstorm Hetia put the icing on the cake from a counter attacking play for a neat cross that picked him unmarked to seal victory.
NWG remained with 10 players for the reminder of the second match after a defender was shown the dressing room for a dangerous tackle.
The third and fourth playoff saw North Guadalcanal thump South Guadalcanal 3-0 to secure the second runners up place.
WINNERS – EAST GUADALCANAL FRIGATES
FIRST RUNNERS UP- NORTH WEST GUADALCANAL NONI
SECOND RUNNERS UP – NORTH GUADALCANAL
THIRD RUNNERS UP – SOUTH GUADALCANAL
Fair Play – West Guadalcanal
Golden Glove – Cornelius Juniro (East Guadalcanal)
Golden boot – Simon Sagi (North Guadalcanal)
Player of the tournament – Francis Paul (East Guadalcanal)