Em­pire tame Lions in last minute

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 6 - ANMAR GOODRIDGE-BOYCE

Sub­sti­tute Omando Mcleod net­ted a late win­ner to move Em­pire four points clear at the top of Zone 2 in the Bar­ba­dos Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (BFA) Pre­mier League fol­low­ing a 2-1 vic­tory over the St An­drew Lions on Tues­day night.

One minute of reg­u­lar time was left in the match which could have eas­ily gone ei­ther way, when Mcleod’s pow­er­ful right-footed ef­fort beat Lions’ goal­keeper Donte Hinds from just out­side the box at the Wildey Turf.

It was heart­break for the Lions, who once again in­cluded sev­eral Brazil­ian na­tion­als in their start­ing line-up, while hunt­ing their first vic­tory of the sea­son. The Lions, who haven’t been roar­ing, lost their three open­ing games. De­spite a cagey start, the tempo re­ally heated up mid­way through the first half.

Em­pire grabbed the open­ing goal in the 35th minute com­pli­ments the left boot of ju­nior na­tional player Abi­ola Grant.

St An­drew con­ceded a cor­ner, which was floated into the box by Cur­tis Odle caus­ing headaches for the Lions back­line. They were un­able to get the ball clear and Grant drilled the ball hard and low, past Hinds to make the score 1-0.

Em­pire should have been two goals to the good af­ter Jabarry “Papi” Chan­dler did well to get off a left-footed shot on the edge of the box but Hinds made the save. Play­ing in the mid­field Darico King, who trans­ferred from the Bar­ba­dos De­fence Force Sports Pro­gramme (BDFSP) was at the cen­tre of the Lions’ at­tacks, mak­ing key passes as his team grew in con­fi­dence.

Shift in mo­men­tum

In the sec­ond half, mo­men­tum shifted and Bruno Da Silva, along with fel­low South Amer­i­can Jef­fer­son Silva be­gan to play with a lit­tle more ur­gency go­ing for­ward. This con­trib­uted to Shamar Ed­wards get­ting the equaliser for the Lions in the 54th minute.

Neat work from out­side the box al­lowed Ed­wards to cre­ate acres of space in which he fired a shot which clipped the in­side of Oba Tucker’s right bot­tom cor­ner and found its way into the back of the net. That goal opened up the game and set up an ex­cit­ing fi­nal half of an hour. Chan­dler was busy up­front all night for Em­pire but the pro­lific striker was un­able to de­ceive the Lions’ de­fence.

Both teams made sub­sti­tu­tions just around the 65-minute mark but the most im­pact­ful was when Reneko Thomp­son was re­placed by Mcleod.

Odle did dam­age down the right hand side, which re­sulted in his cross be­ing half cleared by the Lions. Mcleod seized the loose ball and scored the win­ner in the 89th minute.

In the fi­nal game, new boys Youth Mi­lan reg­is­tered their first vic­tory of sea­son, de­feat­ing Eller­ton by a 2-1 score­line. Eller­ton ben­e­fited from a Ke­mar Chase own goal to take the lead but Rosean Brath­waite also put the ball in his own net be­fore Chase re­deemed him­self with a free­kick, four min­utes later.

Play maker Cur­tis Odle of Em­pire curl­ing the ball into the box against the St. An­drew Lions’ de­fence. by an­mar­[email protected]­tionnews.com

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