Black Immigrant Daily News
The first entries into the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Republic Cup semifinals secured their positions last Saturday evening at the BFA Wildey Turf.
In the opening encounter Ellerton SC edged Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame 3-2 and in the feature match of the evening Dover Market/Phillips Bakery Paradise FC managed to hold off a youthful but fearless University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds 4-3.
Ellerton needed two goals from captain Shkakille Belle to get beyond a resilient Dames outfit, who always found a way back into the game, each time Ellerton took the advantage.
Belle opened the scoring in the 35th minute, when he unleashed a ferocious right footed free kick from just outside of the penalty area and sent the ball into the top right corner.
Ellerton doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Shane Codrington rose highest at the back post to head home a corner from the right.
Ellerton’s two-goal hero Shakille Belle (in yellow)
Notre Dame was offered a lifeline in the 58th minute when they earned a penalty kick, which was converted by Antone Greaves.
Substitute Mitchum President leveled the score in the 71st minute when he powerfully headed home a corner from the left.
Belle broke all hearts in the Bayland when he scored his second and Ellerton’s third goal in the 108th minute, converting from close range.
Ellerton’s opponents in the semifinal will be Paradise FC, who survived a nervous extra-time period to graduate to the final four of the competition.
Paradise sent an early message to the Blackbirds, when senior national player Ackeel Applewhaite wrapped his left foot around the ball from the right side of the penalty area, beating goalkeeper Shaquan Phillips, but striking the outside of the right post, in the 13th minute.
Four minutes later, Paradise was on the scoresheet, as towering center back Tyrique Bailey-Edwards headed home Armando “Sugar” Lashley’s left-sided free kick, at the back post.
Before Paradise could bask in their celebrations, the Blackbirds leveled the score.
Former national goalkeeper Jason Boxhil was adjudged to have fouled Kobe Griffith inside the penalty area and referee Kevon Clarke pointed to the penalty spot.
National midfielder Ackeel Applewhaite (yellow) was in top form versus the University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds,
Kobe “Square” Shepherd converted the spot kick in the 20th minute.
An exciting first half, which finished at 1-1, was met by an equally exhilarating second period, as both teams looked for that important go-ahead goal.
In the 60th minute, the Blackbirds took the advantage.
A free-kick into the Paradise penalty area caused some havoc and the ball fell to Shephard, who dribbled by his marker and played a pin-point pass across the six-yard box for Ramon “Bau” Griffith to slot home.
The sea-saw battle continued as Paradise made it 2-2 in the 65th minute.
Mario Harte tried an audacious lob from just outside the area, but goalkeeper Phillips was equal to the task and tipped it over for a corner.
The resulting corner from the right was scored by the head of Nicoli Brathwaite at the far post.
The game took an interesting turn in the 83rd minute, as UWI influential midfielder Jaheim Neblett was shown his second yellow card by referee Clarke.
Paradise utilized the player advantage and scored in the 87th minute, via another set piece.
A corner from the right, found an unmarked Applewhaite, who controlled the ball neatly on his thigh and fired the ball beyond Phillips with his less favoured right foot.
Fans from both teams began to depart the facility in anticipation of a 3-2 final score line, however UWI had other ideas.
Substitute Akio Bartlett scored with his first touch of the game.
Shakille James delivered a free kick from 40 yards, which caught the Paradise defense and goalkeeper napping, and Bartlett responded the quickest to score from 12 yards.
The heavens opened and there was a heavy and consistent downpour for the entire extra time period, which resulted in a flooded pitch and very difficult playing conditions, which tested both teams physically and technically.
It took a series of good technical application for Paradise to score the winning goal in the 118th minute.
Jamal Watson-Cummings, with boots partially submerged on the left, managed to carve out a cross into Harte who chest the ball into the path of Applewhaite arriving at the top of the penalty area, and the national midfielder, found the top left corner of the goal with a powerful left foot shot.