Monday October 8th, 2001.
by Richard G.
What an intense, hard-fought game yeaterday. Let me inform all of
you; Samir Karaga didn't siut up for the Wizards because of accumulated yellows
and Bowes (I don't know the spelling of his name) and the No.12 of the Olympians
didn't suit up either. The Olympians appealed the red card for their defender
No.5 and I got his expulsion from the Oz Cup overturned.
As if we didn't know this game would have been what it was. From the start the game was an intense battle. The two best teams in the CPSL fighting for the right to be called champions. The Olympians took it to the Wizards in the first 10-15 minutes, using their will to want to keep the League Title at it's capacity. But the Wizards' defense held strong limiting the Olympians to a number of crosses but on goals to show for it. Their best chance of the first half came from a through ball that just beat the head of sweeper Nikola Brkljaca, that caused goalkeeper Goddard to come off his line and crash into his own defender, and the Olympians forward. Kevin Nelson and striking partner Abraham Osman worked their tails off in front, with Nelson, coming in for some very rough treatment, especially from the Olympians' No.5. As the game progressed, though, the Wizards began to come into their own creating chances, but only half-chances. One could almost sense that the Wizards would score in the last five minutes of the 1st half when they took control, but this never materialized. Half time score 0-0.
The second half strated the same way the first did, with the Olympians pushing forward in search of the goal that could make them champions, and also give the Wizards their first home defeat (The St. Catherines semi-final not being considered a loss). Many might say the Wizards were playing for the tie, but in reality were defending too deep, giving the Olympians lots of room to attack. The best chance of the game came ofter a mix-up between Brkljaca and Kwame Telemaque. After a punt from the Olympians' keeper, both defenders attacked the ball. Brkljaca, being the sweeper didn't call Telemaque off and got too close to him. The ball fell in the stride of the Olympians's striker, but his shot from just inside the penalty area just caught the boot of Goddard and went for a corner. This parbably was the turning point of the game. looking for answers of how to breach this stingy Wizards' defense, the Olympians continued to press on. But one could have sensed the Wizards gaining more comfidence after that save. Maybe this was the way it supposed to be.
Then the fatal error. A bad mix-up by the Olympians' goalkeeper and one of their defenders (this was not helped by the fact that the keeper kicked the ground and Wizads' sub Vladimir Edouard was standing right there) caused a penalty, which was clinically finished by Nelson, even though the keeper went the right way.
This goal came in the 87th minute of the game, which effectively sealed the game for the Wizards.
At the final whislte, the Wizards' players began their celebrations. Two titles in two weeks and one more to go. What a start for an expansion team, in a league own by the Olympians for the past two years. It was a job well done in the end, and for the Trinidad and Tobago connection, an even more reason to celebrate (T&T beating Honduras in the World Cup Qualifier).
Later and respect.
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