Young Elite FC battled top team Latinos FC to a 1-0 score line to advance to the next round of the 2007-2008 Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) Digicel Cup Knock-Out competition last Sunday at the Northside playing field.
George Town stopped East End 3-1 in the feature game to take their place in the semis that same day at the same venue.
The giant Latinos who presently top the point standings the National League came quite confident playing against Elite and in the first two minutes could have gone ahead but Allean Grant missed the opportunity.
Elite, a relatively young team stood up to their opponents and made several early attacks at goal resulting in Latinos loosing their composure and making defensive errors.
They continued to apply the pressure on a stunned Latinos and in the 18th minute their efforts paid off as Gabriel Godet after beating the defenders and realizing that Goal Keeper Alexi Reve had slipped topped the ball into the back of the net ending the first half 1-0.
The second half had spectators screaming and sitting at the edge of their seats as they enjoyed every moment of the game. Latinos tried every thing in the book but just could not get pass the youngsters who had their eyes fixed on the next round.
The defending of Bryan Hydes was superb with the assistance of his brother Dante Hydes and Jason Ebanks who played as an all rounder turning up at every angle of the field to keep the opponent away.
Allean Grant and Memory Forbes with all their experience could not handle the boys. The substitution of David Arch for National player Marshall Forbes could not change the 1-0 finish as Referee Winston Blackwood blew the final whistle much to the disappointment of Latinos.
A beaming Coach of Elite Greg Ebanks said after the game that his team had a passion and were motivated having a desire to win.
‘Elite have a passion for the game and were motivated to win. I am not taking anything from Latinos as they played well creating some close calls. My squad has a dynasty and they will achieve the ultimate goal if they remain as a team and share the same objective. I have no doubt that this team will be in the top three in all competitions played on the island in a few years to come. I am not afraid of who next we meet in this competition the players are ready,’ Ebanks said.
Latinos Coach Juan Dixon was not too disappointed as he stated that Latinos has never made it to the semis of this competition.
‘They have never reached semi- finals in this competition. We got chances to score but did not capitalize; Elite got a chance and scored. They are a young team and they played well,’ Dixon pointed out.
East End drew first blood in the 7th minutes of the game after Rico Bodden broke through the defence line and kicked one pass Goal keeper Clay Coleman.
Fourteen minutes later Ian Lindo equalized for George Town and the game took a different turn as both teams went all out attacking from all angles, however the first half ended 1-1.
At the start of the second half it was obvious that George Town had come up with a better game plan to take the game to their opponents.
Paul Tugman and Kris Anderson were kept relatively busy in the defence line with Goal keeper Jeremy Miller operating like a windscreen wiper removing the attempts to goal.
66 minutes into the half Tugman in a desperate endeavor to prevent a George Town player from going forward handled the ball inside the penalty box.
George Town was awarded a penalty, this was taken successfully by Garth Anderson.
In the 75th minute East End’s chances to advance to the next round was erased by former national representative Carson Fagan who converted a corner taken by Dennis Ebanks into a goal to end the game 3-1.