Scholars International took one step inside the finals of the 2008-2009 Cayman Islands Football Association Digicel Knock-Out competition on Sunday when they blanked neighbours Future SC 2-0 at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay.
In the other semi-final played between George Town and Elite ended in a stalemate at this same venue.
Scholars international went ahead in the 31st minute when Kingsley ‘Chin’ Wellington placed a free kick from 30 yards out inside the penalty area which was headed in by Lorenzo Brown.
Five minutes later Leon Whittaker took a free kick from outside the box and smashed in Scholars’ second goal.
During the second half Future came out with a different game plan which saw Contreras Sergio taking two dangerous kicks at goal which were saved by custodian Colin Rowe who is replacing Jermaine Brown who broke his arm in a recent game.
For the last 30 minutes of the game Future went into attack and looked quite dangerous keeping Scholars International’s defense line extremely busy.
However, the score line was already settled and Scholars International will advance into the second leg with a solid two goal cushion scheduled to be played on Sunday January 18.
Antonio Smith head coach of Scholars International said: ‘I am very pleased with the result of this first leg game although key players like Jermaine Brown and Phillip Berry are out.
‘We have been playing with a team with quite a few substitutes and they have adjusted technically to their new positions.’
‘They kept possession of the ball and outplayed Future. The team has been in training all week and was prepared for this game. Last season we lost to George Town at the semis but this time its different we want to reach the finals therefore we are playing very hard.’
‘Future is a team that you cannot take your eyes off, they play well and I know they will come back at us but we will be prepared.’
Head coach of Future Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks said his team played well in the second half and looked dangerous in attack but they have their work cut out for the return leg.
‘We have work cut out for us, we will have to ensure that we score two goals on them first making sure they don’t score anymore on us before and then we and take it from there. We will be training very hard to deal with this game,’ Ebanks stated.
Meanwhile, Elite had a tough game against a peak George Town team which ended goalless.
From the first sound of the whistle George Town took over the game bringing technical director Greg Ebanks to his feet trying desperately to keep his team focused.
Lee Ramoon must be upset with himself as he got two clear chances to put his team ahead. Garth Anderson, Tex Whitelocke and Mitchie Williams also got their fair share of chances which they failed to place at the back of the net.
Elite looked dangerous as well but were keenly marked up front. Goalkeeper Joseph James should be lauded for some great saves as well as Jairo Sanchez and Benjamin Cupid who did a great job soaking up the pressure of the charging George Town players.
Despite all the efforts from both teams the game ended goalless.
Greg Ebanks was disappointed with the results and stated that they team lacked patience and confidence and did not play their usual pattern of game.
‘The team lacked patience and confidence those were the key elements that we missed and it basically caused us the game. We will be treating the second leg like a grand finale.’
‘We need to improve our game playing the game as we are accustomed to, we will be working very hard at this for the return leg,’ Ebanks.
Lee Ramoon Player /Coach of George Town when asked how he felt about the results said he was happy with the results although it should have been different in their favor but they will just have to deal with it in the return leg come January 18.