Bodden Town defeated defending champions Elite 3-1in the first leg of the semi-finals of Cayman Islands Football Association Digicel Cup last Sunday at the T E McField Sports Centre in George Town while George Town drew 1-1 with Tigers in the other semi final game played at that same venue.
The return leg will be played on 24 January at this same venue when Elite meets Bodden Town at 5pm and Tigers face George Town at 7pm.
Bodden Town went ahead in the 22nd minute with a goal from Arvid Harris ending the first half 1-0.
The Elbert McLean coached team came out more sombre in the second half and started to apply pressure on the boys from West Bay this bore fruit in the 50th minute when Charlo McLean sent one more past goal keeper Joseph James.
The game got even more physical as both teams tried desperately to make it to the finals set for 17 February. The defense engine of Bodden Town went into overdrive and held on firmly despite the absence of number one goal keeper Ramon Sealy who has gone off to college in the US.
This prevented Elite from finding the back of the net although they managed to reach inside the box several times.
In the 68th minute Kareem James made the score line 3-0 after eluding the Elite defense line.
Elite quickly took up the ball and with the energies from three substitutions made some good passes which resulted in a mix-up in the penalty area.
The ball found the back of the net and an own goal was awarded to Elite after it deflected off the body of Wesley Robinson.
An elated head coach Elbert McLean said: ‘Overall it was a great game. The players’ fitness and speed was what made the difference in the game.
‘We overpowered them and they stuck to the game plan in winning the first half and winning the second half. In the return leg we will be preparing to win that one as well. We are not going to take the game easy we will just let the playing do the talking again.’
Meanwhile, Elite’s disappointed technical director Gregory Ebanks said: ‘Bodden Town’s fitness level is more superior to Elite Sports Club; therefore they had better concentration with the game situations.
‘The game was played from one 18 yard box to another, with plenty of possession by both teams. It was played with good sportsmanship and the match officials did a good job.
‘The next game will be the similar results if Elite don’t pull up our socks. On Wednesday of last week Bodden Town’s entire team was at beach training and we had just under half of our team roster there.
‘Too many excuses from my players, you practice part time you get part time results. Hopefully this will be an eye opener for the next game.’
In the other semi, Loren Bennett was the star of the Tigers team, opening the score in the 28th minute. That lead lasted until the 89th minute when substitute Jermaine Seymour netted the equalizer for George Town.
George Town defender Desmond ‘Shorty’ Wright had another good game. He has been one of their best players this season.