With the Cayman Islands Football Association Boys Under 11 league completed, the focus on Saturday was on FA Cup first round games.
Due to “unavoidable circumstances,” only two of the four scheduled first round games were played, but fans in attendance were treated to a spectacle of youth football.
The day’s first game, between 345 FC A and Sunset Warriors, started perfectly for the boys from Sunset as their top marksman Jaxon Cover found the back of the net in the 4th minute. Cover’s energy and enthusiasm was causing endless problems for 345’s back four, and it was something they would need to endure for the remaining 48 minutes.
Not to be outdone, 345’s Christo Durrant and his strike partners were causing their fair share of problems for the Sunset back four, resulting in the equalizer in the 19th minute. From a penalty, Sunset’s goalkeeper Tommy Isbister made a brilliant save from the initial kick, but 345’s Jagger Alban was quickest to the rebound and his tap-in tied the game at 1-1.
Game on and both teams used every ounce of their being to conjure up opportunities to take the lead, but it was the superb play of Tommy for Sunset and Griffen MacDonald for 345 FC in goal that kept the score even.
In the second half, 345 began to wear down their opposition, and goals from Colby Jakubiak in the 40th minute and another from Christo in the final minute of play sealed the win for 345 and secured an FA Cup second round match-up with Bodden Town FC next Saturday.
The second game, between George Town SC and Sunset Rockets, did not produce the same offensive “fireworks” as the first game, as play was limited to the midfield area. The build-up play for both teams was a joy to watch, but the final passes lacked quality and accuracy.
With both teams unable to find the net and the score tied at 0-0 at the final whistle, it would be penalties that would decide which team would advance to the second round to face Academy SC Stingrays on Saturday.
The thought of a penalty shoot-out puts a tremendous amount of pressure on seasoned professional footballers, much less youth players. This day would be no different, as only three of the allotted 10 penalties found the net and unfortunately for Sunset, to George Town SC went the spoils.
Penalty conversions from George Town SC’s Abran Salvador and Josiah Parsons in comparison to Sunset’s Sean Leon’s lone strike, propelled George Town SC into the second round with a 2-1 win.
The second round of the Boy’s Under 11 FA Cup continues Saturday as Latinos FC A or Latinos FC B take on Future SC at 9 a.m., George Town SC face Academy SC Stingrays at 10 a.m., 345 FC A play Bodden Town FC at 11 a.m. and Academy SC Lionfish or 345 FC B face East End United FC at 11 a.m.
On Tuesday, Latinos FC A play Latinos FC B with the winner advancing to play Future SC, and on Thursday, Academy SC Lionfish face 345 FC B, with the winners playing East End United FC. Both first round replays are scheduled for the CIFA Field.