Sunset defeated Cayman Athletic 2-0 to retain their spot in the Cayman Islands Football Association Premier League in a match on Sunday, 9 May at the Annex.
After finishing second-to-last (ninth place) in the premier league, Sunset found themselves in the playoffs against Cayman Athletic, which booked a spot by finishing second in the CIFA First Division.
For Sunset, a loss would have meant relegation, while Athletic were in search of a promotion. However, Sunset kept their place in the premier league by capturing the win through two late goals.
“It’s a massive game because Athletics were the underdogs and we’re the team that haven’t had a very good season, and that’s why we are in the position that we are in,” Sunset head coach Gareth Thacker told Cayman Compass after the match.
The first half of the match Sunday night ended without a goal. In the second half, the action picked up in the final 10 minutes of the game with a goal coming from Sunset’s Zachary Scott in the 80th minute. Three minutes later, Athletic found the back of the net but that was immediately called off for offside, sparking a protest from the Athletic players and head coach Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour.
“It was a controversial call by the linesman about the goal that we scored to equalise the game, and no one can give a clear answer about that, but that’s football,” Seymour told the Compass. “Our players are very young, so it wasn’t a bad performance, and the end of the day, it’s about taking chances and Sunset got two chances and they scored.”
The outburst after the offside call resulted in a red card for Athletic’s Jose Macias, who was sent off for abusive language, after being shown a yellow card in the first half. With Athletic down one man, Sunset would go on to rub salt in their opponents’ wounds by scoring again at the 90-minute mark, through a strike from Michael Christiansen.
“Cayman Athletic improved their game,” said Thacker. “I thought they played very well because we played them two or three weeks ago and beat them 5-3. But they came out tonight and played like they wanted that place in the Cayman premier league, but it was just a stronger second half for us.”