Shoot-out win gives Arsenal flying start
Arsenal coach John Nusum said he was happy after his side’s dramatic 8-7 shoot-out win over Royal on the opening night of the Island Soccer League (ISL) at the National Sports Centre on Saturday.
Last year’s runners-up got a brace from Cecoy Robinson and solo strikes from Ralph Bean jr., Daz Simons, Thomas Watson, Fabian Frankson, and Shaki Pearman in regulation time. Darrin Dowling scored a hat-trick for the Royal while Jesse Seymour grabbed two and Jemeiko Jennings and Clay Darrell were also on target in a losing cause.
“The first win is important in any type of league format whether it is in a tournament style of play or a league campaign,” said Nusum. “Getting that first win relieves a bit of pressure from the players and staff and also breeds a bit of confidence.
“Last season we lost the first game and it was a learning block for us.
“This year we will be looking to build on the win and carry it forward.
“One thing that my staff and I have tried to instill is a confidence in our players.
“ We have a great mixture of matured players as well as youth and they are able to push each other on and luckily we have no shortage of confidence in our side.”
Seemingly on their way to victory with the clock ticking down, Arsenal conceded the equalising goal in the last 20 seconds to Darrin Dowling which sent the game into overtime.
With no goals in the extra period, the match was to be settled by penalties with Cornell Castle settling matters for the winners.
Castle’s shoot-out goal was the difference after Jemeiko Jennings hit the post and Torri Davis was called for a five second violation in the shoot-out period.
“We have several match-winners within our team and when you have players like Ralph Bean, Cecoy Robinson, and Cornell Castle there is always a belief that we can get through somehow,” added Nusum.
“Heading into overtime and key situations we just have to make sure that the pressure of the moment does not take over.
“We look to play the way that we have always played with confidence and style.”
The Titans, Union and Knights also recorded victories on opening day of the season.The Titans broke open a 4-4 game against Apex, scoring three fourth-quarter goals to cruise to a 7-4 victory.
Jamie Smith and Lonnie Bascome both scored twice while Mikre Pace, Anthony Rocker and Javon Minors all grabbed goals for the Titans.
Heys Wolfe hit two and Reggie Baker and Jahron Dickinson chipped in with one goal apiece for Apex.
A hat-trick from Milton Ferreira wasn’t enough to give the Kings an opening day win over Union as they fell 6-5 thanks to a last second goal from Eugene Calder.
Calder’s winner was his second of the night as he got help from Shannon Burchall, who also netted two, and Tristan Daniels and Jahmel Swan.
Kori Goddard and Rui Furtado helped Ferreira in a losing cause.
In the final game of the night, the Knights dominated play against the 2010 Lindo’s ISL Champion Storm, thrashing Andrew Bascome’s men 9-1.
It was all Knights, although Storm scored the first goal of the game through Ajani Gibbons.
But they wouldn’t score any more as the Knights netted six second-quarter goals to cruise to victory.
Keston Lewis recorded a hat-trick for the Knights while Shayne Hollis helped himself to a double.
Vincent Minors jr., Lozendro Symonds, Ryan Purnell, and Ian Coke all struck once in their side’s resounding win.
The Lindo’s ISL action resumes on Saturday night when the Storm take on the Apex, the Knights battle the Titans and Arsenal meet Union.
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