Cougars win seven-goal thriller to reach final
Dev. Cougars 5 Southampton 2
Six second half goals brought this match to a thrilling finish as Devonshire Cougars booked their spot in the Friendship Trophy final.
Substitute Chae Brangman netted twice in the closing minutes to give Cougars a victory that was closer than the scoreline suggests. Cougars had a one-goal lead at the half through Domico Coddington’s strike on the half-hour mark, drilling in a shot from just inside the box after Kor-Von Tucker laid the ball back for him.
Drewonde Bascome came close to adding a second in the 42nd minute when he nipped in between defenders Janeiro Tucker and Jahma Charles before stabbing his effort wide.
The finishing ability that was lacking in the first half was more clinical after the restart, with Rangers playing their best football of the night after being reduced to ten men in the 51st minute when Callan Woolridge was sent off for a second yellow card. Cougars held on to their slim lead as Rangers had a scrambled effort cleared off the line before Keedai Astwood had an effort tipped over the bar by Cougars keeper Kioshi Trott.
Rangers were threatening to score and they finally did so in the 61st minute when Dennis Russell controlled a ball into the box and smashed his effort into the roof of the net from an angle. And to add salt into the Cougars wounds, Rangers grabbed a second goal four minutes later when Vernon Perinchief’s freekick on the edge of the box took a slight deflection before beating Trott.
Suddenly it was anybody’s game as Lavince Tota made it 2-2 with the third goal in six minutes when he scored from a header to a corner on the left. The teams continued to throw everything into attack and after Coddington had an effort ruled out for offside in the 72nd minute, Cougars closed out an entertaining second half with three goals in the last 15 minutes.
Coddington collected a pass from midfielder Philip Parsons, filling in for the absent skipper Chris Caisey, and crossed for Drewonde Bascome to score at the far post to make it 3-2. But Rangers still had hopes of another equaliser and came close when Charles drove an effort just wide of the near post. Rangers continued to push men forward and paid the price in the 89th minute when a quick break exposed them at the back as Coddington had space to get inside the box and lay off a cross to the back post where Brangman scored easily.
The scoring was completed three minutes into injury time when another quick break involved the same two players, Coddington supplying the cross into the box and Brangman finishing smartly to make it 5-2.