Hood prevail in shoot-out thriller
Robin Hood and North Village will do battle in the Corona Bistro Challenge Cup final on April 12 after advancing from the semi-finals last Friday night.
Hood defeated Tuff Dogs, the defending champions, 4-3 via a penalty shoot-out after being deadlocked at 1-1, with Grant McKellar, of Hood, cancelling out Jeff Franklin's strike. Dogs struck the first blow midway through the second half when Franklin's deflected cross eluded the Hood defence and goalkeeper Paul Fox.
Hood made a few tactical changes and were rewarded for their ambition when they grabbed the equaliser. Rohaan Simons managed to break free to float in a cross for McKellar with only minutes left in regulation time.
Both goalkeepers made excellent saves in the shoot-out, with Dogs' Cal Thomas saving the first penalty from Brian Fubler.
Fox, however, was be the hero when he saved Marcel Dill's kick, who was the third taker for Dogs, and then dived to his right to block Franklin's spot-kick, the Dogs fifth penalty-taker, to send the game into sudden-death kicks, which Hood won.
“Although [the final] is a month away and we have several crucial league games coming up first, it has the makings of a very entertaining match,” Derek Stapley, the Hood coach, said. “Village have an incredibly talented team and have played some of the best football in the Corona league this year.”
In the second match of the night, Aljame Zuill grabbed a brace, while Ralph Bean Jr was also on target as Rams beat West End United 3-2. Henry Santucci and Matthew Carvalho scored for United. Zuill opened the scoring just before the break when he was found by Randy Spence's cutback.
Santucci put United on level terms midway through the second half. Zuill scored his second moments later, with the striker burying his effort from ten yards out.
Rams' Bean then curled a free kick up and over the wall and into the top near corner.Carvalho reduced the deficit for United late on.
Saturday's make-up match between Flanagan's Onions and Lobster Pot was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.