Antwan Russell at the double to send PHC into FA Cup final
North Village 1 PHC Zebras 2
Antwan Russell kept his composure to score two spot-kicks to earn PHC Zebras victory over North Village in this FA Cup semi-final encounter at Wellington Oval today.
The win sets up a highly anticipated final with Dandy Town Hornets which two-goal hero Russell is looking forward to.
“We are glad to get into the finals. One more game for us this season,” he said.
“Dandy Town have got the better of us all season so hopefully we can get one over them. I am looking forward to this final as we are two of the best teams this season.”
The game started at a very quick pace as both teams resorted to using their midfield to build, composed but meaningful attacks.
PHC almost scored with their first attack as Village goalkeeper Detre Bell had to dive and parry the ball away from the feet of Enrique Russell as he nipped between two defenders who were undecided as to who was going to play the ball.
However, it was Village who broke the deadlock with their first threatening attack.
After winning a corner, the ball was played to the back post where Jalen Harvey was brought down from a late challenge by Makai Joell leaving visiting referee Crystal Sobers the easy task of awarding the first of three penalties. Justin Bell drove his spot-kick down the middle past goalkeeper Shaquille Trott.
Village almost doubled their lead minutes later when Jaizel Smith-DeShields beat centre-half Rakeem Deshields and custodian Trott to a through ball but his lobbed effort rolled wide of the empty net.
PHC finally settled on the ball with skipper Marco Warren, Tre Ming and Enrique Russell instrumental in most of their attacks.
One such attack saw Enrique Russell feed ball into the path of namesake Antwan who was brought down by Bell, resulting in the award of a penalty. The striker dusted himself off before placing his spot-kick firmly beyond the reach of Bell to level the score at the interval.
Village dominated the opening minutes of the second half and almost scored when Smith-DeShields beat Trott with a header from a Pierre Smith cross but the ball was cleared off the line.
Just as the match looked destined for extra time, Enrique Russell produced a spark of brilliance as he left two defenders in his wake before being brought down by Village captain Terryn Fray, handing PHC another golden opportunity from the spot.
Antwan Russell made no mistake, sending custodian Bell the wrong way with his spot-kick to book his side’s spot in the final.
North Village: J Bell 10 pen
PHC: A Russell 40 pen, 86 pen
North Village (4-2-3-1): D Bell 6 — K Knights 5, Q Lema 5, T Fray 6, J Harvey 6 — D Daniels 5 (sub: T Williams 75), V Perinchief 5, — I Simmons 5, J Bell 5 (sub: O Botelho 65min, 5), P Smith 5 — J Smith-DeShields 6. Substitutes not used: O Deshields, R Sampson, W Shakir. Booked: D Bell, Q Lema, J Bell.
PHC Zebras (4-2-3-1): Shaquille Trott 6, — Shakhai Trott 5, M Lambe 5, R Deshields 6, D Smith-Lightbourne 6 — M Joell 5 T Ming 6 — M Warren 6, E Russell 7, D Usher 5 (sub: J Iris 75) — A Russell 8. Substitutes not used: K Abraham, S Nesbitt, N Griffith, K Hypolite, D Lodge, J Hassell.
Referee: C Sobers (Trinidad and Tobago)
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