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Corona League Young Gunz knock out Premier Division Boulevard

Young Gunz coach David Furtado delighted with giantkilling over Boulevard Blazers

Young Gunz 4 Boulevard 2

Young Gunz advanced to the quarter-final of the FA Cup with a stunning, come-from-behind victory over Boulevard at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night.

Given little chance of progressing in the build-up to the match, the Corona League upstarts produced a memorable performance during their initial foray in the prestigious knockout competition.

What started as a baptism by fire with Blazers surging to an early two-goal lead on account of a clinical strike from Clay Darrell and a Kamali Davis penalty, became a celebratory coronation as Young Gunz responded with four unanswered goals.

“It’s absolutely an incredible victory,” said an ebullient Young Gunz coach David Furtado at the conclusion of an historic win.

“We’re buzzing right now. Everybody’s just buzzing. It’s well deserved. These guys played their hearts out tonight and I’m proud of every one of them tonight. We proved to everybody that we’re for real and we’re here to impress.”

While the ending offered a tale of triumph for Young Gunz, early chapters painted a quite different story as Boulevard attacked in waves, looking to steal the hearts of their opponents.

Blazers forced five corners in the first 20 minutes, wilfully opening cracks in the Young Gunz defence and testing goalkeeper Romone Smith, who initially appeared unsure between the sticks.

Darrell took advantage of Smith’s nervousness and lack of range in the 21st minute, when he found himself in possession just beyond the topright edge of the penalty area and fired a shot just left of centre that Smith should have covered, but he was caught wrong-footed.

To their credit, Young Gunz were unmoved and came close to equalising from the resultant kick-off, with Dominique Williams watching in dismay as his left-footed effort from the top of the area rolled inches wide of Azir Harvey’s left upright.

Young Gunz found themselves in a deeper hole in the 32nd minute when Davis scored from the penalty spot after the lively playmaker was brought down inside the box on one of his many pointed, attacking forays.

Yet rather than fold, Young Gunz instead dug into a bag of resilience and turned the tables on a Boulevard outfit resting on its laurels.

Lynn Emery was first to take advantage of Boulevard’s complacency as he waltzed past the defence and slotted the ball home past an advancing Harvey to halve the deficit.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, the score was levelled via a swift attacking manoeuvre involving Emery and Jason Shrubb, with the latter flashing into the penalty area to meet the former’s threaded pass and smash a one-time blast beyond a bewildered Harvey, giving new life to the underdogs.

“The guys showed tremendous composure after going down two goals,” said Furtado. “We just kept reaching to play the football we knew we could play.

“We kept playing hard as a team and we were determined to leave it all out there on the field today and that comeback showed it.”

The second half saw a reinvigorated Boulevard again applying pressure, with Davis and Omar Wilson relentless, but a suddenly more confident and surer-handling Smith consistently found ways to dispel opposing efforts to break the deadlock.

Blazers’ over-attacking strategy meant a diminished defence, with Saki Tuzo coming alive after a subdued opening half to take full advantage of defensive deficiencies.

Tuzo wreaked consistent havoc on the right wing and would become the architect of both second-half goals, which ultimately saw his side through to the quarters.

In the 62nd minute, Tuzo laid the groundwork for Emery’s second goal with a sprawling run down the right before crossing into the danger area for Dominique Williams to crash a volley against Harvey, with Emery adept to convert the rebound.

Ten minutes later Tuzo produced a carbon-copy move, this time his inbound cross finding Rico Wells, who made no mistake with his first-time connect.

“It was all about the team tonight,” said Emery, Young Gunz’ two-goal hero. “The team came to play tonight and really played hard, which was our main goal. It was all teamwork, being able to come from 2-0 down and win 4-2 was a real team effort.

“We never got down on ourselves. It was always, ‘Keep working, keep working’, and we knew that we would dig it out.

“We knew that if we put pressure on certain players we would find opportunities.”


Young Gunz: Emery 36, 62, Shrubb 45, Wells 72

Boulevard: Darrell 21, Davis 32 pen


Young Gunz (4-1-3-2): R Smith 6 -- C Lima 6, K Cabral 6, M Correia 6, K McGhee 6 -- M Godfrey 6 -- R Wells 7 (sub: K Place, 90min), J Shrubb 8, S Tuzo 8 -- L Emery 7 (sub: A DeCosta, 68 5), D Williams 7 (sub: N Meireles, 88).

Boulevard (4-3-1-2): A Harvey 5 -- A Famous 5, A Williams-Smith 5, A Johnson 5, D Hendrickson 5 -- T Walker 5, K McQueen 5, Q Maynard 5 -- K Davis -- T Taylor 5 (sub: K Easton, 29 6), C Darrell 5.

Referee: A Francis.

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Published January 23, 2023 at 11:36 am (Updated January 23, 2023 at 11:36 am)

Corona League Young Gunz knock out Premier Division Boulevard

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