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Bermuda set for Agüero moment as PHC and Village clash for title

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North Village celebrate winning the FA Cup Final last season (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Bermuda could have its very own Sergio Agüero moment on Tuesday night as the destination of the Premier Division title goes down to the final game of the season.

While fans of an older generation may remember Arsenal’s 2-0 victory at Anfield in the final game of the 1988-89 season earning them the championship, football fans of a younger persuasion will forever remember where they were when the Argentina striker scored a last-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers in 2012 to hand Manchester City their first English Premier League title.

If there is to be a moment to rival that at Flora Duffy Stadium (8pm kick-off) PHC striker Enrique Russell will hope it is he who can propel his side to the top of the Premier Division as they go into the game a point behind league leaders North Village.

“We’re up for it and this is like a cup final to us,” said Russell, who scored twice for PHC in a 3-1 over X-Roads on Saturday to guarantee themselves a shot at the title.

“There’s no better place and no better time to play this game. It works in our favour that it’s not at their home ground. It’s a great place to play, a good surface and I think it will be a good game.

Hopefully we can come away with the win and we’re looking to beat them again and continue our winning streak against them this season.

“It’s first versus second at a neutral venue, a good field, and that’s what players dream of.”

PHC assistant coach Roderick Lewis was in charge of the team for the game against X-Roads after head coach Quincy Hunt was serving a one-game suspension after being sent off a week earlier and he is confident that his side will be holding the Premier Division trophy aloft at the end of the game.

“Both teams need to win, so we’re going to be focused,” Lewis said

“We put ourselves in this position and this is where we wanted to be. We don't want to give it to Village, so we expect them to come and play 100 per cent, but we’ll be definitely lifting the trophy that night.

“We’ll be focusing on recovery because it’s just a short space between now and Tuesday. We may get together and just do a walk through. It won’t be a training session, just recovery.”

Champagne moment: PHC players celebrate clinching this season’s Friendship Trophy (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

The recent rescheduling of fixtures as a result of the friendlies against Rhode Island and the involvement of the national team in the Fifa Series in Saudi Arabia has undoubtedly given PHC an advantage, given they now have Hunt and captain Daren Usher back from suspension and the match has been moved from Village’s home, Bernard Park, to the national stadium.

While Village will also miss out on the finances generated from the biggest game of the season, the team are hoping that they will not miss out on the title after surving a huge scare against Somerset Trojans on Saturday afternoon to remain in pole position, needing just a point to become champions.

Village were losing 2-1 heading into stoppage time against Trojans only to score twice to snatch a crucial three points and coach Kenny Thompson knows just how important that late fightback could prove to be.

“Tuesday is a must win game for both teams but the details are in who can afford to draw, so had we not won the game we would have been in a situation of having to win,” Thompson said.

“Psychologically there is no guarantee how we would have been mentally had we lost that match, and perhaps if we had it may have been up to us to have to bring the team into a good space going into the PHC game.

“To have come back in the way that we did and win gives the team a lot of positive energy going forward. Now it is just about recovering and preparing properly mentally for the big match.”

Although Village now know a draw is sufficient, Thompson is promising that his side will be approaching the game with the intention of grabbing all three points.

“We’re not going into the game believing it is OK to try and play for a draw,” Thompson said

“I’m not sure that many teams can actually go out and play for a draw. The match has to be played in such a way that you always aim to win and then under certain circumstances you might have to manage the game late on to get a draw.

“However, to go out with that mentality from the start, for me is not possible. We have to play a normal game in which the winner wins the league.”

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Published April 02, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 02, 2024 at 9:56 pm)

Bermuda set for Agüero moment as PHC and Village clash for title

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