Monster survive scare to top St Catherine Guinness Street Football Challenge
Imagine a monster getting a scare. Well, that was the case with Monster Shack, who had to protest to avoid elimination at the preliminary stage of St Catherine Guinness Street Football Challenge.
As fate would have it, they are now champions, walking away with $100,000 after beating True Loyal 2-0 on penalties in the opening parish tournament at the Spanish Town Health Centre.
The Spanish Town team ended the group stage on five points with group winners Salt Spring and In Di Street, but tied on goal difference with In Di Street. However, Monster Shack scored one goal more than their opponents and went through to the play-offs on the basis of that statistic.
However, the decision was not that simple. It took the prompting of a strong protest from Monster Shack before they were allowed to proceed to the quarter-finals, where they eased past Group A winners Kitson Town 3-1, with goals from captain John Allen, Kemar Monroe and Kimani Dean.
"At one stage, there was a little controversy and they wanted to drop us out because we were tied on goal difference with another team. So we had to go back and protest our case to the officials," coach Mark Iron pointed out after the championship game on Sunday.
specialist penalty kickers
Iron outlined that bringing in his specialist penalty kickers for the shoot-out made the difference.
"We rotated the team because we have some specialists for the penalty shoot-out. We had three minutes of extra-time and when two minutes was played in the second-half we made some changes, and that did it," he explained.
In the semi-final against Slash Dash, Rohan Davis scored the game's only goal a minute from time (14th) to secure Monster Shack's berth in the decider.
True Loyal topped Group D to advance to the last eight, and in the quarter-final they beat Roots Ballas 1-0 to make the semis. In the semis, they stopped Group D runners-up Okro Lane 2-0 on penalties to advance to the final.
When regulation and extra time failed to separate the teams, penalties were required. Rayon Robinson netted the first and Kemar Monroe the last (third) kicks to seal the trophy for Monster Shack. True Loyal missed their first two and only kicks.
Guinness brand manager Andrew Anguin was thoroughly impressed.
"It's absolutely amazing. The teams were great, the quality of play was wonderful and the discipline was there throughout the day. The final came down to a nail-biting penalty and as organisers it cannot get any better, and we can't wait for the next event out in Clarendon," he stated.