St Lucia Veterans rule Guinness Street Football
The Guinness Street Football Challenge Caribbean finals came to a close last Sunday at the waterfront, downtown Kingston, where St Lucia Veterans outwitted Barbados' Arm Units 4-1 to become regional champions.
Support for national champions Slash Dash could be felt all over the venue, as the cheers could be heard from afar.
Unfortunately, Slash Dash did not make it to the final, but their efforts were admirable as they qualified among the top eight teams that moved into the quarter-finals. Other quarter-finalists were Sparta Boos from Guyana, Barbados' Arm Units, St Kitts & Nevis' Rams Village Superstars, Aruba's Soccer Giants, Touches from Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent, and the Veterans from St Lucia.
After a gruelling matchup, Soccer Giants, Arm Units, St Vincent and Veterans proved to be the better teams and advanced to the semi-finals.
St Vincent and Soccer Giants lost out and were relegated to a third-place battle. Even though St Vincent played a very good match, Soccer Giants proved to be better and showed much more tenacity and skill to secure a 2-1 win.
In the final, St Lucia gave Barbados little chances to score. They played with a lot of skill and made the most of their tactical superiority and goalscoring opportunities. Arms Units had a few shots at goal, but were successful only once, while the champions were in a rampant mood and thumped in four.
"It was a great experience. That team was no regular team. They were hosting all the competitions and winning it and representing St Lucia. It has helped us (St Lucia) in a big way because it was a fight and a struggle, and we had to prove to them that we could do it and we could put our name on the map," said Veterans' Romiel Felix, captain of the St Lucia team.
He was also named the golden boot winner and was presented with a US$500 cheque, courtesy of Digicel.
"I feel marvellous. I'm always a goalscorer, so it's nothing new to me," boasted Felix, when asked about receiving the award.
The Veterans walked away with the title and a cheque for US$6,000. Arm Units received a US$3,000 cheque, Aruba Soccer Giants US$2,500 and St Vincent got US$1,000 for fourth.
"The Guinness Street Football Challenge ended on a high note with the staging of another successful event," said Andrew Anguin, brand manager, Guinness. "We look forward to the next great street football in 2016."