GDF crowned KFC Elite League Cup champion after thrilling shootout with Western Tigers
Guyana Defence Force celebrated their Guyana Football Federation-KFC Elite League Cup title success on January 1, triumphing over Western Tigers following a riveting 8-7 penalty shootout at the Eve Leary Sports Ground in Kingston, Georgetown.
Hundreds witnessed the thrilling clash between the league’s foremost contenders on Monday evening in the first match of the 2024 football season.
With their eyes set on the trophy, cash rewards, and the prestige of becoming this year’s first champions, the players of both teams walked onto the pitch with determination and focus.
Throughout the match, their defensive prowess was on full display, creating an impenetrable barrier that made scoring a daunting task. Despite numerous substitutions made by both teams, when the final whistle blew and overtime concluded, the scoreboard remained locked at 0-0 and it was on to penalties.
Both teams exhibited exceptional skill during the shootout, enduring a thrilling exchange that stretched across 15 penalties.
In a post-game interview, Guyana Defence Force midfielder Chris Macey thanked all their supporters and highlighted that it was their swift, attacking style that prevented Western Tigers from scoring, leading to a goalless official game.
“The coach told us to play fast, go into the challenges (with) full commitment,” he shared.
Western Tigers’ Daniel Wilson, who played central midfield, said his team went into the game with a strategy to “keep the ball and be more patient (but) at the end of the day, penalty kicks is anybody’s game.”
The champions claimed a grand prize of G$1.5 million in cash, while the valiant runners-up, Western Tigers, secured G$1 million for their efforts.
In a riveting showdown for third place, the Guyana Police Force secured a commanding 3-0 victory over Buxton United. The first half remained goalless despite numerous close attempts.
It was Pernel Schultz of the Guyana Police Force who broke the deadlock in the 61st minute, setting the tone for his team’s dominance. Neron Barrow swiftly followed with another goal in the 69th minute, and Nicholas McArthur’s electrifying strike in the 86th minute sealed a resounding victory for the Guyana Police Force.
The Guyana Police Force clinched the third-place cash prize of G$500,000, while Buxton United secured the fourth-place reward of G$250,000.
GFF President Wayne Forde congratulated the champions and thanked every team for delivering weeks of exhilarating club football to the fans which culminated in an unforgettable and thrilling final.
“We have witnessed another captivating chapter of football over the last few weeks. Congratulations to the champions, the Guyana Defence Force, and to all the players who gave the fans exhilarating and unforgettable matches, showcasing the immense talent within Guyana.”
He further thanked KFC Guyana for their ongoing support in fostering the growth of club football which gives players a national stage and coaches the opportunity to unearth the future stars to represent Guyana on the global stage.
“A heartfelt thank you to KFC Guyana. Your steadfast support drives club football which gives players a national stage and coaches the opportunity to unearth the future stars who will represent Guyana globally as Golden Jaguars.”
The GFF-KFC Elite League Cup, which kicked off on October 15, also featured Santos, Fruta Conquerors, Milerock, Den Amstel, Victoria Kings and Ann’s Grove football clubs.
The final was attended by several GFF officials, including First Vice-president Brigadier General (Ret’d) Bruce Lovell, Third Vice-president Dion Inniss, Council Members Andrea Johnson and Denneze Lovell, General Secretary Ian Alves, Technical Director Bryan Joseph and Competitions Director Troy Peters. (GFF)