You could add fantastic to the Heineken sponsored Fantasy Football Championship, that took place before a loud, energetic fan base Sunday on the Micoud Playing Field.
Fighting it out for top spot was Vieux Fort North Arsenal and Gros Islet Manchester, while Dennery Chelsea and Central Castries Barcelona met in the third place playoff. As you can tell this is really fantasy in the making, as the four district teams used the tag line of popular European football clubs.
In the Third Place Playoff match that preceded the final, Central Castries Barcelona and Dennery Chelsea played to a 1-1 tie.
Dennery Chelsea scored the opening goal in the 23rd minute, with Winnel Felix finding the back of the net.
Castries Barcelona tied the score 1-1 in the 42nd minute, with a goal from Anthony Christopher.
With the score tied after regulation time, a penalty shootout decided the fate of the two teams. Central Castries Barcelona emerged victorious in the shootout 4-2, thanks to their young goalkeeper Bencarson Blaize who saved the day with two big saves.
Following the third place playoff was the championship match with Gros Islet Manchester City taking on Vieux Fort North Arsenal. Forget the fact this match was played on neutral soil. Spectators and there were many, were squarely behind Vieux Fort North and used every opportunity to cheer them on.
Case in point: When Deterville Emmanuel of Vieux Fort North scored the opening goal in the eighth minute, exuberant fans rushed on to the playing field.
Gros Islet entered the second half trailing 1-0, but tied it up in the 51st minute, when midfielder Everton Lambert struck a wonderful long range free kick that eluded the goalkeeper.
What could have been the turning point in the game for Vieux Fort North worked to their advantage when Nickel Sealy was sent off. With Vieux Fort down one man, you would think Gros Islet would seize the opportunity and go all out on the attack. That didn’t happen!
In fact Vieux North took the game to Gros Islet. They ended up scoring when the northern lads were penalized for an infringement in the box, which led to a penalty kick. Vieux Fort North Sheldon Emmanuel made no mistake from the penalty spot and scored in the 69th minute.
The match ended 2-1 in favor of Vieux Fort North Arsenal, the 2014 SLFA Fantasy Football Champions.
Was it a case of Vieux North wanting this victory more than Gros Islet? Vieux Fort North Captain Sheldon “Ras” Emmanuel thinks so. In an interview following the game he said: “The team really wanted it. When you want it and play hard for it I think the only thing that will come is a victory.”
Emmanuel did not feel his team was at a disadvantage playing a man short. He told me “it does not matter if you’re one man short. If everybody gives a 110 percent that covers for the other guy missing.”
Along with the spoils of victory, The Vieux Fort North Fantasy Champions Team will be the guest of Heineken, Sponsor of the “SLFA Fantasy Football” at the Derek Walcott Square today at the Viewing Party for the Champions League Finals hosted by the Windward and Leeward Brewery. The event is open to the general public.