By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Virgin Gorda Sugar Boys and the Panthers will face off on Sunday for the BVI Football Association President’s Cup, after blanking their respective opponents to advance to the title game.
The Sugar Boys beat the Wolues 2-0 in the first match, while the Panthers who led 2-0 at the half, scored three second half goals to repel the Rebels, 5-0. They will face off at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday in Greenland.
“This victory put us in a good position, it’s a very important victory for us,” Sugar Boys Captain Derol Redhead told Island Sun Sports. “We all know how Wolues play—pressure from the start to the end—so we kept our composure, took the chances when we got them and we’re happy to come out on top.”
Putting the match into context, Wolues’ Levi James, said the game reminded him of the Champions League game between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Liverpool, he noted, had so many chances for shots on goal and couldn’t get any while Real Madrid had a few and they got one. “We created so many chances but in this game, you must score to win,” he said. “They created maybe four and they scored two, so well done to them.“
Redhead said their goals came from the training grounds, something they work on in practice and he’s happy they converted on the field of play.
“Their goalkeeper did a very good job in keeping out some good chances for us, but we didn’t let that break us,” he noted. “We continued coming at them, luckily they didn’t score their chances and that was good for us.”
As 2022 league champs, Redhead said winning the President’s Cup would mean a lot for his club. “It will show what we put in in training, came out on the field and we’d be happy to win both titles,” he said.
In the other game, Rebels Coach Lennon Audain, said his team didn’t execute their plan and the Panthers was a ‘way better’ team than his and going down 5-mil was a bit rough. They now have to bounce back and prepare for the next season. He said getting the ball in the net was their biggest challenge.
“We didn’t use up our chances, that’s about it. In practice, we need to get the guys training and again, the Panthers were the better team tonight and the better team won,” he said. “We had a great season overall, coming out second in the league overall coming from last place. We went on a 14-game winning streak that took us to second place and I’m proud of my team. We just need to get back into training and see how we prepare for the next season.”
Panthers Coach Brad Remy, they had a good game and they played as a ‘total team’ and executed their game plan.
“We knew that we had powerful striking, one of the most potent striking in the league, so we came, the midfield fed them and they did their thing,” he said. “It’s a big game against the Sugar Boys, we know what Sugar Boys are coming with and we also know what we have to offer, so we’re just coming with basically the same thing. If we need to make adjustments on the day, we make the adjustments , so we’re coming with the same mentality, the same venom and we’re looking to come out with the victory.”
Remy said his team has three of the best strikers in the league, a good defense and a good midfield. “We missed out on the league title by just a few points so we’re looking to take this knockout tournament and bring it home,” he said. “We have to play together, play as a team, put the ball in the right places, feed our strikers and capitalize on our opportunities.”