Shiva Boys goalkeeper Denzil Smith came up trumps with three saves, in kicks from the penalty spot, as his team eliminated a gutsy Carapichaima East outfit 3-2 on penalties, in last evening’s second semi-final of the 2017 Coca-Cola National Intercol competition, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
With the scores locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation time, a penalty shootout was required to determine who will join 2016 champions San Juan North in Monday’s final, also at Couva.
But Smith pounced on the lethargy of the Carapichaima East team with saves from efforts by Theophilus Bourne (first), captain Mecaheil Alexander (second) and Symron Wiseman (fifth), to spark wild, but relieved celebrations, by the Shiva Boys players and technical staff.
Kierron Mason, Anderson Peters and Junior Asson converted their efforts for Shiva Boys, while their second kicker, Tyrel Emmanuel, had his shot denied by Carapichaima East goalie Aaron Best.
Josiah King and Daniel Pascal scored their kicks for Carapichaima East.
Carapichaima East took the game to the highly-fancied Shiva Boys from the off, and they had a good chance to open the scoring through Bourne, who sent a right-footer wide, to Smith’s right, in the 10th minute.
But the Shiva Boys defence was successfully breached in the 24th, as Kevon Williams came from behind to strip the ball from defender Matthew Beal and his ball to Elijah King was finished, emphatically, via a right-footed blast.
Shiva Boys’ closest effort in the first half came from Mason, who met Ronaldo Edwards’ corner with a header, but it was cleared, off the line, by Akeil Vesprey.
As Carapichaima East sought to protect their lead, Shiva Boys literally set up camp in their opponents’ half, with chances coming on a regular basis.
Carapichaima East had a fine opportunity to put the game beyond Shiva Boys’ reach in the 84th, as Pascal led a counter-attack but he muffed his cross and it was cleared by the defence.
A minute later, Shiva Boys made Pascal pay for his blunder, as Quinn Rodney collected a ball from Yohannes Richardson and slotted home, from close range.
Shiva Boys, relegated from the 2017 Secondary Schools Football League Premiership due to improper registration of two players (Mason and Beal) were unable to get the winner in regulation time, but Smith ensured that they had the chance to complete their tough season on a fine note.