Wednesday 22 May, 2019

Blues unbeaten run ends

Empire SC unbeaten run in the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Premier League came to an end last Sunday evening, at the BFA Wildey Turf.

After three previous unbeaten encounters, the “Blues” went down 1-0 to reigning Cup champions Paradise FC.

In a keenly contested encounter between two of Barbados’ traditional powerhouse football clubs, fans were not disappointed as the match was action-packed from start to finish.

The midfield saw most of the action as each team tried to earn supremacy in the service area.

Empire’s decision to start combative Brazilian midfielder Luan Camargo was a piece of tactical brilliance, as he disturbed the usual fluent passing of Paradise with his energy and tenacity; forcing the Dover boys to play uncharacteristically direct.

The “Blues” midfield tactic allowed for room on the flanks for wide players Curtis Odle and Abiola Grant to create more space and crossing opportunities, which came, but the six-foot duo of Barry Skeete and Zico Phillips easily dealt with those situations.

After a goalless first half was seemingly on the cards, a mistake by centre-back Omar Primus gave Paradise the opportunity they longed for.

A cross into the penalty area by left back Ramon Manning got trapped under the feet of Primus who was dispossessed by Chai Lloyd; the Paradise forward was then tripped by Primus in an attempt to regain ball possession and referee Jamar Springer adjudged the action worthy of a penalty kick.

National forward Armando Lashley stepped up to take the penalty, but goalkeeper Oba Tucker was equal to the challenge and produced an outstanding save, however Springer spotted a player inside the penalty before the shot was taken.

Upon the retake, Lashley made no mistake and sent Tucker to the right as he placed his shot into the bottom left-hand corner in the 45th minute.

The second half belonged to the goalkeepers as both of them exhibited their gifts with a number of key saves.

Paradise moved into second position in Zone 2 with the victory and Empire kept their spot at the top but only with a point advantage.

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