Separated by a blundering organizational decision on Sunday which carried the much charged atmosphere to another day, Gunjur and Sukuta are still tied on odds and desire to reach the final of the Super Nawetttan where surprise finalist BEM proudly sit in waiting.
After failing to tame each other’s bluff in 90 minutes in Sunday’s semifinal, both sides proceeded to engage in a marathon shootout but before the tie could be broken, the referee, presumably confused his mathematics and acceded to the instruction of the organisers to put off the match if the stalement drags on after all players have kicked on both sides.
Actually 9 shots were taken by each side when the referee decided to call it a day. The decision was heavily criticized as uncommon and devoid of commonsense motivated by commercial interests on the side of the organising committee who admitted they asked the officials to put the match off but only when penalties are completed without a winner. “Even that is absurd .You don’t’ introduce penalties to break a tie only to defeat that purpose itself by postponing it. Shootouts are introduced to put a definitive conclusion to a match,” one observer said.
However even though team officials from both Sukta and Gunjur made scanty remarks on the matter, they are more focused on the replay this evening. For Gunjur Sunday’s match was a missed opportunity never to be repeated. ”We should not even have reached penalties in that match. We just did not concentrate to kill it well before the end,” one Gunjur official said. The champions have never stopped desiring to retain the title they surprisingly won last year.
While they wait for the unfinished business with Sukuta, a surprise package emerged in BEM who now stands in the path of anyone daring to gun for the title. The Niuminkas proved giant killers on Monday off setting the much established Serekunda East in the other semifinal.
For Sukuta this is moment of no return.’ ‘The very fact that we are in the final is enough motivation to go for the kill on Wednesday. This is going to be interesting and battle of bragging rights among cousins,”a senior Sukuta football administrator posited yesterday. The fantastic crowd that watched the initial fixture is expected to even swell this evening.