SIX (of eight) days into the 2019-2020 edition of the GFF Super 16 Cup the semi-finals will be contested tomorrow night at GFC ground, Bourda.New champions would be crowned following the exit of defending champions, Den Amstel at the hands of Santos Football Club in clinical fashion, 3-0.Netting the final goal was Kester ‘Shoes’ Jacobs who had won the 2018-2019 championship with Den Amstel. For that matter, Santos current captain and central defender Kevin Dundas also won the tournament with Den Amstel.The match-ups on Boxing Night were anticipated to be exciting. The young Buxton United did take the fight to the Guyana Defence Force, but were guilty of spilling at least three chances in the first half which, and as has been the case ever so often not capitalising, came back to haunt them as the soldiers nailed them in the end.Santos ensured themselves a chance to challenge for the top prize by eliminating defending champions, West Demerara’s Den Amstel, compliments of a solid 3-0 win. The match that continued from Christmas night between Guyana Police Force and Western Tigers saw the lawmen put the Tigers away very early – Trayon Bobb scoring on the first run down) of the ten-minute affair.The match, which was the feature affair on Christmas night, had to be continued on Boxing Night due to problems with the lights at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary. At that juncture, the score was tied 1-1 and the game was in the second half of extra time.Daniel Wilson had sent Police ahead in the 50th minute but Western Tigers found the neutralising goal on the stroke of full time (89th minute) via the penalty route, Andrew Murray nailing the shot.Daniel Wilson (right) and Trayon BobbFast track to Boxing Night, when the whistle was sounded to signal the start of the final ten minutes at GFC, the man starting the ball, Bobb in combo with Wilson and Pernel Shultz and teammates showed the energy and focus to score straightaway even as the Tigers were still getting warm.Western, somehow did not seem enarmoured to give it their having had almost 24-hours to recover. Their lack of capitalising on the moment cost them in the end.Police have now advanced to the last four and have earned a date with the Guyana Defence Force in a match that certainly has all the ingredients for an explosive combat.The Army was held under duress for some time against the young and exciting Buxton United but the Buxtonians can blame only themselves for letting their opponents off the hook.With the first half ending 0-0, it was Buxton who took the lead in the 61st minute, Omari Glasgow finally was able to find the target after a few misses – one of those, mere minutes before he beat GDF custodian, Enoch Carmichael.But Buxton’s goal only woke up the GDF side as they responded in like manner four minutes later, Benjamin Opara levelling things up in the 65th minute with his fourth goal of the tournament, the same as Fruta Conquerors’ Delon Lanferman.That goal changed the momentum of the match and GDF eventually sealed the deal with a Sherwin Caesar goal in the 90th minute.Santos, even though they were reduced to 10-men in the 69th minute, were still able to send Den Amstel packing. Ryan October’s second yellow card in the 69th minute after the first in the 6th minute, did not really matter as by then, Santos were already up 2-0.The battle was real as neither team wanted to give up any real estate in the final third which made it difficult for chances to be had. But Santos eventually found the opening in the 43rd minute, Orin Yarde pouncing the chance with glee to hammer his shot past goalkeeper Ryan Hunte.Stephon Reynold doubled the advantage for Santos two minutes into the second half and by then it was all over bar the shouting for Den Amstel. The sealer, which more or less rubbed salt into the wounds of the Den Amstel team, came off the boot of one of their own, Kester Jacobs in the 90+2 minutes.Santos have earned a date with Fruta Conquerors in the first semi-final tomorrow night at the GFC ground. The second semi would be a battle of the armed forces when the Guyana Defence Force throw down the gauntlet to their counterparts from Guyana Police Force.
“Goal Line Stand” runs every Monday. If you would like to comment on this story, visit DailyTrojan.com or email Michael at [email protected] SEATTLE — When the Trojans defeated the Huskies on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, it marked the halfway mark of USC’s regular season. USC stands at 5-1, with that lone loss coming at the hands of Stanford. Of those six games, the Trojans played just two at home, meaning that four of their last six will be played at the friendly confines of the Coliseum.The season hasn’t necessarily gone as planned for the No. 11 Trojans; everyone was expecting a team that was going to score 50 points a game and blow out opponents. Nevertheless, the Trojans are still in the title hunt and control their own destiny. With six games left, here is what we have learned:Marqise Lee is USC’s best playerWith no offense to senior quarterback Matt Barkley, who is having a solid season (16 touchdowns, six interceptions), sophomore receiver Marqise Lee is the best player on this year’s USC team.Lee is by far the team’s best playmaker: He makes people miss every time he catches a pass. He is also clutch: He makes plays when the offense is struggling, best exemplified by his 83-yard touchdown grab against Utah. And perhaps most importantly, he is a team player: He throws crushing blocks for fellow wide receiver Robert Woods on screens. He does not complain when the ball isn’t thrown his way. And, he plays special teams, returning kickoffs with the best of them.I wrote earlier this season that Woods was still USC’s top receiver, and I’ll stick to that. In terms of being a pure receiver with great hands and superb route running, Woods is top dog. But as a football player and playmaker, Lee is second to none.Silas Redd is the featured backThough senior Curtis McNeal does get a fair share of carries, the job belongs to junior running back Silas Redd. Redd got his first start of the season against Washington and responded with a 155-yard performance, including a 57-yard dash on USC’s first offensive play. Going into the season, it looked as if the two backs would split carries 50-50; that does not look to be the case anymore. Redd has gotten the bulk of the carries the last few weeks, and with Saturday’s performance in Seattle, I think he solidified himself as “the man” in the backfield.The defensive line is the defense’s strongest unit.Led by junior sack master Morgan Breslin, the Trojans’ defensive line has wreaked havoc on opponents. Saturday was the perfect example, as the unit sacked Washington quarterback Keith Price five times, 1.5 of which came from Breslin. As a team, the Trojans have 22 sacks. Freshman defensive tackle Leonard Williams, sophomore defensive tackle George Uko, senior defensive end Wes Horton and Breslin have been playing great football over the last few weeks. When senior defensive end Devon Kennard went down, many thought this was the weak link for USC, but that has not been the case. They’ve held up their end of the deal.There is absolutely nothing wrong with Matt BarkleyThis is the most important thing to take out of the season thus far. Barkley was expected to put up massive numbers given the fact he threw 39 touchdowns in 2011. It hasn’t gone as everyone expected, but Barkley has still put up modest stats. He has 16 touchdown passes, meaning he is on pace to throw more than 30 again. Yes, he has six interceptions in 2012, which everyone is making a fuss about because he threw just seven last year. People forget, however, that through six games last season, Barkley’s touchdown:interception ratio was 16:4; The numbers from 2011 and 2012 are almost the same.A lot of Barkley’s so-called struggling is because of playcalling. Quite frankly, Barkley hasn’t really had many chances to make plays down the field. The Trojans have been conservative, opting to run the ball and throw screens rather than try for huge chunks of yardage. This hasn’t allowed Barkley to get into any sort of rhythm, and that lack of rhythm has led to inconsistency.It is also safe to say that in 2011, although he only threw seven interceptions, there were several others that could have been intecepted. It isn’t farfetched to say he really probably threw 11 or 12. So when you look at it, the numbers aren’t on pace to be that different from last year.He hasn’t had many “great games” where he has thrown six touchdowns, but he has been solid. And most importantly, he is willing to use an audible to run plays when his passing game isn’t there. He is a selfless player, and allows the team to run the ball as much as they need to. If the playbook opens back up, his numbers will soar.USC has a long way to goAnyone who has watched this team plays knows it is far from perfect. The offense has been stagnant at times, and the defense, which has looked good for the most part, has given up big plays to let teams back into the game. The special teams have been inconsistent as well, with sophomore kicker Andre Heidari missing more field goals in six games this year than he did all of his first season. They commit a lot of penalties and have mental lapses. They really have yet to play a complete game. But the pieces are there for them to make a run.There is no single reason that the Trojans can’t win the rest of their games, but they are going to have to clean things up if they want to hold that crystal ball in January.