Cougars edge Trojans to retain crown

  • Ours again: captain Zari Simmons and his team-mates show their joy after retaining their Expansion League Knockout Cup title at the National Stadium yesterday

(Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
  • Below. Somerset pair Jeze Butterfield and captain Jaden Ratteray-Smith give Zari Simmons little room to manoeuvre]

(Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Devonshire Cougars retained their Expansion League Knockout Cup title when they beat Somerset Trojans 3-2 in a repeat of last yearís final.

Cougars took the lead in the first half but found themselves trailing 2-1 at the interval, before they netted the winning goal in the 90th minute.

Two players were then sent off in stoppage time, Shaquille Bean, the Trojans goalkeeper, for abusive language directed at referee Lloyd Christopher, and Cougarsí Nyrobi Carmichael for a second yellow card after two wild tackles in the space of a couple of seconds. He scored the winning goal just moments earlier.

Cougars took the lead in the 28th minute when Demetre Daniels ran on to a long ball down the middle before lobbing the ball past the advancing Bean. Somerset had made a couple of substitutions just before the opening goal, bringing on Justin Corday and DíAndre Wainwright in a game that allowed rolling substitutions.

The pair had a hand in the goals as Somerset turned the game around to lead at the interval. They were level in the 32nd minute when Wainwright was fouled by Zion Simmons. Captain Jaz Ratteray-Smith converted the penalty.

The Trojans then took the lead in the 41st minute after Cougars were penalised for another foul on Wainwright, this time for a free kick outside the box. Corday beat Bean as his effort from about 25 yards went inside the near post for a 2-1 lead.

Cougars came out more determined in the second half, going close with a couple of early chances as they sought the equaliser.

It finally came in the 74th minute when a free kick by Carmichael reached Jasekani Furbert Wade at the far post and he drove his low shot past Bean.

A penalty was awarded in the 90th minute when the advancing Bean fouled Tre Tucker as he ran into the box. Bean did well to save the spot kick by Daniels to his right but Carmichael followed up to score the rebound to secure the Cougars win.

Before the match restarted Bean left his penalty area and was near the two teamís benches when he began shouting abuse at the referee and was sent off. Both teams finished with ten men with Carmichaelís ejection five minutes into stoppage time.