It was an Elite Sports Club sweep at the T.E McField Sports Complex Saturday (1 June) as both the Men’s and Women’s teams were victorious in the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) FA Cup.
After winning both the regular season title and President’s Cup, Elite’s women defeated Scholars International 2-0 in the early game thanks to two goals from the CIFA Women’s Premier League top scorer Shanice Monteith in the 62nd and 94th minute.
“Last year we fell short, so we put it in our mind for the beginning of the season to go out train, work hard, and to put 110% effort into each game,” Monteith told Cayman 27. “It showed in the end, and we came together.”
In the Men’s FA Cup finale, Elite and Academy Sports Club took the pitch in an instant classic.
In the 64th minute, some educated footwork by Academy’s Jonah Ebanks undressed the Elite defense down the goal line to find Sullivan Zelaya who slotted home for a 1-0 lead. Moments later, an aggressive tackle by Elite’s Egan Gallardo-Forbes would earn a red card, leaving Elite with ten men.
In the 75th minute, Elite’s Hank Forbes-Parchman pounced on a mishandled ball by Academy keeper Rhon Royer to equal the score 1-1 and forcing added time. An Academy crossing in the 104th minute passed through the hands of leaping Elite keeper Danner Taylor and onto the foot on Trey Ebanks who buried it from the far post for a 2-1 lead.
In the final minute of the second 15-minute frame, forward Christopher Reeves headed home a free kick to send the game into penalties.
Jason Ebanks would slot the first of three penalties for Elite, while Academy’s Jermaine Wilson would be stopped by Taylor next. After Gallardo-Forbes missed wide on Elite’s second attempt, Taylor stopped Academy’s Clayton Forrest to maintain a 1-0 lead. In the third round, Elite’s Andrew Alexander scored the club’s second penalty for a 2-0 advantage, while Academy’s Finn Huffington would fire high off the crossbar next.
In the fourth round, Royer would stone Elite’s Kimani Finn with a diving save, while Academy followed with their first conversion courtesy of Jonah Ebanks. However, Elite’s Donovan McLean would make no mistake in the club’s fifth attempt to seal a 3-1 victory.
“We are a fighting team and that’s what we like to do, win games,” said Christopher Reeves. “Academy was pressuring us, they are a good team. Down to ten players, all we wanted to win, and it felt so good to score in the finals.”
After the game, Elite President Martha Godet said she was happy with her club’s ‘FA Cup’ double.
“We are very proud of both teams, they showed perseverance and played awesome,” said Godet. “The last couple of months they’ve motivated themselves, and they were all in tune.”