SPORTS: Classy Red Star Demolish Reliance
By Famara Badjie A master class performance mastermind by captain Yusupha Barrow saw Red Star F.C crush Reliance F.C to a 4 - 1 demolition in 2016 - 17 Gunjur summer football campaign (nawettan) knock out cup final. A hat-trick by Yusupha Barrow and one from Sainey Gibba were enough to grab the trophy and D9, 000 prize money for Red Star, while Yaya Rapa Touray's goal from the spot count a mere consolation for Reliance who went home with D6, 000. The last time Reliance won a trophy was in 2009 when they beat Gamcel F.C now Red Star in the Super Cup, since then success have been elusive. Hopes are much high that the dream will come true when they face Red Star in yesterday's final, but a lack of concentration spoil what was going to be a huge party for them.
As well known about Gunjur Sports Committee, their finals are always well organised, grace by massive crowd with lot of dignitaries and yesterday's final at Nyamina arena leave upto It's billing.
The performance on the pitch was good, both side had keep their composure well, but Reliance tactics had contributed to Red Star's dominance, their game plan doesn't work and their reluctance to reorganise themselves and lapses in defence contributed to their second half collapse. The front three of Rapa Touray, Abdoulie S.O Jammeh and Bubacarr Janneh failed to track back. Red Star, in contrast, gave a masterclass in team dynamic, defending in numbers and counter attacking with precision and determination. There was nothing revolutionary about their tactics. Bubacarr Kakai Bojang's side had a simple tactics: heavy pressing all through the team, combined with excellent movement, incisive passing and quick attacking when in the opponents half. After just three minutes the warning signs were there for all to see when Dodou Sambou powered in a troubling shot from distance which the keeper struggle to save, before Yusupha Barrow glance a header in between his gloves and then later forced him to tip around the post a low left foot drive. Red Star continue to show more menace than Reliance who could possess but were less threatening in attacks. Then came the reward on the 34th minutes as Yusupha rose unopposed to glance home Salifu Bojang's set-piece cross from the left. The goal boosted the morale of Red Star more and their second soon arrive. A cross was whipped into the box, after several failed clearance, Saikou Chorr controls and smash in a strong shot which was parried out by keeper Bubacarr Daffeh but Yusupha Barrow was quick enough to react first and rolled in the rebound. Knowing how difficult the game will be in the second half should the score stays like that, Reliance start showing some urgency. Scoring defender Fabakary Touray had a fine close range free-kick palm out by Keeper Lamin Jatta before Rapa Touray reduce the deficit from the penalty spot after a Red Star player handle the ball in the closing stages. That moment the confidence was restored. However after the half time team talks, it appears as if the goal help to carve further downfall for Reliance. Red Star's emphasise on attack meant they did not have it all their own way and Yusupha capitalized on a lapse in concentration to slide in his third from close range. That moment Reliance were totally desperate and looked disorganize, they take the risk to play all attacking, but it yield nothing only to gave more space for Red Star to exploit. Versatile Sainey Gibba whose accustom position is right back but often make impact when used in any forward position, came on as a substitute to complete the mission as he manage his way pass the defence and hit low into the bottom right corner. This is Reliance worst defeat in many years. Attentions will now be shifted to the famous drawing board for mistake rectifications as the two teams will again fight for the Green Vision sponsored coveted league trophy on Saturday 1st July 2017 at Gunjur Nyamina field.
Photos courtesy of Fayunku Dabanani