OCHO RIOS, Jamaica — Couples Sans Souci are the new kings of the Sandals St Ann/St Mary Business House Football League.
The champions were crowned last Thursday after surviving a penalty shoot-out with outgoing champions National Water Commission (NWC) in a riveting final at Drax Hall.
Both teams were locked at 0-0 after regular and extra-time and on a cool, overcast evening, Couples Sans Souci held their nerves to secure a deserved win.
Gran Bahai Principe placed third, while Sandals Grande Riviera were fourth.
The match started off at a brisk pace, with NWC setting the early stage with slick passing and threatening build-ups. Couples Sans Souci, however, gradually upped the pressure and by midway the first half seized control and looked the better team.
Couples continued to dominate the half, but faulty finishing denied them the lead at the break.
The second half was an exciting affair with both teams stringing together positive attacks and threatening to score. Couples Sans Souci were the more positive and pushed the 'water men' on their heels.
NWC's problems were increased when semi-final hero and top striker Ricardo Reid had to be substituted after picking up a leg injury. His absence allowed Couples Sans Souci to play more freely in defence.
In the dreaded penalty shoot-out, Couples Sans Souci scored all their kicks, while NWC had one saved to herald a new champion.
NWC coach David Pryce was gracious in defeat, saying his team fought well but "penalty shoot outs are always a roll of the dice. I can't complain if we lost that route".
Sandals' Regional Public Relations manager Ian Spencer praised the Couples Sans Souci team for a well-played final and said they were deserving winners.