Sports

Road To Brazil on course in Red Bull Neymar Jr Five

Friday, June 14, 2019

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Wayne Bennett of Road To Brazil got the all-important goal in sudden death to defeat Bath FC after the teams had battled to a 0-0 result in the final of the St Thomas leg of the Red Bull Neymar Jr Five at Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay.

The St Thomas champions have secured the sixth and final automatic berth to this Sunday's grand finals at Half-Way-Tree Square, beginning at 2:00 pm.

Dubbed the biggest five-a-side football tournament in the world, the event, being hosted in Jamaica for the first time, was started by Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Junior in 2016, and is now played across six continents and is set to bring aspiring Jamaica footballers the opportunity of a lifetime.

The tournament is played with five players on each side, with no goalkeepers. Whenever a team scores the opposition loses a player, which makes the games fast, technical, tactical and great fun. A game lasts 10 minutes or until one team does not have any players left. A team is expected to boast up to seven players, aged 16 to 25, plus two over 25, with no gender limitations, which means there can be mixed teams.

Road To Brazil, made up of Bennett, FLOW Most Valuable Player Andrew Wright, Ronaldo Bailey, Oswayne Bogle, Deno Dixon, Daniel Miller and Fancy Stewart, defeated Gulf Strikers 2-0, drew with Chalendeserous 0-0 before losing 0-1 to Mont Pelier in the group stage.

They then edged Merchi 1-0 in the round of 16, blanked Slash Dash 2-0 in the quarter-finals, and stopped Brothers United 3-1 in the semi-finals.

Road To Brazil have now joined Malholtra FC, Medley Mixers, Spartan Elite, Big Yard and Lionel Strikers as the respective winners of Kingston, St Elizabeth, Trelawny, St Ann, and Clarendon.

Bath FC and Pump House, who were stunned 1-0 by Lionel Strikers in the Clarendon qualifier, have earned berths to the final courtesy of being the two best second-placed teams.

These eight teams will now compete against each other to determine the winner of the all-expense-paid trip to Brazil to compete at the World Final to be hosted at Institute Projecto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil, against players from 42 countries.

The winning team at the World Final gets to play with Neymar Jr's team, minus the world superstar who is recovering from a ruptured right ankle ligament.

Wright, the FLOW MVP, who won $50,000 and a chance to train with National Premier League champions Portmore United, was ecstatic with the victory, though he expressed reservation about the trial stint at Portmore.

“It is a great feeling. Beyond great, actually, but I am not really a big field footballer any more. I am a music man now,” declared the former Paul Bogle High School daCosta Cup player and former York United representative.

The 28-year-old netted six times in that qualifier, and is willing to transfer his trial stint to another player if the rules permit.

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