NYFL 23: Beatnix undone by late Blast-ers in six-goal thriller, after conceding three times in 10 minutes

There were 10 minutes left on the clock and East Zone Under-17 leaders Beatnix Sports Club were three goals clear in their top of the table Republic Cup National Youth Football (NYFL) outing at the St Augustine Secondary school on Saturday afternoon.

Beatnix should have been leading 4-0. It could easily have been 5-0 too.

And then, before you could say “Arima Semi-Pro Blasters Youth Academy”, it was 3-3—with substitute Malachi Noreiga grabbing a stoppage time equaliser for Blasters. Football, bloody hell.

Arima Blasters substitute Malachi Noreiga (left) wheels away to celebrate a stoppage time equaliser against Beatnix SC during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

At the sideline, Beatnix head coach Brando Reyes tried to make sense of the affair.

“It was a thrilling fixture for the fans that came out,” Reyes told Wired868. “But for me and my team, it was hard on us to lose a three goal advantage.”

Beatnix had a goal disallowed while substitute Israel George missed a sitter. But Blasters were not exactly standing on their hands either—and, if anything, it was a surprise that they waited so long to get on referee Anil Joseph’s score sheet.

“I can’t be happy about the draw to be honest,” said Blasters coach Andre Morales. “In the first half, we probably had eight corners and numerous chances to score while they had no corners. This game could have been long gone…”

Perhaps it says something about the ambition of both teams that each viewed the result as two dropped points.

Beatnix SC right back Ezekiel Ramdialsingh (centre) and flanker Giovanni Hospedales (left) try to box in Arima Blasters midfielder Tony Figuera during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Earlier this year, Morales steered World Class Soccer Clinic all the way to the final of the NLCL U19 Community Cup tournament—with Blasters U-17 playmaker Quamy Waithe and attacker Kendall Castle featuring prominently.

While, in 2022, Beatnix advanced to the knockout rounds of the Republic Cup Under-15 seven-a-side competition. And the Arouca-based players are hungry to box outside of their zone.

“We are just hoping to finish strong, stay on top of the table, go to the nationals (knockout stage) and compete with the big teams in town,” said Reyes, “because all we are hearing is about those teams from the west side like Trendsetter Hawks, QPCC and Pro Series.”

Pro Series captain Tau Lamsee (centre) is congratulated by teammates after a goal against QPCC FC during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Clair on 29 April 2023.
Lamsee scored twice to help secure all three points for Pro Series.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)

Beatnix had as much as they could handle right there in St Augustine over the opening 45 minutes on Saturday, though—as both teams traded blows in the East Zone fixture.

Kerdell Richards might have drawn first blood in the eighth minute, as he failed to beat Blasters goalkeeper John-Paul Aaron after being sent clear of the opposing defence. But, two minutes later, Richards atoned with an ice-cold penalty kick after Blasters midfielder Tony “German” Figuera tripped overlapping opposing right back Ezekiel Ramdialsingh in the penalty area.

Incidentally, Figuera and Ramdialsingh are both Arima North Secondary students—and intra-school squabbles proved unavoidable on the day. Beatnix had three Arima schoolboys in their starting team, Blasters had five on their matchday squad.

Beatnix SC defender Mathias Cruickshank (left) tries to clear the ball before Arima Blasters attacker Mark Thomas can pounce during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
Cruickshank and Thomas are both Arima North Secondary students.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Figuera retorted quickly with a dipped shoulder and skittle between two opponents before being tripped by Tyrese Andrews in the box. Only for Blasters left back Jeremy Joseph, also of Arima, to slam the resulting penalty off the bar.

Richards just missed the far post with a free header for Beatnix while Blasters winger Mark Thomas—yes, from Arima—was inches wide with a stinging volley off a Figuera pass.

And, somehow, Beatnix retained their slender advantage until the interval.

“Blasters […] have a good coach and they always play attacking football,” said Reyes. “It was an even game in the first half I would say.”

Arima Blasters left back Jeremy Joseph (left) prepares to take–and miss–a first half penalty against Beatnix SC during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Missed chances apart, Morales felt his troops were conceding space in central midfield and pointed the finger at his lively “German”.

“On numerous occasions, they were straying to the side [of the field],” said Morales, “and I think Beatnix capitalised on that—realising the middle was free.”

If Figuera did not fulfil his positional obligations without the ball at times, it is worth noting that he was the instigator for most of Blasters’ best attacking moves.

His intuitive dribbles, precise passing and energetic contributions arguably represented the best and worst of his team then—thrilling yet loose, simultaneously.

Arima Blasters midfielder Tony Figuera charges forward with the ball during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Beatnix SC in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Blasters, led by head coach Roger Maloney, sought to exert more dominance in central midfield by introducing the solid, versatile Marcell Valentine for Jonathan Lee Fai. But this game defied control and, instead, it was Beatnix who doubled their lead with an outrageous goal in the 60th minute.

There did not seem to be anything on when Beatnix captain and central defender Deishawn Plaza nipped ahead of an opponent to win possession in the centre circle. But Plaza made fools of everyone—and especially the opposing goalkeeper.

Aaron was off his goal line and Plaza’s dipping volley from 40 yards was inch perfect, as it beat the burly goalkeeper’s outstretched hand to drop just below the bar to put the leaders up 2-0.

It might have been 3-0 to Beatnix in the 69th minute, as substitute Israel George found the back of the net after a scrimmage in the area—only for his celebratory dance moves to be halted by assistant referee Joel Davidson’s flag.

Beatnix SC attacker Israel George treats St Augustine to a celebratory jig, only for his “goal” to be ruled out for offside during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Arima Blasters in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

A rash challenge by Blasters captain and central defender Ability Hazel on tricky Beatnix winger Giovanni Hospedales gave the leaders a free kick just outside the box. And not even the two minute water break, taken between the awarding of the set piece and the execution of it, broke the concentration of the eventual kicker: Plaza.

Blasters pulled players back to the goal line to defend against Plaza’s free kick. But the Trinity College East student got his angles right to find the corner anyway, with a precise finish that seemed to cross the line in slow motion.

Beatnix, whose tally of 33 goals scored from just seven matches is miles ahead of their zonal rivals, seemed home and dry.

Beatnix SC captain Deishawn Plaza (ball in hand) waits patiently to take a free kick during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Arima Blasters in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
Plaza scored to put his team three goals clear at the time.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

It should have been 4-0 in the 74th minute, as Hazel made an uncharacteristic error at the back with a swing and a miss at a cross. The ball fell for George, who could finally get his goal.

Inexplicably, the attacker hit the post.

Still, as the match entered the final 10 minutes, Reyes would have felt that Beatnix had done enough for the three points.

“We haven’t lost a game thus far,” said Reyes. “And the reason we are on top of the table is because the kids work hard in training and we have a good backline as well. There is some maturity there and they help see us through most of our games.”

Beatnix SC attacker Israel George (second from right) beats Arima Blasters goalkeeper John-Paul Aaron (far right) not the far post during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action at St Augustine Secondary on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Up until that point, Beatnix’s central defensive pairing of Plaza and Mathias Cruickshank (another Arima student) looked fairly comfortable—as Cruickshank dominated in the air while Plaza kept Castle contained on the ground.

Thomas was always a problem for Beatnix though and, in the 80th minute, the flanker finally put Blasters on the score sheet as he pounced on a momentary hesitation between opposing left back Keon Roach and goalkeeper Micaial Samaroo.

Maloney responded by replacing Castle upfront with substitute Malachi Noreiga (yes, you know the school) in the 82nd minute.

Arima Blasters defender Jeremy Joseph (left) has a word with substitute Malachi Noreiga during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Beatnix SC in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

“Noreiga’s instructions were to just go and try to finish, because I knew he would get chances,” said Morales. “The guys were not playing bad. They were moving around the ball [and] winning the first and second balls. It’s just that the strikers were not finishing.”

For Reyes, the turning point actually came in the 87th minute. Somehow, Samaroo hurt his back while dealing with a tame Figuera free kick and had to be replaced by back-up goalkeeper Josiah Superville.

“He had a back injury—he landed badly and it caused some swelling,” said the Beatnix coach.

Samaroo did not immediately fall to the ground and request medical treatment, though. He did not boot the ball into touch either.

Beatnix SC goalkeeper Micaial Samaroo.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Instead, he got up holding the ball, dropped it to his feet, then picked it up again. The referee had no choice but to signal for an indirect free kick. And Joseph teed up Figuera to blast past Superville to reduce Beatnix’s lead to a single item.

Two minutes from time, Valentine swung a free kick into the box and this time Superville got both hands to the ball but, inexplicably, failed to hold on and dropped it off his own post.

There was blood in the water and Blasters did not need a second invitation.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Thomas scampered into his favourite hunting ground again—between the opposing left back and central defender.

Arima Blasters Cameron Nelson jokes around with the Wired868 photographer during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Beatnix SC in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Superville, to his credit, dived at the winger’s feet to push the ball away. But Thomas got the rebound and his low cross, backward of square, found Noreiga at the far post.

And Noreiga made the finish look easy, as he kept his composure to send the ground crazy with excitement at the stunning comeback.

“Well, it ended well,” said Morales.

It did indeed—at least for the neutrals and, deep down, the Blasters faithful must surely concede that they got themselves out of trouble.

Arima Blasters substitute Malachi Noreiga (left) prepares to bury a late equaliser while Beatnix SC defenders Ezekiel Ramdialsingh (centre) and Mathias Cruickshank look on during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

“We are still on top of the table,” said Reyes.

Beatnix have 17 points from seven games. FC Santa Rosa leapfrogged Blasters to joint second place with 13 points from six matches, after their 1-0 win over Trincity Nationals on Saturday evening.

FC Ginga also have 13 points from six matches, after their 4-1 thumping of Ultimate Unisons.

The weekend results saw Blasters slip to fourth, with 11 points from five matches. Should Hazel and company win their games in hand, the East Zone could be a photo finish—with four teams straining for potentially two spots.

Beatnix left back Keon Roach takes a throw in during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Arima Blasters at St Augustine Secondary on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

(Curiously, tournament organisers, Gateway Athletics International, are yet to confirm how many teams from each zone advance to the knockout stage.)

“We have Santa Rosa on Wednesday,” said Morales. “I saw them play a couple of times and they move around the ball, they have a good unit. So I know that will be a challenge also. I think after that it should be smooth sailing for the boys. So we should be able to make it in the top two.

“The target is to try and win the group [and] I think our team is good enough to win the group. And I think Beatnix may drop some points, [as] they were not that good today to be honest.”

Challenge offered—and, almost certainly, accepted.

(Teams)

Beatnix SC (4-2-3-1): 1.Micaial Samaroo (GK) (22.Josiah Superville 87 [GK]); 4.Ezekiel Ramdialsingh, 17.Mathias Cruickshank, 7.Deishawn Plaza (captain), 12.Keon Roach; 6.Tyrese Andrews, 8.Christian Baptiste; 10.Kanye Eastman (14.Israel George 65), 16.Kerdell Richards (19.Chad Nicholas 83), 11.Giovanni Hospedales; 9.Daniel Votor (191.Kanye Glasgow 74)

Unused substitutes: 5.Essien Thomas, 18.Oyinde Jackson.

Coach: Brandon Reyes

Arima Semi-Pro Blasters YA (4-2-3-1): 22.John-Paul Aaron (GK); 21.Stephen Ollivierre, 14.Malike Smith (18.Daniel George 54), 16.Ability Hazel (captain), 6.Jeremy Joseph; 4.Jonathan Lee Fai (2.Marcell Valentine 46), 10.Quamy Waithe (36.Amari Howe 82); 19.Mark Thomas, 11.Tony Figuera, 31.Jahmarley Caleb (8.Cameron Nelson 54); 7.Kendall Castle (20.Malachi Noreiga 82)

Unused substitutes: 15.Naeem Crichlow, 26.Adam Francis, 29.Rayshawn Brown.

Coach: Roger Maloney

Referee: Anil Joseph

Wired868’s Man of the Match: Mark Thomas (Arima Blasters)

Beatnix substitute goalkeeper Josiah Superville faces the music during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Arima Blasters at St Augustine Secondary on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Republic Cup National Youth Football League results

Central Zone

Under-13

(Saturday 6 May)

Crown Trace FC 5 (Teshaun Carrington [3], Zion Joseph, Jesse Daniel), Evolution FA 2

Under-15

(Sunday 7 May)

Waterloo Institute 0, Evolution FC 3

*—Evolution awarded win by default

Under-17

(Saturday 6 May)

Crown Trace FC 3 (Israel Outar, Malik Charles, Dexter Taylor), Kamillionaire FC 1

The Crown Trace FC U-17 team pose before kickoff in the NYFL competition on 25 March 2023.
Crown Trace made a clean sweep of Central Zone titles in the 2023 competition.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

East Zone

Under-13

(Saturday 6 May)

Elton John YA 1, FC Ginga 5 (Jiair Nanton [2], Jeremai Nanton, Evan Ross, Luis Sebastian de Sanabria)

Under-15

(Sunday 7 May)

Hillview College FA 0, Arima Blasters 5 (Stephen Ollivierre [4], Jalani Valentine)

San Juan Jabloteh 0, Hayden Tinto FA 6

Seed of Greatness 0, Eastern Jaguars 3

*—Jaguars awarded win by default

Beatnix SC forward Daniel Votor (left) tries to find a way around Arima Blasters defender Stephen Ollivierre during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Arima Blasters in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Under-17

(Saturday 6 May)

Beatnix SC 3 (Kerdell Richards 10 pen, Deishawn Plaza 60, 73), Arima Blasters 3 (Mark Thomas 80, Tony Figuera 88, Malachi Noreiga 90+2)

Trincity Nationals 0, FC Santa Rosa 1 (Aaron Kong)

Hillview College FC 0, Eastern Jaguars 2 (Naeem Whiskey, Kyle Moreno)

Ultimate Unisons 1, FC Ginga 4 (Jadon Highley [2], Elijah Baptiste, Jaydon Blake)

Hayden Tinto FA 5, Elton John YA 0

Athletic International Academy 3 (Jayden Critchlow, Desailly Bastien-Cowan, Tristan Gomez), San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Kerheim St Rose)

Arima Blasters head coach Roger Maloney (third from right) passes on instructions to his players while coach Andre Morales (second from right) and manager Michael Spencer (far right) look on during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action against Beatnix SC in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

Under-20

(Sunday 7 May)

San Juan Jabloteh 3, Maracas United 0

*—Jabloteh awarded win by default

Cooper’s Coaching Academy 0, Malabar Young Stars 1

Eastern Jaguars 0, Athletic International Academy 0

Trincity Nationals 3 (Thassius Devenish, Khaleem Prince, Hirshil Parks), FC Ginga 1 (Reshaun Gulston)

Trincity Nationals attacker Khaleem Prince (left) advances with the ball during Republic Cup Youth Football U-19 action against Cox FA at the Ato Boldon Stadium Training Field in Couva on 3 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Eastern Counties

Under-13

Seed of Greatness 0, Duranta FC 3

*—Duranta awarded win by default

Under-20

Eastern County Utd 3, Toco Police Youth Club 0

*—Duranta awarded win by default

Arima Blasters left back Jeremy Joseph (centre) tries to wriggle past two Beatnix SC defenders during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Augustine on 6 May 2023.
(Copyright Jo Dasent/ Wired868)

North Zone

Under-13

(Saturday 6 May)

QPCC 0, Santa Cruz United 0

Trendsetter Hawks 1 (Aaron Lewis), Pro Series 0

IATF Academy 2, Academia De Futbol Excelencia 0

QPCC midfielder Micah Lewis (left) tries to get around Pro Series captain Tau Lamsee during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 action in St Clair on 29 April 2023.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)

Under-17

(Saturday 6 May)

QPCC 11 (Michael Chaves [4], Luke Correia [3], David Hospedales, Josiah Connell, Micah Nelson, Seth Hadeed), Santa Cruz United 0

Police FC 4 (Jamarli Mootoo [2], Stephano Christopher, Tyrese Manswell), AC Port of Spain 1

Pro Series 3 (Amari Dunbar, Jediah King, Musadiqq Mohammed), Trendsetter Hawks 1 (Maalik Jarvis)

Boyce Sport 6, Laventille United 2

Under-20

(Sunday 7 May)

Trendsetter Hawks 1 (Jusiah Isaac), Malick Blue Lions 5

Boyce Sport 2, Santa Cruz United 3

Pro Series midfielder Musaddiq Mohammed (centre) takes aim during NYFL action against Santa Cruz FC at CIC Grounds on 25 March 2023.
(Copyright Wired868)

Tobago

Under-13

(Saturday 6 May)

Lambeau 2, Georgia FC 0

Roxborough Lakers 0, Brother Ry’s FA 3

Jaric Titans 4, TF Soccer School 1

St Clair Coaching School 0, Ball Blasters Youth Academy 17 (Ackim Duncan [4], Jahmiah Gibbs [4], Zaire McMillan [2], Jaden Anthony [2], Michael James, Kaeron Alfred, Jaysean Felix, Kashif Small, Izea Phillips)

Under-15

(Sunday 7 May)

Jaric Titans 4, TJ Soccer School 0

The Ball Blasters Youth Academy Under-13 Team.
(Courtesy Ball Blasters YA)

Under-17

(Saturday 6 May)

Jaric Titans 0, Bethel United 8

Brother Ry’s FA 0, Eagles FC 0

Under-20

(Sunday 7 May)

Roxborough Lakers 2, St Clair Coaching School 1

Power To Make A Difference attacker Lilian Selvon (#9, blue jersey) was one of the standouts of the 2023 Republic Cup NYFL All-Star weekend in Barataria.
(Copyright Wired868)

Girls

Under-16

San Juan Jabloteh 1, Curtis Orr Football Academy 4

Black Panthers WSC 0, Jewel Sports Club 3

*—Jewels awarded win by default

Under-20

St Augustine FC 9, Crown Trace 0

More from Wired868
RBNYFL 24: B/Blasters stun City; Pro Series and Evolution also lift silverware

Evolution Football Club’s remarkable rise from near the foot of the Central Zone standings to the title of Republic Bank Read more

RBNYFL 24: Evolution emerge, Pro Series soar and City hold off Union Hall

Evolution Football Club, just two years after their formation, are on the brink of history in domestic youth football—after the Read more

RBNYFL 24: Webb, Fraser, O’Brien, Archer and Mariah among all-star standouts

Seventeen-year-old Premier Sports Club forward Malachi Webb had another chance to show his worth on the weekend, as Gateway Athletic Read more

RBNYFL 24: Photo finish for East U-14 title race; World Class coach claims youth football success formula

World Class Soccer Clinic and the Arima Araucans Academy are in a neck-and-neck battle to capture the East Zone Under-14 Read more

St Augustine whip MMPHS, chaos in Tobago and more protests, in explosive Big 5 finale

“Coming back from [relegation from] the Premier Division in 2022, this means a lot to us—to make a statement,” St Read more

NLCL 24: SMS and City collide in mega clash, as semifinals kick off in Marabella

Defending champions Soccer Made Simple (SMS) and tournament favourites City FC face each other from 3.30pm on Sunday 10 March, Read more

Check Also

RBNYFL 24: B/Blasters stun City; Pro Series and Evolution also lift silverware

Evolution Football Club’s remarkable rise from near the foot of the Central Zone standings to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.