It took them a sudden death penalty shootout to do so, but Drifterz Answer Back ended their campaign in the 2012 Guinness Street Challenge just as they started it—with victory.
The well-knit unit, which started off by capturing the Tobago Zone, completed a memorable run in this year's tournament when they were crowned national champions at Jean Pierre Complex in Port of Spain on Saturday. And after a goalless regulation scoreline, they held their nerves against North West zonal champions Touches in the shootout.
Drifterz dominated early with their crisp passing and excellent ball control. However, it was Touches who came close to opening the scoring in the first half when Corneal Thomas had a shot on goal that was just wide.
In the second session Drifterz' Antonio Balfour had his shot cleared by the last-ditch effort of a defender.
Thomas had another excellent scoring opportunity when Keeron Benito found him unmarked on the left side. Thomas hesitated a fraction too long, allowing a defender time to challenge him, before dragging his final effort agonisingly wide of the upright.
Five minutes of extra time also failed to separate the teams.
In the ensuing sudden death shootout Touches were first up and Benito could only look on in dismay as his spot kick was wide of the target. Captain Tola Taylor would then step up and firmly plant his spot kick at the back of the net and secure the title for the Tobago champs.
Drifterz copped $30,000 and a trip to Guyana to contest the regional finals, while Touches had to settle for the second prize of $10,000.
In the playoff for third place, North East zonal winners Merger came up against Mash Dem Down, the North West zonal runners-up.
After a goalless first half, Merger would secure third place with a 12th minute strike from Nkosi Cummings. In a two on one counterattack Tau Jones would draw the defender out before dishing the ball off to Cummings, who slotted home into an open goal.
The North East champs took home $5,000 for their efforts.
The top three teams were also presented with medals and trophies. Drifterz had another reason to celebrate as striker Antonio Balfour copped the Golden Boot award for the most goals. Balfour ended the tournament with eight goals, his closest rival being the Foundation's pair of Kevin Peters and John Belgrave, who scored five goals each.
Drifterz Answer Back has answered the call of Guinness to "Reach for Greatness" and will now vie for an additional cash prize of US$4,000 and a community five-a-side facility courtesy sponsors Guinness when they face the national champions of Haiti, St Lucia, St Vincent, Antigua and host nation Guyana in the regional finals on June 23.