MAN DOWN: Shiva Boys Hindu College's Nathaniel Garcia, left, tries in vain to get the ball past Presentation College San Fernando's Yohance Williams in this battle of the midfielders, yesterday, in the re-scheduled South Zone InterCol final at Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella. Shiva Boys won 4-2 on kicks from the penalty mark, and will now face St Anthony's College in tomorrow's National InterCol semifinal, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, from 4.30 p.m. —Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

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SHIVA PREVAIL

...Penal boys beat Pres on penalties in replayed South InterCol final

By Kern De Freitas kern.defreitas@trinidadexpress.com

It was overwhelming joy for Shiva Boys Hindu College and gut-wrenching pain for Presentation College San Fernando as the Penal-based side lifted the South Zone InterCol title yesterday after prevailing 4-2 in a penalty shootout at Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.

Neither team could gain the ascendency in regulation time in rainy conditions in an empty stadium, with the match played behind closed doors.

The teams finished locked at 0-0, but Shiva Boys goalkeeper Kwesi Weston saved Anthony Charles' penalty kick, and Yohance Alexander booted his attempt wide after "Pres" started the shootout, while Shiva Boys were perfect from the spot.

It belatedly ended the South Zone battle and Presentation's season after controversy and uncertainty surrounded the event, following Monday's spectator attack on an assistant referee during the encounter that forced it to be abandoned with Presentation leading 2-1.

Shiva Boys will now meet St Anthony's College in a National InterCol semifinal, tomorrow, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain from 4.30 p.m., with the winners to meet St Augustine Secondary in the final.

Presentation might feel hard done after Monday's incident interrupted their charge for victory with ten minutes to go, but in the end, their chances did lie at their own feet.

Perhaps fittingly, the match had to be decided with kicks from the penalty mark after the teams cancelled each other out. Neither side could boast of dominance in the match as the momentum swung back and forth, with the rain making things more challenging.

The second half ended with neither team breaking the deadlock, and although chances were few, there certainly was quality.

One such chance could have handed Shiva Boys the opener after Shavon Diaz forced a save out of Presentation goalkeeper Kelvin Henry from an acute angle, but Anthony Charles in the Pres defence was there to help out.

Four minutes later Shiva Boys had a vociferous shout for penalty turned down in a sustained period of pressure and Diaz also had a tame shot at the Pres near post.

Around the hour mark Presentation took over with some crisp passing, but Civaughn Dimsoy was not clinical enough to take advantage of good positioning, and Shiva Boys did a good job of attending to Pres talisman, striker Shakiel Henry, to make sure he would not have an easy evening.

With consistent rain growing in strength as full time approached, Presentation had a powerful free kick late on from 35 metres force a great save out of Shiva Boys goalie Kwesi Weston.

With no crowd of supporters behind the teams, the stadium was uncharacteristically quiet. Still, the determination of the teams to overcome a difficult week was fully apparent, particularly in their defensive displays on a spongy, sluggish outfield drenched by rain.

With captain Kegan Ellis marshalling the defence, Presentation looked mostly solid, and if there was a mistake, Henry was there to clean up.

For Shiva Boys it was a similar scene; Weston was a lot more solid than his outing on Monday in the abandoned final, during which he was substituted at half-time. And Shiva Boys captain, Dwight Pope made sure there were no fatal slip-ups behind him.

In terms of attack, Presentation perhaps had the edge.

But the best chance in the first half came from Shiva's Nathaniel "Spanish" Garcia in the 34th, but his close range header off a Kyle Thomas feed that originated from a short corner kick, was not on target.

Garcia ended the half with a free-kick blasted into the wall from 20 metres to maintain the 0-0 scoreline.

That's how things stayed after 90 minutes, before Shiva Boys won at the spot to beat Presentation for the first time this season in four attempts.

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