FC Aston Villa hammer Cedar Grove Blue Jays 8-0 to take over sole leadership of ABFA Premier League

By Sports Desk March 13, 2023
FC Aston Villa hammer Cedar Grove Blue Jays 8-0 to take over sole leadership of ABFA Premier League ABFA

FC Aston Villa now stand alone at the top of the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier League table thanks to a mammoth 8-0 win over Cedar Grove Blue Jays at the ABFA Technical Centre in Pynter on Friday.

Yasnay Torres ripped through the Blue Jays defense to finish with five goals on the day. His goals came in the 22nd, 37th, 38th, 55th and 68th minutes while the other three goals came from Shahoi Dorsett in the 42nd, Sean Tomlinson in the 53rd and Joshua Ferdinand in the 91st.

FC Aston Villa now have 37 points from 15 games to lead the table while the Blue Jays are 14th with 10 points from 14 games.

Grenades are only a point behind FC Aston Villa after a 3-0 win over Ottos Rangers on Sunday. Vashami Allen opened the scoring for Grenades in the 10th minute before the points were secured late in the second half through goals from Carl Osbourne in the 83rd minute and Donovan Baptiste in the 92nd minute. Ottos Rangers are ninth in the table with 19 points from 13 games.

Sunday’s other games saw Swetes and Greenbay Hoppers play out a 1-1 draw while the game between Pigott’s Bullets and Empire ended in a similar score-line.

In the first game, Rodney Lawrence opened the scoring for the Hoppers in the second minute before Shalon Knight got Swetes’ equalizer in the 65th minute. The Hoppers are sixth in the table with 22 points from 14 games while Swetes are one spot below them with the same number of points and one more game played.

In the second game, the Bullets took the lead in the 19th minute through Tyrique Thwaites before Rakeewm Joseph equalized for Empire in the 67th minute. Empire are tenth in the standings with 18 points from 14 games while Pigott’s Bullets are 13th with 15 points from their 14 matches.

The first of three games on Saturday saw Old Road get a 5-0 win over Five Islands to move to fourth in the table with 27 points from 15 outings.

Christhian Hereira and Raheem Deterville each got doubles for Old Road while Jonathan Shoy was also on the scoresheet. Hereira’s strikes came in the seventh and 68th minutes, Deterville’s in the 31st and 38th minutes and Shoy scored in the eighth minute. Five Islands are 15th in the table with three points from 15 games.

Game two on Saturday saw Parham secure a 3-1 win over Willikies. Parham took the lead in the 21st minute through Malcolm Stewart before doubling their advantage four minutes before the half through Stewart again. James Simon gave Willikies hope of a comeback in the 57th minute before Kenja Benjamin sealed the points for Parham 10 minutes later.

Parham are now 11th in the table with 18 points from 15 games while Willikies remain eighth 20 points from 14 games.

Tryum secured a 2-1 win over Liberta Blackhawks in Saturday’s final game. After a goalless first half, Tryum took the lead in the 51st minute through Chevel Cunningham before Curlon Joseph doubled their lead 20 minutes later. Liberta got a consolation goal in the 86th minute through Abraham Barry.

Tryum are fifth in the standings with 25 points from 15 games while Liberta Blackhawks remain at the foot of the 16-team table with two points from their 12 games.

The game week will end with third-placed All Saints United taking on 12th-placed SAP on Monday.

 

 

 

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    Belgium's so-called 'golden generation' have flattered to deceive at recent tournaments, a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup being their best finish at any competition since they were runners-up at Euro 1980.

    They were stunned by Wales in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, beaten by Italy at the same stage at Euro 2020 and succumbed to a group-stage exit at the last World Cup in Qatar.

    They topped their qualification group for Euro 2024 – the sixth successive campaign in which they have done so – and are now unbeaten in 40 World Cup/Euros qualifiers (35 wins, five draws).

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    "I'm not here to prove to you that we have a chance, it has to happen on the pitch.

    "We don't care if the outside world see us as a favourite. The most important thing is that we believe that we can achieve something beautiful."

    Prior to a ball being kicked at this year's tournament, the Opta supercomputer gave Belgium a 4.7 per cent chance of winning their first major trophy, with seven nations seen as more likely champions.

    Belgium's preparations for Monday's Group E opener against Slovakia, meanwhile, have been affected by fitness concerns. 

    Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Arthur Theate have been nursing knocks, while Axel Witsel – who is also expected to be used as a centre-back – trained alone on Friday.

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    "We give it our all (in training), we were not extra careful because there are a lot of injured players. But of course, we won't do stupid things. There's no point in making unnecessary tackles."

  • Austria v France: Mbappe will never go against the collective, assures Deschamps Austria v France: Mbappe will never go against the collective, assures Deschamps

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    Opponents Austria have been touted by some as a potential surprise package after impressing in their first qualification campaign under Ralf Rangnick, finishing just one point behind Belgium.

    "If we're complete, then we're a team that is very hard to beat," the former Manchester United boss said. "We're able to compete with anyone at a high level. 

    "We saw that during friendlies against Germany and Italy [both 2-0 wins], but also during the qualifiers against Sweden [2-0 and 3-1 victories]. 

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    Austria – Marcel Sabitzer

    Sabitzer was involved in six goals in seven appearances during Euro 2024 qualifying (four goals, two assists), the most of any Austria player.

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    France – Kylian Mbappe 

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    However, all of those goals have come at World Cups. He failed to convert any of his 14 shots at Euro 2020 and also missed the decisive spot-kick as France lost to Switzerland on penalties. He will be desperate to atone at this tournament, starting on Monday.

    MATCH PREDICTION – FRANCE WIN

    France enter Euro 2024 as one of the favourites, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 19.1 per cent chance of lifting the trophy before the tournament began. They are expected to live up to that billing here.

    Les Bleus have reached the final at three of their last four major tournaments, being losing finalists at Euro 2016 and the 2022 World Cup and winning the 2018 World Cup.

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