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NYFL 23: Pro Series U-15s down Arima Blasters to claim last semifinal spot

Gems at Lajoya

Pro Series came from behind to secure the final semifinal berth in the 2023 Republic Cup National Youth Football League (NYFL) this evening, as their Under-15 team downed Arima Semi-Pro Blasters Youth Academy 4-2 on a rainy evening in Tacarigua.

A late turnout by officials delayed kickoff at the Eddie Hart Grounds while there was no shelter from the rain for the players. Undeterred, the young men provided a thrilling knockout tie—with the lead changing twice, before finally swinging the way of the North Zone outfit.

Cardinals FC player Dylan Suarez Lugo (right) tries to hold off Pro Series’ Xavier Barrow during Republic Cup NYFL U-13 action in St Clair on 29 April 2023.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)

Josh Miguel put Pro Series ahead from the penalty spot in the first half, against the run of play. But the East Zone runners-up equalised through defender Stephen Olliverie, as the two teams were deadlocked at the interval.

And Blasters took the lead for the first time, soon after the restart, as Renaco Hernandez punished some sloppy work by the Pro Series custodian.

Blasters were not immune to goalkeeping errors though, as their own custodian miskicked while trying to clear a set piece—as Jaseem Celestine pulled Pro Series back level.

And a Jonathan Mason double, the first from the penalty spot and the second from a fast break, was enough to steer the North team into the semifinal stage.

All eight North clubs have now advanced to the final four stage of the Under-13, Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 divisions respectively. (QPCC U-15s still have to navigate a protest by Crown Trace FC regarding their attire in their quarterfinal fixture, though.)

Arima Semi-Pro Blasters defender Marcel Valentine (right) stays close to Arima Araucans forward Jeremiah Allert during Republic Cup NYFL U-15 action in Tacarigua on 16 April 2023.
(Copyright Brian Miller/ Wired868)

In contrast, only two East Zone teams—the Defence Force U-20s and FC Ginga U-13s are still alive—while six South Zone outfits complete the semifinal match-ups.

Gateway Athletics are still to confirm the time and venue for this weekend’s affairs.

Republic Cup National Youth Football League (NYFL) quarterfinal result

(Wednesday 31 May)

Pro Series 4 (Josh Miguel pen, Jaseem Celestine, Jonathan Mason pen, Jonathan Mason), Arima Semi-Pro Blasters YA 2 (Stephen Olliverie, Renaco Hernandez) at Eddie Hart #1

Point Fortin YA midfielder Josiah Ochoa (left) takes the ball on his chest during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 quarterfinal action against Gasparillo Youths in St Augustine on 27 May 2023.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)

NYFL Semifinal Match-ups (time and venue to be confirmed)


(Saturday 3 June)

QPCC vs FC Ginga

Cardinals FA vs Cox Coaching School

Cardinals FA attacker Kayden Moraldo during the 2023 Republic Cup NYFL competition.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)


(Sunday 4 June)

Cox Coaching School vs Pro Series

QPCC FC vs Union Hall FC

QPCC player Jadiel Joseph (foreground) tries to keep the ball from Police FC flanker Tyrese Manswell during NYFL U-17 action at the Barracks in St James on 24 May 2023.
(Copyright Brian Miller/ Wired868)


(Saturday 3 June)

Premier Sports Club vs QPCC

Point Fortin Youth Academy vs Pro Series

Premier Sports Club goalkeeper Emmanuel Thompson looks for a teammate during Republic Cup NYFL U-17 quarterfinal action against Tinto’s Sporting Academy in St Augustine on 27 May 2023.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868)


(Sunday 4 June)

Defence Force vs Malick Blue Lions,

Premier SC vs QPCC