AT the midway point in the GTT National indoor championships, fans have witnessed 171 goals in 21 action-packed matches.The National ladies were the high-scoring team of the night with nine unanswered goals against the Old Fort ladies while their male counterparts, the National Black eased to a comfortable victory over Bounty GCC.With the National Black having recorded a record 23 goals in the first two nights of play, they entered their third clash against the well-known Bounty GCC as favourites.Before GCC could settle into the rhythm of the match, the Blacks had marked the name of Hilton Chester on the scoreboard.However, GCC goalkeeper Michael Hing gave a good account of himself as he saved several more attempts by the Blacks but could not deny Chester from scoring two more.Also getting in on the action was Jamarj Assanah with two penalty corners. Robert France and Andrew Stewart, both scored single strikes.GCC’s Dwayne Scott managed to score the first competition goal against the Blacks in the 30th minute but the Blacks already had six goals on the board by that time and added a seventh before the final buzzer.The Old Fort Titans battled Saints in the other men’s first division match of the night and pulled off a predictable 3-1 victory. The youthful Saints scored first, through a Yonnick Peters penalty corner and Old Fort had to dig deep to draw even through Ascofu Simon before the half.Old Fort dominated the scoring in the second half, however, with a field goal and a penalty stroke conversion from Jason Clarke to end with the 3-1 win.The National ladies scored a goal roughly every 4 minutes against the Old Fort Shooting Stars in the ladies matchup.The Nationals did not seem as comfortable and fluid as in their previous evening’s matches but never seemed threatened as they cruised to the comfortable 9-0 win.The youthful Bingo Spartans got off to a surprisingly good start against tournament favourites Pizza Hut GCC. It took the Pizza Hut ladies 11 minutes to score their first, through a Sonia Jardine penalty corner.GCC stamped their domination on the match as time went on and rattled in 4 more goals before full time. The largest cheers from the crowd came when Spartans striker Kirsten Gomes scored the final goal of the match and her first of the tournament just before full time.Saints pulled off a surprise victory over the GCC Pitbulls in the men’s second division competition while the Hikers defeated St Stanislaus College by 2-1. The lone veterans match of the evening saw the Old Fort Goal Getters secure their first win by handing the Antonio’s Grill Hikers their second loss by 6 -3.Matches continue throughout the week from 17:00hrs with the finals to be contested on Saturday September 30. Men’s national selections, the BLACKs and the GREENs will play an exhibition match against each other right before the final presentation.
1 Mauricio Pochettino is expected to make changes to his side This is a huge week in Tottenham Hotspur’s season, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men prepare for a Wembley cup final, but first they must attempt to navigate passage past Italian giants Fiorentina in the Europa League.SEE WHICH TOURNAMENT’S HARRY KANE IS TARGETING HEREA 1-1 draw against the Serie A outfit in the first leg leaves the tie on a knife-edge, and means that Spurs must score away from home – something they have found relatively easy this season.While Fiorentina hardly boast the best defensive record in Europe – they have conceded 12 times in nine fixtures since returning from their winter break – La Viola are pretty potent at the other end and will fancy themselves against a Spurs backline that has lacked consistency this season.With Sunday’s Capital One Cup final very much in sight, Pochettino will undoubtedly have that in mind, and as such, that is expected to play a role in his team selection.The Argentine has alluded to the risk of rotating his side too much, describing Thursday evening’s clash as “our first final”. But how will his starting XI look? GoalkeeperWhile Pochettino has alluded to a raft of changes, one constant looks to be goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The Frenchman has once again excelled between the sticks for Spurs this season and is clearly one of his manager’s trusted operators.DefenceClearly wary of upsetting his backline too much, any changes Pochettino makes will likely be minimal. We’ve gone for a backline that includes Federico Fazio and Jan Vertonghen at its heart.MidfieldOnce again an area of which the looks to be some disruption, the biggest inclusion will likely be Paulinho. The Brazilian has struggled for regular game-time, but has an excellent chance to impress.AttackThe most notable omissions are believed to be attacking duo Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane. The two were sensational against Chelsea when the sides last met in the league and will be seen as Spurs’ best chance at Wembley. Pochettino will want to wrap them in cotton wool, so expect Roberto Soldado to start up top, flanked by Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela.Spurs fans, how do you think you’ll line-up on Thursday evening? Comment below… 1