Gaza’s double leads Elite over Academy

Wright credited his first goal to Head Coach Gregory Ebanks.

Elite SC picked up their first win of the Cayman Premier League season with a 4-1 triumph over Academy SC at the Annex on Sunday, 9 October.

Both teams started the game tactically strong, stringing together passes from defense to the forwards but were unable to bother the goalkeepers much in the early going.

Andreas Ruiz broke the deadlock in the 20th minute off a brilliant free kick just outside the edge of the 18-yard box, curling it around the wall and to the left of a diving Zion Coe in the Academy net. (See video below). Elite ahead 1-0.

Dwayne ‘Gaza’ Wright doubled the Elite lead six minutes before the half with a deft finish. He described it to afterward. “In the earlier part of the game I was playing just one-two, one-two. So, in that situation, the back line was expecting the one-two so I dummied and created space for myself and I hit it for a corner goal,” the star forward said.

After finding the back of the net, Wright, one of the more prolific scorers in the league’s recent history, ran to his team’s bench and pointed at Head Coach Gregory Ebanks. “That one was dedicated to Coach Greg. In training he has been pushing me and telling me I need to start scoring goals ASAP. So, I dedicated that one to him,” he said.

Rivers made a few advances from the back line.

Rivers made a few advances from the back line.

Elite took a 2-0 lead into halftime. An entertaining advance from Elite captain Abijah Rivers early in the second signaled Elite’s intent not to be complacent with the lead. Rivers moved forward from defense, slicing and dicing his way to the front but his shot was just over the crossbar.

Raul Rodriguez stretched the lead in the 62nd minute when he found himself in the box with only the keeper to beat. The possession had developed from a string of passes and quality ball movement. When the initial shot was blocked, Rodriguez was there to make sure some good would come of it for his side.

Williams scored to ensure Academy was not blanked.

Williams scored to ensure Academy was not blanked.

Academy SC, through the urging of coach Jack Brazil, did not give up. That paid dividends when substitute Rohan Williams scored in the 70th to make it 3-1.

Wright scored a fourth for Elite when Coe went up for a save and the ball came loose, finding Wright’s boot and then the back of the net. Despite protests that a foul should have been called, the referee ruled that it was a defender who collided with the keeper and dislodged the ball.

Elite SC won to rebound from a 2-1 opening week loss to Bodden Town FC last Sunday. “I’m feeling great. The team [is] looking wonderful. We’re playing together as a team and that’s what we want and I like that,” Wright said.

Both teams return to the Annex next Sunday (16 October). Elite SC faces Cayman Athletic at 4:45 p.m. and Academy SC faces unbeaten Roma United in a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.

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