Photo: Jelani Bogle (left) of Siberia congratulates teammate Andre Bernal after he scored the first goal of his hat-trick against Attica. Siberia beat Attica 4-1 to advance to the final against the Dragons on Friday.
A sublime hat-trick from Andre Bernal and another superb strike from Christopher Christie helped ten man Siberia register an impressive 4-1 win over Attica and end the three year reign of the champions of the Sagicor/UWI Guild Champions League at the UWI Bowl on Sunday.
The game was built as a final before the final as two of the best teams in the competition met in the second semi-final to determine who would be taking their place alongside first timers Dragons of the Towers in the final to be contested on Friday.
Siberia got off to a quick start and should have taken the lead from as early as the third minute but Bernal somehow failed to hit the target with a gaping goal to aim at. The tall striker would make amends the very next minute when he stole in front of a defender at the near post and flicked the ball over the head of a diving Emile Livingston in the Attica goal.
It took Attica twelve minutes to register their first shot on target but the right sided effort from Odane Duncan was easily held by Davian Francis in the Siberia goal.
Bernal could have got his second of the game in the 17th minute but he was unable to keep the ball down from a left sided cross when he was just about 5 yards out.
Siberia was dominating the game and left Attica to chase shadows, a new situation for the team from Taylor Hall. Attica would fight back however and got a foothold in the game as they began pushing their opponents back.
A fierce midfield battle ensued as both teams fought for control of the game, but there were no more goals in the first half as the Bears went in to the break one nil to the good.
On the resumption, Siberia went 2-0 up with their first meaningful attack of the second half after Bernal turned his marker nicely before firing on target. The fairly tame effort from the striker somehow eluded the grasp of Livingston and ended up in the back of the net.
A key moment in the game came with just about ten minutes played in the second stanza. Jelani Bogle of Siberia was given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card in the match for a high, two footed tackle.
Attica pulled one back from the resulting free kick when Duncan reacted quickest to flick home with his head and gave the defending champions some hope.
The Bears response to Attica’s goal was swift and they went 3-1 up when Christie scored directly from a corner kick to restore the 2 goal cushion.
With less than ten minutes to play Bernal made the game safe for the Bears when he cut inside his marker from the left side leaving the defender on the floor and rolled the ball into the net past an out of position Livingston for his easiest goal of the night.
The final whistle brought an end to the three year win streak of the Atticans and means that for the first time since 2011 there will be a new name on the Sagicor/UWI Guild Trophy.
The three goals by Bernal took his tally to seven and put him in pole position to win the Golden Boot award.