Hard road ahead


Hard road ahead

Observer West writer

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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TUCKER, St James — Saving Montego Bay United from relegation in the Red Stripe Premier League “will be difficult, but not impossible”, says Brazilian Luciano Traina Gama, who took over the duties on the sideline in the team's come-from-behind 3-3 draw against Harbour View in a third-round game at Wespow Park on Sunday.

Two days after he arrived in the island and with little time to get to know the players, Gama oversaw a late comeback when MBU scored twice in the final nine minutes of the game, after going down 3-1 mid-way the second half.

Despite the comeback, which the Brazilian described as “it's a draw with the taste of a win,” the two-time champions are still in last place on 20 points, three behind 11th -placed FC Reno, with seven games to go.

On Sunday, MBU fell behind as early as the eighth minute when Nicholas Beckett beat goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett with a free-kick from about 20 yards out.

Dino Williams equalised from the penalty spot in the 25th minute, but Harbour View jumped out to a 3-1 lead after Tevin Scott and Mark Alves scored in the 63rd and 66th minutes respectively.

Deshane Beckford pulled one back for MBU in the 81st minute before Donovan Carey got the equaliser a minute into time added.

Gama wasn't the only newcomer to the MBU team as four Ghanaians arrived a week earlier, including central defender Eric Acquah, who started playing last week and helped to shore up a porous defense that has given up a league high 42 goals, tying their worst ever defensive record in their eight seasons in the RSPL.

In the 2012-13 season, their second time in the league, MBU allowed 42 goals for the entire campaign, but scored 50. Last season 40 goals were scored against them.

MBU are hoping that goalkeeper Richard Addo, who founding president Orville Powell has described as “better than anything we have here,” will be eligible to play when they go to Humble Lion on Sunday as they continue their fight against the drop.

Gama told the Jamaica Observer West last Sunday that “we know we have a lot of work to do, I just got here on Friday, but I think this was a good response by the team in the first game even though we did not have time to do too much.”

Gama, the third Brazilian who will call the shots from the sidelines after Neider dos Santos and Leonardo Neiva, said he was pleased with what he saw last Sunday.

“This sprit today, and the confidence were good, and we hope we can improve in the others games, and we hope to achieve our objectives of not been relegated,” he argued.

He said he is well aware of the job at hand and the mistakes that led to them trailing by two goals with 10 minutes to go in the game against Harbour View last Sunday.

“We made some mistakes which are expected because if the team was good I would not be here. We know we have problems and we have identified the problems, and I got the chance to see them in a match situation which is different from training, and will work this week to fix the more important problems and then again we will try to improve,” he further argued.

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