HYDEL High secured a historic first ever qualification to the semi-finals of the ISSA/ Digicel/Gatorade Manning Cup, eliminating former winners Jamaica College (JC) in the process following a 3-0 win over Kingston College (KC) in a Group I match at Prison Oval yesterday.
Hydel, who are only in their third year of the Manning Cup, came into the game tied on four points with JC, but held a better goal difference of plus two. Despite JC beating Denham Town, 4-1, in another game at Constant Spring, it was not enough to overtake Hydel.
The Geoffrey Maxwell-coached Hydel now join Excelsior High as the other qualifier for the final four, but although the no-nonsense coach was elated with the achievement, he thought his players could have shown more commitment.
"I thought the players did well, but on the flip side I didn't think we performed that well... because when you look at the amount of chances we created, we could have easily put away KC anywhere between five to eight nil," he said.
"But the commitment will have to be there now going into the semi-finals," he said.
KC, who needed a win against Hydel while hoping for a JC defeat started the game brightly. However, after Giovanni Green broke the deadlock 24 minutes into the contest, the 'Purples' struggled to keep pace. Two minutes after the interval, Omar Walcott added a second goal.
But despite dominating a demoralised KC and creating many chances, Hydel squandered countless opportunities, mainly through Taffarell Crossdale and Patrick Okonkwo.
However, 11 minutes from the end, midfield standout Samar Rowe secured the most vital goal of the afternoon when he calmly slotted home from 18 yards to make the score 3-0.
At Constant Spring, JC got off the mark courtesy of an 15th-minute own-goal from Rayon Fogo. Malique Foster added a second in the 40th and 11 minutes after the interval, Kevin Blackwood made it 3-0.
With six minutes to go, Junior Flemming added a fourth for the Old Hope Road school. But as JC continued to press for more goals, they were caught out and Samuel Bready scored in time added for the Desmond Francis-coached Denham Town to foil JC's chance.