JC, XLCR progress
...book date in Walker Cup KO semifinals
EXCELSIOR High defeated 10-man Bridgeport High 2-0 in extra-time, while Jamaica College (JC) stopped Spanish Town Comprehensive, 1-0, to advance to Tuesday's Walker Cup KO semi-finals following quarter-finals victories at the Constant Spring Complex yesterday.
Romaine HooSang (94th minute) and Jevaughn Francis (108th) netted for the Leebert Halliman-coached Excelsior in extra-time. Halliman said his team was the better side and deserved the victory.
"We were better than Bridgeport, and in the end we got the better of them, and we're through to the semis," he said.
Bridgeport's Luther Whyte was ejected from the game two minutes after HooSang's strike for a second bookable offence.
In a lacklustre first half, Bridgeport had the best chance of the period, but Rayon Smith could not generate enough power on his shot to beat Ryan Johnson after he was sent through on goal.
Excelsior came into their own in the second half and looked the more likely team to score, but Meiko Williams fired wide of target for Bridgeport from the best opening late in the half.
Four minutes into extra period, Excelsior broke the deadlock after relentless pressure down the left saw HooSang heading past Oral Williams from close range from substitute Kareem Banton's cross.
Three minutes later, Bridgeport's worries were made worse when captain Whyte received his second caution of the evening and was sent off.
The Mountain View-based Excelsior then sealed the victory midway the second period of extra time after Williams failed to hold on to Banton's low shot and Francis was on hand to tap home from point-blank range.
Bridgeport's coach Tyrone Robertson blamed the defeat on poor goalkeeping.
"A mix-up at the back caused us to give away the first goal... and the second goal, the 'keeper should have allowed the ball to go wide... he saved it and it hurt us," he said.
In the second game of the double-header, Junior Flemming's classy free kick was enough to give the former winners the win. However, both teams had their periods of ascendancy, with Spanish Town having two good penalty appeals turned down, while captain Owen Walters had a sizzling free kick that went just high in the second half.
However, JC, who had limited openings throughout the match, had their best chance at goal just past the hour mark, but goalkeeper Sean Paul Desouza did superbly to keep Flemming's free kick outside his near post.
But minutes later, the prolific striker made no mistake as his perfectly placed strike flew over the wall and past Desouza for the game's only goal.
Spanish Town did have the better of the final half-an-hour, but despite some close misses and goal-mouth melees, the Dark Blues held out for the win.
JC's Assistant Coach Delroy Brown said Spanish Town were an unusual opponent who made it a very difficult for them.
"It was a very tough game... and we didn't get to dominate as we wanted to because Spanish Town have a lot of fight and grit... but we're on to the next round," he said.
Spanish Town's Anthony Thompson said his team played in patches and that was not good enough.
"We should have won the game, but we just did not make use of our chances," he said.