Can Brazilian Gama deliver MBU from relegation hell?

...Team's result against Harbour View deemed 'a draw with the taste of a win'

Observer writer

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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Montego Bay United…3

Williams (25th), Beckford (82nd), Carey (90+1)

Harbour View …3

Beckett (8th), Scott (63rd), Alves (66th)

TUCKER, St James — Relegation-threatened Montego Bay United rallied from two goals down in the last nine minutes, plus added time, to earn a high-scoring 3-3 draw with Harbour View in their third-round Red Stripe Premier League game at Wespow Park on Sunday.

Both teams needed a win, but while it was two points lost for the visitors who led twice in the game, it was a gut check for MBU who had lost nine of their previous 10 games and are rooted firmly at the bottom of the points table on 20 points.

Harbour View, not yet safe from relegation and on 26 points from their 26 games, took the lead in the eighth minute through Nicholas Beckett, but Dino Williams equalised from the penalty spot in the 25th minute.

Harbour View got two goals in quick succession midway the second half, to take a 3-1 lead, and should have killed off the game. But MBU came storming back late with goals from Deshane Beckford and substitute Donovan Carey to snatch a point that new coach Luciano Gama described as “a draw with the taste of a win”.

The Brazilian arrived in the island on Friday, summoned by MBU to help them salvage their place in the RSPL. He said he was well aware of the job he was asked to do. but said with seven more games to go the job was “very difficult, but not impossible”.

Gama, the son of Brazilian coach Walter, said: “I 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. This spirit today and the confidence was good, and we hope we can improve in the other games and we hope to achieve our objective of not being relegated.”

The game, he said, was a good one.

“We made some mistakes which is expected, because if the team was good I would not be here,” he said candidly. We know we have problems and we 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 in the next game, we will ty to improve,” said Gama who, like his father, was part of the national fotball programme.

Harbour View coach Fabian Taylor was disappointed with the result, having led twice.

“I am very disappointed [as] I think we threw away the game in the last 10 minutes. We went searching for more goals when we should have been satisfied with what we had, but nevertheless we came away with a point,” said the former Jamaica striker.

Taylor also rued his team's missed chances.

“Normally when we score three goals we win games, and we have been struggling to score goals — even one per game — and we scored three today and still can't win,” he lamented.

“We came here for all three points and we had the opportunities to do that and did not do so,” Taylor added.

Scoring goals has been an issue for both clubs this season, as MBU were scoring more than two goals in a game for the first time this campaign, but also gave up at least three goals in a game for the seventh time. Interestingly, this was the second time this season Harbour View scored more than two goals in a match, and both times against MBU.

On Sunday, Harbour View jumped out to an early lead when Beckett curled a free kick from about 20 yards out into the far right-hand corner of the goal, beating the diving Jacomeno Barrett in the MBU goal.

The visitors should have doubled the scores two minutes later, but Ghanaian Eric Acquah, who was making his debut for MBU, blocked a slow shot from Jorginho James inside the 18-yards box with Barrett badly out of position.

Another free kick by Beckett from a more central position in the 16th minute was saved, this time by the goalkeeper.

Williams pulled MBU back on level terms in the 25th minute when he calmly rolled a penalty kick into the low left-hand corner, after Beckford was chopped down in the box by a Harbour View defender.

James had yet another chance to add to Harbour View's tally, but this time he hit the base of Barrett's left post in the 31st minute from about 16 yards. At the other end, Nazime Natallie-Grant guided a header wide of the gaping goal in the 42nd minute, after the ball ballooned in the air when a defender blocked a shot from Williams.

Sloppy defending, the bane of the MBU team this season, allowed two goals in a three-minute span as Tevin Scott restored Harbour View's lead in the 63rd minute, scoring from point blank range. Three minutes later Mark Alves made it 3-1 when his shot from the left flank came back off the base of the far post and into the goal.

Carey, who replaced Nevaun Tuner at the start of the second half, had a long-range shot knocked down by Harbour View goalkeeper Christian Kluvi in the 73rd minute.

With time fast running out Beckford, who had scored a brace for Harbour View to beat MBU in the second round in December, cut the deficit to one goal in the 82nd minute as his shot from the left side of the penalty box beat Kluvi at his right, post and into the goal.

Carey brought the crowd to its feet and the teams level in the first minute of time added when he finished off a move on the right taking a pass from Johann Weatherly and darting into the box, and shot the ball under the body of the diving custodian.


Montego Bay United - Jacomeno Barrett, John Barrett, Eric Acquah, Renaldo Wellington, Renardo Wellington, Dwayne Ambusley, Nazime Matalie-Grant (Lesly St Fleur-78th), Nevaun Turner (Donovan Carey-46th), Johann Weatherly, Deshane Beckford, Dino Williams (Keniel Kirlew-67th).

Subs not used: Aian Miller, Sheldon Carey, Orlando McBayne, Trevaughn Walker

Booked: Turner (2nd)

Harbour View - Christian Kluvi, Nicholas Beckett, Dicoy Williams, Rennico Clarke, Odane Samuels, Odorland Harding, Mark Alves, Andrew Allen, Jorginho James (Tahjae Palmer-79th), Tevin Scott (Shemar Nairne-74th), Norman Campbell (Phillan Lawrence-87th)

Subs not used: Nicholas Nelson, Jhevante Grant, Ronaldo Robinson, John Luca Levee

Booked: Alves-60th, Allen-90+5

Referee: Okeito Nicholson

Assistants: Jermaine Yee-Singh, Garvin Carvalho

Fourth Official: Kasa Plummer

Match commissary: Tracey Reid

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