Champs Portmore beat hosts Tivoli to start 2nd round

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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Defending Red Stripe Premier League champions Portmore United began the second round of the competition with a narrow 1-0 win away to struggling Tivoli Gardens FC at Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday.

A Rondee Smith strike in the 72nd minute was enough to decide the contest after Tivoli Gardens had missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead earlier in the half.

The much-needed win saw the champions move up one place to seventh in the league with fifteen points, one less than sixth place Harbour View FC.

Both teams had a forgettable first round in the league and would have been itching for a good start to the second round. An even first half turned slightly in favour of the visitors five minutes before the interval when Tivoli midfielder Dasha Satchwell was given a straight red card for violent conduct following a hard tackle on Shai Smith.

Despite playing a man down, Tivoli Gardens never looked short-handed in the second half. Trayvone Reid was a constant threat down the left, while the towering presence of Newton Sterling in the centre gave the home team another line of attack.

A double change by Tivoli Gardens in the 61st minute almost brought immediate dividends when Rodico Wellington and Jermaine Johnson were brought in for Davion Garrison and Rushane Spence, respectively.

Shortly after the change, a mazy dribble by Johnson saw him get into the box before he was brought down, and a penalty kick was awarded to Tivoli Gardens.

Wellington took responsibility from twelve yards, but his tame side-footed effort was easily gathered by Kemar Foster, who dived to his left to effect the save.

While Tivoli missed out on their gift, Portmore refused to do the same. Rondee Smith, who has taken over as the main striker for the team this season, curled a beautiful free kick from about 24 yards. It flew beyond the despairing dive of Nicholas Clarke and into the Tivoli goal to give his team a valuable lead.

Any real threat of a Tivoli Gardens comeback ended when a limping Reid was substituted in the 76th minute as they failed to threaten the Portmore United goal for the rest of the game.

“It was a big save from Kemar Foster. He came up big for us and kept us in the game,” said a relieved Portmore Head Coach Ricardo Gardner.

He also had high praises for his lone goalscorer as well as other members of his team.

“It was a great finish by Rondee Smith, but we have to continue to keep clean sheets. I am really happy for the players that they dig deep and really went on and see out the game.”

Phillip Williams of Tivoli was left to rue yet another fairly good performance from his team with nothing to show after the 90 minutes of play.

“We played well up to the point. We got a penalty even though we were down to ten men. That penalty miss was very crucial to the outcome of the game,” the Tivoli Gardens coach lamented.

Teams: Tivoli Gardens FC — Nicholas Clarke, Kemar Flemmings, Barrington Pryce, Jabeur Johnson, Jamie Robinson, Dasha Satchwell, Rochane Smith, Rushane Spence (Jermaine Johnson 61st), Trayvone Reid Stephen Barnett 76th), Davion Garrison (Rodico Wellington 61st), Newton Sterling,

Subs not used: Deron Duncan, Donovan Dawkins, Ranike Anderson

Booked: Flemming (32nd), Satchwell (40th red), Sterling (69th)

Portmore United — Kemar Foster, Ryan Wellington, Roberto Johnson, Osani Ricketts, Emilo Rousseau, Damion Williams (Seigle Knight 85th), Cleon Pryce (Courtney Allen 63rd), Tevin Shaw, Rondee Smith, Shai Smith (Kareem Banton 90th), Cory Burke

Subs not used: Shaven Sean-Paul, Romaine Brackenridge, Sheldon McKoy, Romaine Bowers

Booked: Ricketts (50th), Shaw (54th)

Referee: Doyen Tummings

Assistant Referees: Kemar Gayle, Evon Simpson,

Fourth Official: Andrew Hayden

Match Commissioner: Garfield McDonald


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