Sport

Herediano hold advantage after 1-1 stalemate with Waterhouse

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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Defending Scotiabank Concacaf League champions CS Herediano hold a slight advantage going into their return leg against Waterhouse FC after they earned a come-from-behind 1-1 draw with the Jamaicans at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica, on Thursday night.

Andre Fletcher got the hosts off to a flying start when he netted in the third minute of the game, but the visitors drew level through Keyner Brown in the 17th minute from a header off a set piece to give his team the valuable away goal.

Waterhouse entered the game having not played competitively since losing the final of the Red Stripe Premier League four months ago. However, there were no obvious signs of rust as the Drewsland-based team started on the front foot and were soon on the scoresheet.

An alert Fletcher ghosted in behind Brian Rubio to slot home past Esteban Alvarado and give his team the perfect start.

But Herediano came into the game full of confidence and took over the contest after falling behind. They pinned back the Waterhouse team as they hunted the equaliser.

Waterhouse were then forced into a change as Shaun Dewar was replaced by Shawn Lawes in the 11th minute due to a hamstring injury.

Herediano should have drawn level in the 12th minute except for a brilliant, point-blank save by Akeem Chambers, who had a fairly good night between the sticks.

Colorado Murray then latched onto a loose ball but pulled the trigger way too early when there were acres of space in front of him to run into.

Herediano then drew level when Brown twisted his body to head powerfully home from a free kick ahead of Chambers, who was late in leaving his line.

Seven minutes later Murray had a brilliant chance to score on debut and put his team ahead for the second time in the contest, but he shot straight at Alvarado from 11 yards out.

Chambers brought off one more important save, changing directions to punch away a fiercely struck, swerving effort from a Herediano player.

The remainder of the half was an open and even contest that produced no more goals.

Freddy Alvarez was a constant threat for Herediano down the left flank in the second half as they sought the go ahead goal but found the Waterhouse defence a tough nut to crack. He was left beating the ground with his hand in despair when his rasping, left-footed effort was brilliantly saved by Chambers.

Denardo Thomas was introduced in midfield for Waterhouse midway the second half and he brought energy and pace for the hosts with his box-to-box running.

Both teams kept searching for the winner but in the end had to settle for a draw as they head back to Costa Rica for the second leg on August 29.

Waterhouse Head Coach Marcel Gayle said that closing down the spaces would be priority one in the return leg.

“We can't afford to give them space. Every time we gave them space they hurt us. We have some work to do so it's back to the drawing board and we have to get it done.”

He bemoaned the fact that his players let a perfect start slip.

“We got the perfect start but we couldn't keep our nerves for long enough periods and that cost us today, getting three points.”

Jafet Campos, who is head coach of CS Herediano, while pleased with the result is wary of the threat Waterhouse will pose when they get back to Costa Rica.

“It is very important to come here and leave with a goal. It gives us a good advantage but it doesn't define the series. We have a lot of respect for Waterhouse and we have to be prepared for the next game and get a result.”


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