Painful exit

JC crash to rivals KC in drama-filled Super Cup semis

Observer staff reporter

Monday, November 20, 2017

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Being technically efficient is par for the course with Kingston College given the quality squad they possess, and as such it will be hard to bet against them capturing the ISSA/FLOW Super Cup title this year.

After going down 1-2 to Jamaica College in the Walker Cup final a few weeks back, the North Street-based team on Saturday produced a performance worth every bit of admiration when they marched past their rivals with a similar score line to book a date with St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

The enthralling semi-final encounter inside a packed Sabina Park lived up to its billing, given the intense rivalry between the two teams who were meeting for the third time across all competitions of the schoolboy football season. But it was not without some controversy.

With mere seconds left on the clock in added time and KC up 2-1, JC thought they had found the equaliser to send the game straight into penalties when the talismanic Tyreke Magee deftly fired past custodian Chadeen Rodriques, but the goal was disallowed by referee Leon Brown.

Brown had awarded an indirect free kick to JC for a high boot offence approximately 20 yards out and while Magee stood over the ball, the official held his hand firmly in the air as an indication of the indirect free kick.

That meant that a goal may not stand if the ball is hit directly into the net. Instead, the ball must make contact with at least a second player from either team before entering the goal frame. But Magee, apparently unaware, executed the set play as a direct free kick, and as such the goal was disallowed.

Prior to that, KC got their goals through Fabian Grant (35th) and a 50th minute own-goal by Milton Walford, before captain Maleik Howell pulled one back for former champions JC in the 90+2.

Both KC and STETHS, who had earlier got by Calabar 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 stalemate in regular time in the curtain-raiser, would have shaken the proverbial monkey off their backs, and are now in with a shot of claiming their first hold on the lucrative title and the $1-million prize money to go with it after both failing at this stage of the competition last year. They will meet in the showpiece event on Saturday at the same venue.

After an evenly contested start to the feature contest where both teams nullified each other's attacking charge, KC took over proceedings and broke the deadlock five minutes past the half-hour mark when Grant dismissed a defender and fired past Khari Williams in goal for JC to make it 1-0 at the break.

The Ludlow Bernard-conditioned KC squad picked up where they left off on the resumption and it took them only six minutes in to extend the lead. Horace Ramsey, who was most influential on the night for KC fired in a well-weighted corner kick which was headed down by Walford past his hapless goaltender.

The game came to a brief halt shortly after the hour mark as both teams came together after JC's Nathan Hunter went to retrieve the ball from KC's bench and was kicked by Renato Campbell on the bench. However, the timely intervention by officials and security quelled the matter.

KC continued their charge immediately after when a quickly taken free kick by Ramsey picked out Trayvone Reid, who got by the advancing Williams but fired his shot just wide of the left upright.

At the other end JC also had their fair share of chances but Magee and his troops lacked conviction in the final third and as such were left to chase the game right to the end, as KC continued to play delightful football.

With time winding down, the Old Hope Road boys began to press and threw everything at the opponents which eventually saw them pulling one back when Howell headed home after Rodriques spilled a Magee corner.

JC Head Coach Miguel Coley sat on an igloo watching the high drama which transpired in the nerve-racking final seconds which resulted in JC being awarded the indirect free kick.

And they took off celebrating when Magee converted before reality struck that the goal had been disallowed. And the final whistle went, denying them the opportunity to become the first team to hold the title twice after winning in 2014.




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