Saturday, November 09, 2019

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Mona High and Hydel High progressed to the quarter-finals of the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup knockout football competition after recording respective wins at Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday.

Mona defeated St Jago High 2-0 in the opening contest of the double-header, thanks to a brace from diminutive midfielder Mario Simms.

In the other encounter at the venue, defending champions Hydel came from a goal down to notch a 2-1 win over Vauxhall High.

Troy Nosworthy opened for Vauxhall in the 14th minute before Tyrees Simms (60th) and Ronel Hines (86th) gave Hydel the comeback win.

St Catherine High and Jonathan Grant High had advanced on Thursday after respective 2-1 and 1-0 first-round victories over Holy Trinity High and Eltham High.

Yesterday, Simms scored in the 15th and 54th minutes to ensure his team ran out comfortable winners over St Jago.

The feature encounter was a lot more competitive with the 2018 champions suffering an early scare.

Vauxhall took the lead when Nosworthy's intended cross from the right side swerved beyond the leaping Hydel goalkeeper Shaquan Davis.

Despite the goal coming so early in the encounter, it failed to ignite much enterprise from either team in the first half. Chances at either end were few and far between as Vauxhall entered the half-time break with the narrow advantage.

Hydel, fighting desperately to stay alive in the competition, lifted their standard in the second half and it paid off.

Simms was on hand to thrash in the rebound after Shahidi Hart's close-range effort hit the cross bar.

Hydel rode the momentum thereafter, pinning back Vauxhall for prolonged spells late in the game.

Hines completed the comeback with four minutes left in normal time when he latched onto a pass and clipped a finish past Vauxhall's custodian Stephen Brightly.

— Sanjay Myers