Portmore beat AD Santos in tense penalty shoot-out

...after teams locked 3-3 over two legs

Observer staff reporter

Friday, August 10, 2018

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Jamaica's champions Portmore United secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the Scotiabank Concacaf League (SCL) following their nail-biting 7-6 sudden-death penalty win over Costa Rica's AD Santos in a lively second-leg round of 16 contest inside the National Stadium yesterday.

Portmore United entered the contest with a 2-1 advantage over AD Santos and only needed to avoid defeat to progress, but made heavy weather of it, going down 1-2 at the end of full time.

Ronaldo Dinolis (30th minute) and Brayan Lopez (41st) got the goals for AD Santos before Maalique Foster (45th) pulled one back for Portmore United.

The matching results for the teams over both legs eliminated the away goal rule as a decider, leaving the dreaded penalty shoot-out to break the tie.

After Damono Solomon missed Portmore United's third kick, AD Santos were well on their way to victory with a perfect execution up to their final kick which was skied by Reimond Salas.

The shoot-out entered the sudden-death stage as pressure mounted and luckily for Portmore United, custodian Kemar Foster came up big to deny Jose Garro.

In yesterday's late game Jamaica's Arnett Gardens FC, trying to overcome a 0-3 deficit, were locked in battle with Panama outfit CD Arabe Unido.

Earlier, Portmore and Santos wasted little time in coming out of their shells. But it was Portmore United who gradually gained the ascendancy by exploiting the speed of Surinamese Donnegy Fer down the right channel.

Fer was at the forefront of a series of tidy build-ups, leading his team forward before releasing a few crosses in the final third, which were quickly dealt with by the AD Santos defensive unit.

The visitors also exploited the wide channels well, which caused some problems for Portmore United's defence and it took some good glovework from Kemar Foster to deny Steven Williams from close range in the ninth minute.

At the other end Maalique Foster also had a glorious opportunity to send Portmore United in front in the 17th minute, but his right-footed effort went just wide of an empty net after goaltender Bryan Morales advanced too far forward.

AD Santos eventually broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Reimond Salas's service from the left side was expertly headed to the far corner by Dinolis, leaving Foster with no chance diving full stretch to his left.

Lopez then gave his team a two-goal cushion 10 minutes later with an easy tap-in from close range after the Portmore United defence failed to clear their lines from a corner.

However, Foster ensured his team remained in the contest on the stroke of half-time. He showed determination to pick himself up to fire home after appearing to have been hindered while turning Fer's long pass into the area.

That momentum stuck with Portmore United on the resumption as they dictated terms for most of the stanza but poor decision-making, particularly on the part of Javon East, denied them the coveted equaliser that would have given them the edge on aggregate.

Foster had two grand opportunities to put his team ahead in the latter stages, but hurried his shot when he was well alone with time and space.

And moments later the attacker was again in on goal but decided to turn a defender before releasing the shot straight at the feet of the advancing Morales.

Teams: Portmore United — Kemar Foster, Damono Solomon, Ryan Wellington, Ricardo Morris, Chevany Willis, Maalique Foster, Venton Evans, Javon East, Roberto Johnson, Rosario Harriott, Donnegy Fer (Rondee Smith 74th)

Subs not used: Eric Edwards, Roshane Sharpe, Osani Ricketts, Romaine Brackenridge, Saneekie Burton, Jerrel Wijks

Booked: Wellington (77th)

Santos De Guapiles — Bryan Morales, Michael Barquero, Pablo Arboine, Steven Williams (Starling Vega 72nd), Jose Garro, Reimond Salas, Juan Diego Madrigal, Wilmer Azofeifa, Brayan Lopez (Edder Solorzano 65th), Ronaldo Dinolis (Francisco Rodriguez 76th), Jorge Davis

Subs not used: Douglas Forvis, Francisco Flores, Denilson Mason, Randall Alvarado

Booked: Arboine (53rd), Dinolis (75th)

Referee: Fernando Hernandez Gomez (Mexico)

Assistant referees: Jose Luis Carmargo Callado (Mexico); Karen Janett Diaz Medina (Mexico)

Fourth official: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico)

Match Commissary: Shequita Parson (Bermuda)

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