Portmore edge AS Capoise 1-0 in FLOW Concacaf Club Championships

Observer writer

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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Jamaica'S n ational Premier League champions Portmore United edged AS Capoise of Haiti 1-0 to take pole position in the four-team group in the final round of qualification of the FLOW Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship on Tuesday night.

With Waterhouse FC beating the other Haitian team Real Hope 2-0 in the curtain-raiser, the pressure was on the premier league champions to win to take sole leadership of the group and that they did, courtesy of a second-half strike from Javon East.

Their second 1-0 win in the tournament means the St Catherine-based team now has six points and a goal difference of +2, while the other contenders in the group, Waterhouse, has four points with a similar goal difference.

The first half between Portmore and Capoise was a total yawn as both teams played “careful” football. The Haitians were still in with a chance of winning the group after a 1-1 draw with Waterhouse on match day one and clearly did not want to risk it all from the first whistle.

It took all of 34 minutes for the small crowd to have something to shout about when Damian Williams slipped in Ricardo Morris on goal, but with the ball on his weaker right foot the winger was unable to beat the advancing goalkeeper Yves Clervin, who used his big frame to good advantage.

There was very little goalmouth action for the rest of the half to entertain the sparse crowd.

Both teams approached the second half with greater ambition, with Portmore seemingly more interested in going for the winner in the second half.

The Shavar Thomas-coached team was presented with a massive opportunity to take the lead, but Clervin came to the rescue of his teammates once more when he guessed correctly and dived to his left to save a penalty from East in the 69th minute.

Frantz Moise then had a glorious chance to put Capoise in front but failed to get a toe to the ball as it rolled agonisingly wide of the back post just one minute after the miss by East.

But East, who is one of the leading scorers in the premier league, showed great mental toughness to convert from open play three minutes after to give his team a decisive 1-0 lead, with less than a third of the game left to play.

Substitute Roshane Sharpe must have thought he had iced the game for his team when he neatly rounded a defender and fired a powerful shot on target at the near post, but Clervin was once again able to come up with a brilliant save to keep his team in the contest.

The last chance of the game fell to substitute Yves Dorimain, who watched in agony as his effort flew just wide of the far post.

Portmore United coach Shavar Thomas was fairly pleased with his team's measured performance on the night.

“Like I said in the team talk, what is gonna bring us through this game and give us the victory that we need is for us to be patient and disciplined. Discipline in our shape, discipline in our function, and discipline in doing the right things correctly, all the time.

“In the first half we started well and I think in the latter part of the first half we deviated from our discipline, but the second half was much better.”

Portmore United and Waterhouse FC will square off in the decider today starting at 8:00 pm.

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