Calabar dump Bridgeport

Sweet revenge - Calabar turn tables on Bridgeport to book Walker Cup semi-final spot

Friday, November 03, 2017

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Calabar High lived to fight another day as they eliminated a wasteful Bridgeport High with a 3-1 scoreline on penalties to book their spot in the semi-final of the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup, and by extension the lucrative Super Cup competition.

The heavy underfoot conditions at the Constant Spring field yesterday may have slightly taken away from the game, but despite that, both teams lacked a certain level of conviction in the final third, which resulted in a goalless stalemate in full- and extra time.

Calabar will now meet Manning Cup champions Jamaica College in tomorrow's semi-final, the curtain-raiser at Stadium East Field at 2:00 pm. Defending Walker Cup champions Kingston College will meet St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in the feature contest at 4:00 pm.

Calabar Coach Lij Simms was elated that his team turned the tables on their opponents.

“We knew it wasn't going to be easy because they beat us in the last Manning Cup game, so they came in today (yesterday) thinking it was going to be easy. But I am a coach that you have to be coaching really good to beat me twice, so we came here today knowing what we had to do and we just stuck to the task and it paid dividends.

“So we celebrate today, but it is back to the training ground after to put things in place going forward to the semi-finals and the Super Cup,” Simms told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview.

An obviously disappointed Garnett Lawrence of Bridgeport tried to take some positives from their failed campaign.

“This is how our season has been going from the start, but we give God thanks anyway... it is never easy to end the season on penalties, but it was a good one [and] we fought hard, we dug deep and we tried, so we can't complain about this one at all,” the tactician said.

There was some amount of hype surrounding the rematch between the two teams after Bridgeport came from behind to defeat the Red Hills Road team 3-1 in their previous Group H Manning Cup clash.

However, Calabar would have done their homework and came into yesterday's fixture with a plan to sit behind the ball and pounce whenever the opportunity presented itself.

After a fairly lethargic first half, Bridgeport, the overwhelming favourites, came out firing on the resumption when Jevaughn Dunn created space by rounding two defenders, but fired his left-footed effort straight at custodian Deandre McCoy, who had a brilliant day between the sticks for Calabar.

It was one-sided traffic in favour of Bridgeport leading up to the hour mark, but Calabar brought the game to life in the latter stages when they strung together a few useful attacks, but they, too, were found wanting when it mattered most in the final third.

Bridgeport had a glorious chance in first-half extra time when Dunn found himself open behind the Calabar defence, but opted to lay off a pass to substitute Romario McPherson instead of going for glory. And with that his team was left to pay the price in the dreaded penalty kicks.

McCoy came up big for Calabar, denying Captain Kyle Ming and Tavis Dewar, while Jevaughn McIntosh fired his kick onto the crossbar, all this after McPherson had earlier converted.

Meanwhile, Captain Hakeem McKoy, Andre Channer and Jhevonte Haquee converted for Calabar, while Collin Anderson was denied by Kashwayne Stanbury in goal for Bridgeport.

— Sherdon Cowan




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