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Waterhouse, Herediano take centre stage at National Stadium

Thursday, August 22, 2019

National Premier League runners-up Waterhouse FC and HS Herediano of Costa Rica will take centre stage at National Stadium today as the Scotiabank Concacaf League gets going at 5:00 pm.

Game one of the two-leg tie is viewed as crucial to the ambitions of both clubs who are hoping to advance to the next round of the competition.

The game comes for Waterhouse just ahead of the start of the local premier league and so their fitness levels may come into question.

HS Herediano are in the middle of their season and are in a rich vein of form, with back-to-back victories, including a 2-0 win over Guadalupe in their last game in Primera Division on Saturday. They sit third in their local league and will come to Jamaica full of confidence.

Costa Rican club teams are known for their physicality, tactical discipline and speed of play and will pose quite a challenge for the Drewsland-based team.

Waterhouse will be playing their first game since the heartbreaking loss to Portmore United in the final of the Red Stripe Premier League in April.

Waterhouse Head Coach Marcel Gayle says his charges are mentally ready for this huge encounter.

“The guys are mentally ready, physically we are still getting there; that department is not 100 per cent, but we still have enough to go out there and give a good account of ourselves.”

He has admitted to doing research on HS Herediano and hopes that proper execution will lead to a desired result tonight.

“You can't simulate game pace in practice but we have watched them and seen what they have to offer and we have done some work, so we can combat it and hopefully we can go out there and execute.

“We are prepared for them, the game lasts for 90 minutes, so we have to go out there and play from minute one to minute 90.”

Fans can expect a positive effort from the home team from the first whistle.

“We are at home and of course we have to play positive football. This is our first game in four months, but we have played some practice games.”

Team captain Keithy Simpson says the players understand what is at stake against the Costa Ricans.

“We have been working hard, we got instructions and the guys have been putting in the work. We just have to carry it out, so we are looking forward for a challenging encounter.

“They are upbeat, this is a big one for us. This is the platform to showcase what you have and hopefully after the game we can get some good responses, especially for the young players.

“It's really important to take advantage of being at home. I have played in this competition before and I know how hard it is to play in Costa Rica, so definitely you have to try to put them away in the first game.”

The return-leg will be played in Costa Rican on August 29.

—Dwayne Richards