Cambridge rally to beat Reggae Youths in semi-finals
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Cambridge FC came from a goal down twice to upset top seed Reggae Youths 3-2 in their first-leg semi-finals of the St James Football Association/Sandals Resorts International Major League at the UDC Field on Sunday.
Wade Daley scored a hat-trick to lead Cambridge FC who only got into the semi-finals as the fourth-ranked team after earning a draw against Granville United and due to Reggae Youths beating Lilliput Rovers on the final day of the preliminary rounds.
It was the second time in fewer than two weeks that Cambridge FC were beating Reggae Youths after edging them 2-1 in their return-round game on January 9, also at the UDC Field.
The return leg will be played at the same venue on Thursday, the same day that Flanker FC will take on Granville United, leading 2-1 from their first-leg semis on Saturday.
On Sunday the game came alive only in the second half after the teams were tied 1-1 at half time.
Jeffrey Perry shot Reggae Youths into the lead in the eighth minute when he fired the ball between the legs of defender Romario Clarke who was facing his goal, taking the Cambridge FC goalkeeper Marquis Malcolm by surprise.
Cambridge FC had to wait until a minute into time added on at the end of the first half when Davian McLean was brought down in the box and Daley brought them level from the spot.
Sebastian Robinson restored Reggae Youths’s lead in the 58th minute when they were awarded a penalty, but it lasted all of seven minutes when Daley equalised for a second time with a sweet, curling left footer from just outside the 18-yard box high into the left corner of the goal.
The burly striker then gave them the lead when he completed the hat-trick in the 74th minute after he caught the Reggae Youths’s defence on their heels and beat goalkeeper Tevin Gordon from close range.
— Paul Reid