Glenmuir hand champions Clarendon College first defeat in three seasons, revive playoff hopesSunday, November 28, 2021
A blinder of a free-kick from Glenmuir High winger Tajaray Mahabeer, sent champions Clarendon College crashing to their first loss of the season and their first loss in the ISSA/WATA DaCosta Cup in three seasons at the Foga Road field on Saturday.
Mahabeer's goal in the 27th minute of play was enough to seal a 1-0 win for the underdogs against the overwhelming favourites.
Clarendon College had been imperious in winning back-to-back titles in the DaCosta Cup and with three wins and a draw so far this season, came up against a young and inexperienced Glenmuir team, waning in confidence after they had suffered back-to-back losses to the other two big teams in Group E, Edwin Allen High and Lennon High.
Clarendon College were all over Glenmuir from the start of the match, playing a high press game, forcing their opponents so far back that they were hardly able to get over the half-line with the ball.
Clarendon dominated the ball and created their first good opening after moving the ball from the right side to the left side of the field, but when Marques Reid cut inside of his marker and fired a shot, it went just wide of the far post.
CC continued to dominate the ball but were unable to get many shots on target as Glenmuir, whose defence was marshalled by their captain, defended stoutly.
Then, almost out of nowhere, Glenmuir took the lead. They were awarded a free kick just outside of the area on the right side and Mahabeer, who was having a howler of a game on the left-wing, stepped up to take the shot. He unleashed a powerful left-footed curler that swerved into the top right corner of the goal, out of the reach of a prostrate Jameal Vassel in the Clarendon College goal.
The champions were visibly stung by the concession of the goal but continued pressing their opponents as they hunted an equalizer.
Glenmuir returned for the second half with a different game plan, playing higher up the pitch instead of the very deep block they employed in the first half, and it worked to perfection as they were better able to keep their opponents at bay.
Clarendon College did come close to scoring however, Christopher Hull saw his header from a corner kick crash against the crossbar and more than one header from a Clarendon College player went just over the crossbar from set-pieces.
But in the end, the Glenmuir defence, marshalled by Zakari Messam, did enough to hold the Clarendon College team scoreless and earned three valuable points that has kept them in the hunt.
There was one moment of concern just before the end of the game when substitute Stephen Simpson fell to the ground and was unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital and has since recovered.
With Lennon and Edwin Allen playing out a 0-0 draw in the other group game on the day, it means that Lennon tops the group with 11 points, Edwin Allen are second on goal difference ahead of Clarendon College as they both have 10 points, while Glenmuir on 9 points, will join them in the four-team playoff to decide which two will advance to the quarterfinals.
Those playoffs will take place on Tuesday, November 30th and Friday, December 3rd.