'We didn't create enough chances,' admits Williams after Tivoli stalemateTuesday, September 21, 2021
The Jamaica Premier League first-leg quarter-final between first-timers Vere United and former champions Tivoli Gardens was expected to be a low-scoring affair, so it was no surprise that the game ended in a goalless draw on Saturday.
Both teams created only a few goal-scoring opportunities, as it proved to be a case of defences on top ahead of the return leg on Wednesday.
Tivoli Gardens created a few chances early in the first half, but failed to convert and that would prove to haunt them later on as they failed to get that all-important go-ahead goal in the two-legged tie.
Head coach Phillip Williams said that the objective going into the game was to try to gain an advantage in the first leg.
“Definitely, before the game started our objective was to have gotten all three points and to try to put away this tie from the first leg, but it was not to be and both teams really expressed themselves today and it was a really good-quality game to watch for the viewing public,” he said.
Goal-scoring, he admitted, has been the Achilles' heel of his team all season and remains an area of concern, even in the knock-out phase of the competition. Williams said, however, that the creation of chances was the big problem on Saturday.
“That's an area that has been plaguing us for the entire season: finishing our chances. But I can't fault them today, in terms of the number of chances that they got. I think we were not productive enough to give them chances for us to fault them for us not winning, and that's an area that we definitely have to work on going forward for the second leg.”
Vere United created a few chances early in the second half, but Williams doesn't think that his team was let off the hook, when Vere failed to convert.
“In the game you are going to have chances for the opponents; it's a matter of conversion. I think they could have said the same in terms of we letting them off the hook, in terms of the chances that we created early in the game,” he reflected.
Williams didn't think that the occasion was a challenge for his players, having missed out on the play-offs for the last three seasons, and insisted that they needed to create more chances against a very organised Vere outfit.
“Tivoli has a rich history. These guys are used to winning and definitely it wasn't an occasion that was beyond them. They have the mental set for this occasion and they were ready for the game and they expressed themselves well. It's just the area in front of goal, [where] we didn't create enough chances that we think were necessary to get rid of this very organised, well-coached, Vere team.”
Tivoli Gardens will now have it all to do in the return leg on Wednesday, if they are to advance to the semi-finals slated to begin on Saturday.
— Dwayne Richards