Cavalier Technical Director Rudolph Speid was not pleased with his team's performance in spite of a 2-1 win over AC Port of Spain (POS) in their Concacaf Caribbean Cup match at Sabina Park in Kingston on Thursday.
Jalmaro Calvin and Christopher Ainsworth got Cavalier's goals while Port of Spain got theirs through Captain Duane Muckette.
Although the scoreline favoured the Jamaican team, POS from Trinidad and Tobago created more chances but lacked accuracy.
While Speid says the approach from his team was casual at times throughout the game, he admits that his players are still not at optimum fitness, having played only their second game so far this season.
"It's a new team and we're trying to rebuild, but it's three points and we were able to get them," Speid said in the post-match press conference. "Based on how young the players are, and also that we're really rebuilding a team again from last season, and this is our second game of the season, you have to give and take. We're not pleased but we have another match on the 19th and we'll put in some work to that end."
Cavalier started brightly and needed only eight minutes to go in front. Ronaldo Robinson received a pass as they broke into the POS area and quickly released Calvin, who put his effort to the far post, beating goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
Cavalier sat back and allowed POS to take more possession of the ball and the visitors, through quick movement and good defence-splitting passes, were able to create a number of dangerous moments from there.
John Paul Rochford created their first close chance in minute 15, with a shot from the edge of the area forcing a save out of Cavalier goalkeeper Vino Barclett.
But 11 minutes later, Cavalier's complacency almost hurt them. Barclett played a short goal kick to right back Jeovanni Laing, who dwelled on the ball and was dispossessed by POS's Che Benny, who was their brightest spark in attack until his substitution in minute 67.
He advanced and chipped a shot to the back post from the edge of the area, but the ball hit the bar on the way over.
POS came close to equalising in first-half stoppage time when Tyrone Charles received the ball in the area from good build-up play. He turned and put his shot to the far post, forcing Barclett to stretch to pull the ball back into his grasp, just preventing it from crossing the goal line.
The second half had a similar momentum, with Cavalier sitting back and soaking up pressure. But they were able to break in minute 60 and the ball was laid off to Ainsworth, who was unmarked when he arrived in the area. He only had Phillip to beat and coolly finished off the one on one to make it 2-0.
But POS kept trying to find a way back into the game and did in the 71st minute.
A free kick from just outside the Cavalier box was whipped in and Muckette outjumped the Cavalier defence to glance a header beyond Barclett, who rushed off his line too soon.
"We were doing some things wrong, but then, we had two young players who never played at this level before in the centre of midfield, and that was a little problem," Speid said. "In the second half, we kind of fixed it, but it's a long road. We're happy for the break but we'll move on and get better as we progress."
POS Head Coach Walter Noriega was pleased with their performance but says their execution let them down.
"It's a disappointing result," he said in his press conference. "I think the boys didn't execute in the attacking play. We dominated possession, but possession doesn't win you games. We'll work on the finishing part and the execution, but just tonight, we fell short."
Cavalier move to the top of Group A on four points, same as Defence Force, who they drew 1-1 with in Trinidad last week. Defence Force defeated Golden Lion of Martinique 1-0 on Wednesday. Port of Spain remain fifth out of five teams after their second straight loss.
Cavalier play host to Moca of the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, September 19. Port of Spain host Golden Lion a day before.