Mount Pleasant to address errors ahead of second leg
In this May 2022 file photo, Arnett Gardens' Ajuma Johnson (left) and Mount Pleasant's Daniel Green battle for possession of the ball during a Jamaica Premier League game at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in St Andrew. (Photo: Jason Tulloch)

Mount Pleasant Football Academy goalkeeping Coach Warren Barrett says while mistakes were made in their 2-2 draw with Arnett Gardens in the first leg of their Jamaica Premier League semi-finals at Sabina Park on Monday, they were minor and he expects them to be corrected for the next game.

Mount Pleasant got their goals through midfielder Leonardo Rankine, who has scored four times in his last three games, and forward Trivante Stewart but were pegged back on both occasions by Arnett striker Shai Smith and Captain Fabian Reid to keep the tie evenly poised heading into leg two on Sunday.

The team went through recovery on Tuesday and returned to training on Wednesday afternoon as they looked to correct a number of errors identified by Head Coach Theodore Whitmore and his technical staff throughout the game.

"There are just a few areas we need to work on defensively," Barrett told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday. "We have to concentrate a lot more and be aware of dangerous situations because football is a game of moments and that's the difference between good and great teams — you winning a semi-final game as opposed to losing it."

Barrett says the game started well for Mount Pleasant, especially as their opening goal came 17 minutes in, but then they allowed Arnett back into the game by giving them too much space.

"We know that even if someone is not good at football, if you give them enough space, they can hurt you. We paid dearly with their equaliser but we would've looked at some of the mistakes that we made, even those that didn't cause goals. We also have to look at our decision-making in the final third and what we need to improve on to create more goal-scoring situations for our attackers."

But Barrett was still positive about various aspects of the performance.

"We knew exactly what Arnett would have presented during the encounter, so there were no surprises," he said. "I thought we matched up well for the most part, more so probably in the last half-hour of the game. I thought we were more threatening. Both teams created goal-scoring opportunities and at the end of the day, 2-2 is a fair result."

"It's just minor details that hopefully we can fix and hopefully we'll see a much better performance on Sunday."

Barrett is aware of Arnett's threat.

"It's not gonna be easy as Arnett is a quality team," he said. "They finished on top of the table at the end of the preliminary round. But I'm not expecting anything different on Sunday. I just hope that we can be more efficient in front of goal and convert the chances when they present themselves."

Leg two kicks off at the same venue at 5 pm on Sunday. The winners will then pay attention to the following game at 8 pm to know who they meet in the grand final. That second game sees 2021 champions Cavalier, who hold a 1-0 lead from leg one, facing defending champions Harbour View.

BY RACHID PARCHMENT Digital sports coordinator

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