BATTLE LINES DRAWN
Tivoli, Cavalier seek first-leg advantage in JPL semi-final clashSaturday, September 25, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Tivoli Gardens Football Club and Cavalier Football Club will face each other in the first of two semi-finals of the Jamaica Premier League at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence today starting at 12:00 noon.
This semi-final match-up promises to be exciting as both teams seek to get the better of the other.
When the teams met earlier this season there was nothing to separate them as the game ended 1-1 with goals coming from Shaniel Thomas for Cavalier and Dervoy Grey for Tivoli Gardens.
Neither striker has been on the scoresheet recently but their respective teams will be looking to them to rediscover their form in front of goal at this critical stage of the season.
Tivoli Gardens had to play two gruelling quarter-final games against a very determined Vere United team, drawing the first 0-0 a week ago before winning comfortably 4-0 on Wednesday.
Fatigue may play a factor for Tivoli Gardens, especially having played the early game in the midday heat, three days ago.
Technical Director Glendon “Admiral” Bailey promised to focus on recovery of the players which is very important at this stage of the season when the players have had no rest.
Cavalier have not kicked a ball in earnest in the last two weeks, rest that was greatly appreciated by Technical Director Rudolph Speid at the end of the regular season when they finished second and advanced directly to the semi-finals.
Ronaldo Webster has been one of the most important players for Cavalier this season and having missed the last two regular season games through injury, will be one the players most grateful for the rest.
Thomas, Dwayne Atkinson and the rest of the attacking players would have been working on their finishing during the break in order to gain the advantage from the first leg of the semi-finals.
Tivoli Gardens have kept clean sheets in their last two games and welcomed the return of two senior strikers, Stephen Barnett and Trayvone Reid, who have scored three goals in three games between them.
They have been improving steadily as the season has gone on and should fancy their chances of getting the better of Cavalier over two legs.
Fans can expect lots of attacking play and goals from this game.
Regular season champions Waterhouse Football Club will face Mount Pleasant Football Academy in the second semi-final which begins at 2:30 pm.