MONTEGO BAY, St James — FLANKER FC and Cambridge FC are on the verge of confirming their place in the final of the St James Football Association/Sandals Resorts International Major League as they take one-goal leads into today's return leg semi-finals against Granville United and Reggae Youths, respectively.
In last weekend's first-leg semi-final games, Flanker FC held off Granville United 2-1 at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College despite playing with 10 men from the 16th minute, while Cambridge FC upset Reggae Youths 3-2 as Wade Daley scored a hat-trick.
Today, Flanker FC will host Granville United at Flanker, while Cambridge FC and Reggae Youths will meet at the UDC field. Both games are set to kick off at 3:00 pm.
The winners on aggregate will meet in the final set for February 4 at Wespow Park. The winner will qualify for the play-offs for the Jamaica Football Federation Tier II competition.
Draws in both games would favour the leaders but it's expected that neither Granville United nor Reggae Youths will roll over today and will instead take the game to their opponents. An early goal in either game could make a big difference.
Flanker FC will have to do without Kamana Christie who was sent off after a savage tackle on Odean Snow on Saturday, but they will have home field advantage and will be hoping that Denri Williams will be able to pick up where he left off on Saturday when he scored twice in the first 24 minutes.
Williams has scored six goals in the season and Flanker FC will be able to line up Danique Clarke and Tevin Fuller who have also scored six goals.
If Granville United are to snap a three-game losing skid to Flanker FC this season Andre Tate, who also has six goals, Snow and Andrew Allen must step up today for Granville United to overturn the first-leg results and advance to the final.
At the UDC field Reggae Youths, seen by many as the favourites to win the title, will have to dig themselves out of a hole after giving up the lead twice and being beaten 3-2 by Cambridge FC in Sunday's first leg.
Cambridge FC will be flying high, however, as Sunday's win was their second against Reggae Youths in the last two weeks, coming from behind in both games and dominating the second half on Sunday after a lacklustre first half.
Daley, who had scored two goals for Heights FC in the first round before transferring to Cambridge FC in the January period, will carry the weight of expectations for his team and their fans after his hat-trick on Sunday but Davian McLean and Rajay Sinclair could also feature.
Reggae Youths have been able to shake off setbacks so far and if they are to rally from Sunday's defeat then Thomas Scott, who has eight goals, Shadane Blagrove and Denardo Kerr are the players who will be depended on to take the fight to Cambridge FC.
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