The third place playoff game has long been one of those fixtures that can quite frankly be an exciting open encounter Continue Reading →
HVFC lose 1-2 to DC United, in a last minute heartbreaker semifinal, to an added time Free kick.
The game started fairly evenly, the black and white with red-clad, DC United moved the ball with more possession. HVFC replied with a more direct approach as Tyrese Williams and Demarco Thorne worked menacingly between the defensive lines, as Ron-jay Watson slipped behind the wingbacks teed up by passes from captain, Rojaughn Joseph, and Jahmali Miller in midfield. Solid at the back, the outstanding under-13 youngsters, Malachi Sterling and Tarick Ximines, followed the instructions of Jahdae Wright with Delroy Jones.
The DC team created a flowing attack that penetrated down the middle of the park to slip in the first goal pass the advancing goalkeeper, to score the first goal after 23 minutes, 0-1.
Accelerated ball movement from both teams marked the quality of the encounter, as the crowd inside the West Bay stadium showed their appreciation with shouts, applause and cheers.Then the hunting Jamaicans, found the opening we were searching for in the 54th minute. A 5-man passing combination from the right side through Ximines, Joseph, Miller, back to Ximines who played in Williams between both central defenders, he controlled to fire pass the custodian, 1-1. The stadium explodes in joy.
The buzz is loud and fever-pitched, both teams were going all out to score and lead, with good opportunities and emotions peaked. Crowd is loving it as DC United rings all 5 substitutions to cope as the power and strength of spirit rises. The Young “Stars of the East” pushes harder, and the stands smelled victory and encouraged us.
In extra-time we pushed forward in front of our bench, the referee deliberated and made an arguably wrong call for a throw in against us and the attack swings in DC United’s favour as the second call comes outside the area. 4 minutes of time are added, 74 now on the clock, a questionable call for infringement 21 yards out from goal. The kicker delivers a beauty of a floater, inside the top right-hand corner of the goal, as the entire USA team erupted in celebration, a burden lifted and a precious place in the final is their reward.The 4-man wall is set, keeper Darren Vallentine’s effort cannot stop the well-taken free kick, that scored in added time.
HVFC is shattered in disbelief as the long blow of the whistle hurts deeply. We are not going to the final. Devastated we regroup for the third place playoff.
Congratulations, are offered all around the stadium from just about everyone proclaimed, this is the first real test that DC United has had since they walked through Zone A, with 9 points from 3 wins. So with acceptance but very little comfort, we hold our heads high as we go to our camp at the Pavilion Agricultural Society Centre, in the Cayman islands.
The final round of games in the preliminary Group B against defending champions, the Cuban National Team. Continue Reading →
A more focused HVFC took the field, with a clear sense of purpose mixed with confidence, evident in laughter and smiles. Ron-jay Watson searched the flank as his close friend Kareem McLean drove the opposite side. In tandem, they set up marksman Demarco Thorne and hitman Tyrese Williams as both launched bombs on the St. Ann-based unit.
Mount Pleasant Academy responded with shots from distance as Pearson banged them high but goal-ward. However, it was the two young guns from the champion U13 KSAFA team, Kevaughn “Socca” Wilson and Tarick Ximines, who would unlock the defensive unit in the 16th minute from a corner kick. Wilson’s first effort was blocked as he recovered and crossed to the far post. Ximines curled and steered the ball away inside the goal to notch his first international goal. The two “Barcelona Boys” embraced in joy, 1-0. It remained a fairly even game to halftime as Thorne’s right-footer smashed against the base of the upright.
Watson had his way down the left flank. Wilson’s dead ball kicks found the header from Williams twice to be blocked, then his shot from the top of the box grazed the crossbar before Thorne again tricked a defender into grabbing him as he swivelled away to goal. Penalty converted by Watson in minute 52 to make it 2-0.
Three minutes later, Mount Pleasant won a free kick on top of the box as goalkeeper Valentine’s error to overstep saw Christopher Pearson accurately convert for a consolation goal, 2-1. Game management for the last 15 minutes had us keep the lead in place, only for Wilson’s drive to bounce off the crossbar. 3 points secured to now total 4 points.
We are currently second in our zone, tied with zone leaders and defending champions Cuba. They lead with a +2 goal difference to our +1. Mount Pleasant Academy is third on 1 point, ahead of 4th-placed San Antonio Academy also on 1 point. We need to get at least 1 point tomorrow against Cuba to secure qualification to the semifinal.
Picture (L-R): Goalscorers, Tarick Ximines and Ron-jay Watson, and voted Man of the Match, defender Jahdae Wright.
Our opening game was the second game of the night at 8pm in Group B in the Cayman Brac. Continue Reading →
Welcome to our home away from home in The Cayman Brac, as we in reside at the rustic eastern coastal resort called, La Esperanza. Continue Reading →
The experience was first-class and the lessons learnt priceless. Continue Reading →
We returned home after our long trek from Cavaion, Italy by luxury bus to Milan’s Malpensa Airport. This was 3 hours after we boarded at 5:30am from a pleasant stay at our Hotel Al Sole.
10 hours and 8620 miles after, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean to land at Miami Airport. The American Airlines flight 1082 taxied to the exclusive section, we glimpsed a Caribbean Airlines plane going in the opposite direction. Home was close as everyone is thankful for the opportunity to play in Italy but now missing home and family.
Miami airport of Immigration and Security processing was tedious at best, down right frustrating, and worse really with a group of youngsters rushing for a flight. They cannot spoil what has been a great experience however, nor the joy of getting home; these thoughts instantly removed the blur.
The last leg of under 2 hours flew by so quickly, as we were descending at Palisadoes to have bags collected and meet the smiling faces of family. Hugs, kisses, smiles of joy and longing embraces said it all. Gratitude and handshakes gave way to cars picking up group members, as plans to meet next Saturday morning at 9am are agreed after rest.
Final day at the tournament… Continue Reading →
The big day was here! The Bandalino Tournament began at the crack of dawn, as we are on time and ready to go after hearing the rules and conditions of play. Continue Reading →