Cayman Semi-finals: HVFC vs DC United (USA)

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.