Our opening game was not our best performance as the Honduras National Team playing as club “La Ceiba FC” started better to dominate the early proceedings but could not score as HVFC took long to find their combinations.
Two close escapes against the Central Americans to a clever forelock that deflected from the crossbar to be cleared infield, then a left-sided cross was shot straight at goalkeeper Valentine, who saved cleanly.
Midway through the half the young Jamaicans found some understanding to gain a balanced flow and hit back with Kellijah Morgan shooting wide of the near post from a good build up by midfielders, Ramone “Cash” Shepherd and captain, Shawn Daley.
Jacob Lazarus delivered two accurate corners but the header from Ronoldo “Scrappy” Thoms and a shot from Raheem “Rheemie” McLean both went over the crossbar.
As the half drew closer to end 0-0 a shot from the left was saved by goalkeeper Valentine only to see the rebound blasted in from within the six yards box, to give La Ceiba the 1-0 lead at the half.
Coach, Vin Blaine reminded the team of our structure, purpose and functions to help them focus to improve performance with confidence. It worked for the first 23 minutes of positive energy but no goal to draw even meant soon the opponents would push back.
Efforts from Morgan, Thoms, McLean and Lazarus all went goalward, as Daley and Shepherd stroked passes forward. Substitute Kevar “Boysie” Martin replaced McLean and later Demarco Throne came on for leftback, Rahiem Clarke. Thorne had two sharp shots at goal within three minutes, his first blocked at the near post by their custodian the second went wide of the post from 13 yards.
The Honduranians would have the last say however as they countered well to slot home from about 10 yards and win 2-0, about seven minutes from time.
In the competition opener the much more efficient Cuban National Team outclassed the Bahamas Tottenham Hotspur’s by 8-0.
We play Team Cuba at 8pm today after Honduras takes on Bahamas at 6:30pm.