Haile Selassie, JC advance to Walker Cup semis
FORMER CHAMPIONS Jamaica College and Haile Selassie High captured the last two semi-final spots in the ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup knockout competition following contrasting victories yesterday at the Constant Spring Sports Complex in St Andrew.
Haile Selassie stunned Excelsior High 6-5 on penalties after yesterday’s opening quarter-final ended 1-1 after regular and extra time.
In the feature match, JC easily got past Holy Trinity High 3-0.
In the first game, Hamish Smith put Haile Selassie ahead when he converted a wonderful free kick from 20 yards past Excelsior’s custodian Romario Palmer in the 42nd minute.
With time running out, Excelsior equalised when Cadine Graham scrambled home from close in with the teams playing injury time at the end of 90 minutes.
Earlier during the first-half Excelsior were reduced to ten players after Tyrick Sutherland was shown a red card for stomping on a Haile Selassie player.
Haile Selassie’s veteran coach, Geoffrey Maxwell, said his team played a good first half but lost their discipline in the second half.
“I think we played hot and cold. I thought Excelsior would have played a running game. The players need more teamwork and more discipline. However, we give thanks for winning the game and going into the semi-final,” Maxwell told The Sunday Gleaner.
Losing coach, Shavar Thomas said Haile Selassie were the better team for the 90 minutes of regular time.
“For 90 minutes, we were second best, but got better in extra time. We will have to go back and prepare for the FLOW Super Cup and Manning Cup competitions,” Thomas said.
In the second game, JC hardly broke a sweat in getting by Holy Trinity. The game ended as a contest in the first half.
Duhaney Williams opened the scoring for JC in the 17th minute. Holy Trinity had the chance to get the equaliser when they earned a penalty, but Jabouri Howell’s kick was saved by JC’s custodian Rajay Johnson in the 18th minute.
Former Holy Trinity player Ronaldo Brown put JC further ahead in the 20th minute and Maliek Howell sealed the deal in the 38th minute.
“It was a wonderful first-half performance by the team. We dropped the intensity in the second half as the semi-final is on Tuesday,” JC’s head coach, Miguel Coley, said.
The Walker Cup semi-finals are scheduled for Tuesday, October 18 at Constant Spring. Kingston College will face Bridgeport High in one game and first-time semifinalists Haile Selassie tackle JC in the other. Jubilant supporters congratulating Haile Selassie High’s goalkeeper Mark Williams (left) after he scored and saved a penalty kick in his team’s ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup win over Excelsior High at the Constant Spring Sports Complex yesterday.