Harbour View hold off plucky Lions, advance to last four
When Christojaye Daley’s 10th-minute strike put Harbour View 1-0 up in their Jamaica Premier League (JPL) second-leg quarterfinal tie at Sabina Park yesterday to put his team 3-0 ahead on aggregate, many thought the tie was already decided as they could see no way back for the Clarendon-based Humble Lion.
However, the Lions roared back with goals from Andre Clennon, Rushane Sharpe and Javon Smith to take a 3-1 lead in the match and a 3-3 tie on aggregate.
However, Harbour View responded well and in the 78th minute, captain Ryan Wellington headed home from a corner to book a date with Cavalier in the semifinals.
“The players gave a good effort and you have to give them credit. Everybody thought the tie was done and dusted, but even with Harbour View scoring early we still didn’t give up. At halftime we told them they were still in the game and to keep trying and they came up trumps in the second half and equalised,” said Humble Lion coach Andrew Price.
“We wanted to carry the game into added time but we lost concentration on a corner kick and allowed them to score. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. But I have to give the team credit, they fought hard and showed they can compete with the best.”
Humble Lion started purposefully and had a great chance in the first minute. Harbour View, however, took the lead after only 10 minutes when Daley tapped home a low cross at the back post.
Nevertheless, Humble Lion kept moving forward but found their opponents strong in defence while dangerous on the counter.
Humble Lion’s dogged effort eventually reaped some reward when Clennon rose to head home from a corner in first-half added time.
In the second half, Harbour View were content to stay behind the ball and hit on the counter but Humble Lion made them pay for that strategy as in the 57th minute Sharpe fired home a beauty off the inside of the far post to cut the deficit to one (3-2).
The Clarendon team then drew level on aggregate in the 65th minute when Javon Smith headed into an unguarded net.
Colorado Murray then came close to restoring Harbour View’s lead but his header went just wide.
However, moments later captain Wellington rose to the occasion 12 minutes from full-time to put the defending champions back in front 4-3 on aggregate, and they held out to the end.
“We definitely made it difficult for ourselves,” Harbour View coach Ludlow Bernard said.
“Bottom line, poor defending and a lot of indiscipline in certain aspects of the game.
“Had we kept the ball more, we could have made a bit more inroads in the Humble Lion area. They gave as good as they got but I don’t think we closed them down sufficiently enough on the flanks, and it took a set piece, from which we have been very productive all season, to break the tie,” he said.