Humble Lion hunt Tivoli scalp
With three rounds remaining in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) preliminary stage, the battle for-top-six qualification spots is at an interesting point.
Tomorrow's fixtures are crucial for those teams fighting for the other five available spots. Portmore United have already captured the $1 million bounty for the team who finish on the most points. That means that nine other clubs are gunning for five spots.
At the other end of the table, Sandals South Coast and Boys' Town are already relegated to parish football next season.
Tivoli Gardens, who are in third position on 46 points, will face eighth-place Humble Lion (39) in a big game at Effortville Community Centre in Clarendon at 3 p.m.
A win for Tivoli could push them into the play-offs for the championship title.
Coach of Tivoli's senior men's team Omar Edwards says that it will be a tough fixture playing away to Humble Lion.
"They (Humble Lion) will be at home, very passionate, very hungry going for three points in their backyard. We are Tivoli and going there for a positive result," Edwards told STAR Sports during the RSPL weekly press conference at the Jamaica Football Federation headquarters on Thursday.
"We are a team with big ambitions. Arnett Gardens are in second place, and that is the place we want to finish the preliminary stage in. We know that it won't be an easy task. We will take it one game at a time," he said.
Tivoli will rely on veteran Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson, captain Romaine Brackenridge, Barrington Pryce, Elton Thompson, Junior McGregor, and Andre Moulton.
Humble Lion head coach Merron Gordon is fully aware that his team must continue on their winning streak in order to make the top six.
"It is definitely a must-win game for us this Sunday against Tivoli based on where we are in the table. The teams that are fighting for top-six play-off spots will be playing against each other," Gordon, who replaced Lennie Hyde last November as head coach, told STAR Sports.
"Portmore and Arnett are playing each other on Monday. While Portmore are safe, Arnett are almost there," he said.
"Our chances are good as any. The last time we played Tivoli, we won 1-0, so that serves as a boost for us. However, that is history, but we have to just build on the current form, and, hopefully, we can come away with full points," Gordon added.
Humble Lion are on a roll having won their last fixtures against Harbour View, Cavalier, and Sandals South Coast. Captain Andrew Vanzie and prolific striker Craig Foster have done the bulk of the scoring in those games. They should get support from goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett, Rafe Wolfe, and his brother Wolry.
- 3:30 p.m. - Boys' Town vs Sandals South Coast at Barbican Complex
- 3:30 p.m. - FC Reno vs Harbour View at Frome Complex
- 3:30 p.m. - Humble Lion vs Tivoli Gardens at Effortville Community Centre
- 3:30 p.m. - UWI FC vs Cavalier SC at UWI Bowl, Mona
- 3:30 p.m. - Waterhouse vs Montego Bay United at Drewsland Stadium
- 8:35 p.m. - Arnett Gardens vs Portmore United at the Anthony Spaulding Complex
Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Portmore 30 19 5 6 57 21 36 62
Arnett 30 11 15 4 51 35 16 48
Tivoli 30 13 7 10 33 25 8 46
Cavalier 30 11 11 8 34 30 4 44
Waterhouse 30 10 14 6 27 29 -2 44
H View 30 12 6 12 25 22 3 42
MBU 30 10 11 9 31 32 -1 41
H Lion 30 9 12 9 32 28 4 39
UWI FC 30 10 9 11 34 35 -1 39
FC Reno 30 9 12 9 24 26 -2 39
Sandals 30 4 7 19 19 53 -34 19
Boys' Town 30 3 9 18 21 52 -31 18