Win or go home! - Cavalier ready for Prison Oval battle with Portmore
Portmore United are one step away from a spot in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) for the third consecutive final when they face off against Cavalier SC in the decisive second leg at Spanish Town Prison Oval tomorrow, starting at 3 p.m.
Both teams battled to a 0-0 draw in the first leg last Sunday at Stadium East. Now, it is win or go home.
Portmore got away in the first game as Cavalier got some good chances and hit the post late in the match. The Portmore team ended with 10 players as central defender Andre Dyce picked up two yellow cards and was ejected in the 70th minute.
The Shavar Thomas-coached side also suffered a setback when national striker Maalique Foster was injured and replaced in the second half. He is doubtful for tomorrow's decider.
"We are very confident. We are the most consistent team but it just boils down to one game to decide whether we are in another Premier League final. We are banking on going out there on home turf and putting them under pressure from the start.
"Maalique will not be fully fit for the game, but we have a good group of players who have been putting in the work all season. All we need is to stay focused, and, hopefully, make it to the final," Thomas shared about the fitness of his key attacker.
Foster apart, Portmore United will be relying on their top marksman, Jovan East who is on 13 goals, the tricky Ricardo Morris, captain Ewan Grandison, defender Damano Solomon and Jermie Lynch.
Cavalier will be heading to the Prison Oval for the first time this season. In four previous games between the teams, the first was played at Arnett Gardens' Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, while the last three were played at Stadium East.
"I don't know if it will matter much that we have to know the surface. Once the pitch is in reasonable condition it should not be an issue. It is a decisive game to determine which team advance to the final," Cavalier's assistant coach, David Laylor, said.
"The team is rearing to go. They are a young bunch and full of a lot of enthusiasm and willing to showcase their talent. They have showed maturity during the season and really believe they can go all the way," he pointed out.
Cavalier have several schoolboys in their line-up, including striker Nicque Daley, central defenders Jamoi Topey and Clifton Woodbine, alongside captain Chevone 'Messi' Marsh, Paul 'Keke' Wilson, Alex Marshall and Nicholas Hamilton.
The winner on aggregate will move on to the final set for Monday, April 23, against either reigning champions Arnett Gardens or Waterhouse FC. Those teams play their second leg semi-final at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday evening at 8:35.