KSAFA All-Stars clip Portland Blazers 1-0
Clarendon Galaxy, St Ann Giants, Westmoreland Warriors, St Thomas Cobras also score win in opening round
KINGSTON and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) All-Stars made a winning start in the 2017 Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)/SportsMax Under-18 Elite League competition, scoring a 1-0 win over Portland Blazers at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex yesterday.
The lone goal of the game was scored by Tyreke Magee in the 67th minute.
Winning coach of KSAFA All-Stars team Raymond Watson said that though the goal came so late after many chances created were not put away, he was happy for the win along with the three points.
“I had to make some adjustments in the second half as we were playing too easy against Portland Blazers, as we needed to put more pressure on them. The players, however, created more scoring opportunities in second half, but failed to turn them into goals,” Watson said.
He said the competition is an excellent one and a great idea from the organisers, but he would have preferred either an Under-17 or Under-16 competition. “It should have been a developing process for much younger players.”
Meanwhile, KSAFA All-Stars had the better of the Blazers in the first half and wasted two good scoring chances to take the lead from inside the penalty box where Ryan Brown’s shot went over the cross bar, followed by Mark Goldson’s header that went wide.
The Blazers countered KSAFA All-Stars, especially through Javoy Belnavis in the midfield position, but their attacks were intercepted and cleared by their opposing defenders. The Blazers looked dangerous in spells, but could not score.
In the second half KSAFA All-Stars continued to dominate their opponents by producing more attacks on goal but could not get the ball past goalkeeper Javanie Taylor.
The easiest of chances came for KSAFA All-Stars when a pass played between the Blazers’ defenders was intercepted by Brown as goalkeeper Taylor advanced from his line. Instead of collecting the ball, Taylor tried to retreat into position, but Brown, who had the goal at his mercy, pushed wide of target.
KSAFA All-Stars finally got the goal from a brilliant free-kick on the right flank just outside the penalty box. The left-footed midfielder Magee unleashed a curving shot to the right-hand corner of the goal which deflected off goalkeeper Taylor’s fingers and inside the side netting.
Many scoring opportunities were squandered by KSAFA All-Stars late on that could have resulted in a much wider margin of victory, as they applied the pressure for more goals, but the Blazers defended stubbornly.
In the second game at the Anthony Spaulding Sport Complex, St Thomas Cobras blanked St Mary Raiders 3-0 with Tajhay Williams scoring in the eighth and 39th minutes and Christopher Bedward sealing the deal in the 85th minute.
In other games, Clarendon Galaxy clipped Trelawny Barons 3-2 with two goals from Creagton Charlton in the 50th and 68th minutes, along with Kwesi Watts’s opener in the 12th minute. Kemar Newman in the 37th (penalty) and 44th minutes replied for Trelawny Barons.
St Ann Giants edged St Catherine Saints 2-1 through two goals from Vahsean McBean in the 28th and 44th minutes, while Ryan Smart got the losers’ consolation in the 14th minute.
Westmoreland Warriors beat St Elizabeth Tigers 3-2 with goals from Donovan Brown in the 25th, Alvarez Cooper in the 37th and Javed Richardson in the 58th minutes, while Shandea Brooks in the third and Quaten Darien in the 79th minutes scored for St Elizabeth Tigers.
St James United and Manchester Lions played to a 2-2 draw. Scoring for St James was Calvin Gardener with two goals in the 25th (penalty) and 84th minutes, while Manchester’s scorers were Tahja Reynolds in the fifth (penalty) and Nicholas Collins in the 67th minutes.