Sports

Portmore United's CONCACAF League campaign ends in penalty shoot-out loss

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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After battling to a 1-1 aggregate score over 180 minutes, Portmore United fell 4-5 on penalties to Panamanian Apertura outfit CD Plaza Amador in Scotiabank CONCACAF League action last Wednesday in Panama City.

Portmore United won the first leg fixture 1-0 inside the National Stadium in Kingston before travelling to Panama to contest the second leg. There they were beaten 0-1 inside the Estadio Rommel Fernandez by a 75th-minute goal from Valentin Pimentel, which brought the tie level on aggregate.

The competition at this stage does not use the extra-time rule and the contest went directly to the penalty shoot-out. Captain and Jamaican international Ewan Grandison stepped up first, but his penalty was saved by Panamanian national call-up, goalkeeper Eric Hughes. The miss proved crucial as the Panamanian team was perfect from the spot with Hughes stepping up to convert the fifth and deciding penalty himself. The other kickers for Portmore were Damion Binns, Stephen Williams, Andre Dyce and Ricardo Morris.

Head coach Shavar Thomas was pleased with the performance of his players despite the penalty shoot-out loss.

“The team played a great game defensively. We had one lapse in the final third and at this level any lapse in concentration is punished, as was the case with the equalising goal CD Plaza scored tonight. That said, we still had a chance to win it but it wasn't our night; they scored five penalties and we scored four that was the difference,” said Thomas.

“This is still the pre-season for us, but we are not making any excuses. We had enough time and we prepared very well for the game and the performance of the guys shows that. We fought hard for 180 minutes in the two legs. I am proud of the effort we gave; at no time was that in question throughout the two legs,” Thomas added.

Portmore United will now shift their focus to the start of the National Premier League, slated to begin September 3, and have already focused their sights on a return to the CONCACAF club competitions level.

“Now we turn our focus on preparing for the start of the National Premier League so we can hopefully go one better than we did last season, and we definitely will be back at the CONCACAF level soon as we are already qualified for the next Caribbean Football Union (CFU) tournament,” Thomas concluded.

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