Benbow excites, but Waterhouse fall short
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Waterhouse FC's chances of qualifying for the next stage in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) virtually ended with a 2-1 defeat to Major League Soccer (MLS) club DC United at the National Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Waterhouse team fought gallantly but in the end suffered a second loss to DC United in Zone Four of the group stage. Waterhouse and DC are now locked on six points apiece. The teams also have similar goal difference, even though Waterhouse have scored more goals.
However, DC United holds the advantage as Waterhouse have finished their fixtures, while DC United have two games remaining against Panama's Tauro, the other team in the group.
Tauro lost twice to Waterhouse and are yet to get off the mark.
In Tuesday's match, DC United shot into a 2-0 lead courtesy of a brace by captain Fabian Espindola in the 42nd and 51st minutes. Hughan Gray gave Waterhouse hope when he netted in the 71st minute.
Former national youth player and St George's College Manning Cup star, Cardel Benbow, in his first match for Waterhouse, shone bright with his dribbling skills and passes.
Benbow was pleased about his Waterhouse debut in a big CONCACAF Champions League game.
"It is a great feeling and I thank God for the strength to play the game," Benbow told The Gleaner.
"It was a good game. However, we created many chances, but only put away one and lost the game. Now, we have to move on to the Premier League," he added.
"I aim to continue working hard in training. I told myself that I just didn't want to be in the squad, but play, and the coach saw the confidence in me. I got the opportunity and went out there and did my best," he said.
"At Waterhouse, it is a great vibe. It is like being at St George's. We have many quality players in the team," he disclosed.
"My aim is to get fit as with my small size it is important to be fit. I am also working towards getting an overseas professional contract, as well as selection to the national Under-20, Under-23 and senior teams," Benbow continued.
Waterhouse's coach, Anthony Patrick, says the 19-year-old was the best player in the game.
"He (Benbow) was the best player on the pitch. He ran out of his clothes. Just seeing him after the game, he was tired," Patrick told The Gleaner.
"As I said before, as a coach who coached at the schoolboy level, I'm not afraid to play youngsters. What I saw of him in training, he was outstanding. I needed someone to dribble and he was the choice. Before the game, I spoke with Cardel and gave him some tips," Patrick noted.
Meanwhile, the coach of DC United, Ben Olsen, said it was a tough game.
"It was a tough game. It was a physical game against Waterhouse. They pressed us, but we made our shots count," he noted.
"The job is not yet over as we need a point in two games against Tauro. We respect Tauro very much," Olsen said.