Portmore ready for Premier League playoffs
Portmore United's coach, Linval Dixon, says he anticipates a very difficult South Central Confederation Premier League play-off but insisted that they are prepared for any challenge after his team defeated Tru-Juice 4-2 on penalties to take the St Catherine Major League title at Spanish Town Prison Oval on Friday.
"We set out from day one with what we want to achieve, and we wanted to win the Major League. We know in the Confed (play-offs) it's going to be tough and especially more so if we pass that stage to the Premier League play-offs," he said.
"But we are going to be ready, so the harder they come, we will have to go harder and tougher, and I believe we demonstrated that (in final). So, today, it's just a part of the plan gone through, so we will plan for the rest of it and prepare ourselves," he added.
Portmore beat Tru-Juice twice in the regular season and many expected the final to be a walkover, but it was anything but that as they were made to sweat despite being the better team.
When regulation and extra-time failed to separate the teams, it came down to the dreaded penalty kicks, and Hughan Grandison, Cleon Pryce, Paul Wilson and Stephen Williams were all perfect from the spot for Portmore.
Dixon had expected a difficult game but said Friday's success proved they are mentally a very tough side.
"Every time you are in a final, it's going to be tough. We beat them twice in the season and we expected a tough challenge, and they really gave us one, but thank God, we made it at the end," he said.
Portmore found the net twice in the 90 minutes, but both efforts were ruled offside.
Meanwhile, Federal United returned to the top flight of St Catherine football with a 2-0 win over Dunbeholden in the Division One final.
Dunbeholden wasted some great chances and it came back to haunt them when Barrington Planter scored a penalty on 59 minutes before the team's talisman, Alanzo Brown, fired home spectacularly in the 79th.
"We knew how they (Dunbeholden) play, but we were also very disciplined tactically and we kept our shape for long periods, and it worked out for us perfectly," he summarised.
Both Federal and Dunbeholden advanced to next season's Major League.