Mon | May 22, 2017

Portmore back among the elite

Published:Monday | June 15, 2015 | 6:00 AMLivingston Scott
Portmore's coach, Linval Dixon.

Portmore United are back in the Red Stripe Premier League.

Yesterday, they played to a 0-0 draw with University of the West Indies (UWI) in their penultimate Premier League play-off match at Prison Oval on Sunday to climb to an unassailable 11 points, four clear of their nearest challengers with just one game to go.

It was a far-from-spectacular performance from the former Premier League winners, but for coach Linval Dixon, the most important thing was getting the point and the result they needed to get back into the nation's top football tournament.

"The whole occasion got to us; we weren't playing the sort of football we wanted to. We tried to play for the most part, but it never worked out. But we got the one point that we needed to be in the Premier League.

We would have loved the win today, but one point is satisfying for us, and we are back in the big time," he said.

Portmore did all of the early running and had the better opening of a cagey first-half, but their front players lacked composure in the final third.

After the break, Portmore continued to dominate possession, but the better chances fell to UWI, with AndrÈ Bernard getting a trio of chances, none of which he could take advantage of.

Portmore also created good openings but just could not find that bit of quality in and around the area. Their best player, Paul Wilson, nearly grabbed the winner at the end, but the goalkeeper was equal to his curling shot from the edge of the area.

improving their game

Dixon admitted that they will need to strengthen for the Premier League next season, but says this does not necessarily mean recruiting former players.

"That's the management's call (recruiting players), but we know we will have to improve our game," he said.

Meanwhile, UWI stayed second on eight points, and coach Marcel Gayle described the result as "morale boosting", and says the group is confident of going on to make history. However, York United moved within a point of the corporate area side after Savannah (one point) failed to show for their match.