Rusea’s seal date with Cornwall College in ISSA/FLOW Super Cup
Rusea's High on Saturday joined St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Clarendon College, and their old nemesis, Cornwall College, as rural area schools to make the quarter-final round of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-FLOW Super Cup after a commanding 3-0 win over Haile Selassie High in the feature game of the Montego Bay Sports Complex double-header.
In the early fixture, STETHS had to come from behind three separate times to put away a spirited Holy Trinity 4-3 to advance.
A Rusea's versus Cornwall College game has been on the lips of diehard schoolboy football fans this side of the island for some time now. It has been over a decade since the last time these two most successful rural area schools met.
STETHS, meanwhile, will be looking to stave off Bridgeport High in their quarter-final clash, while Clarendon College tackle high-flying Excelsior High and Kingston College meet Wolmer's Boys' in the other matchups for a place in the semis.
Rusea's made a blistering start against Haile Selassie, scoring the opening goal 40 seconds into the action when Leonardo Fogarty thrashed a right-footed shot into the roof of the net.
Not long after, they doubled the score when Nazime Matahie netted in the 17th minute, with the 'Russians' looking ominous with each ensuing attack.
It got worse for Haile Selassie on the 37th minute mark as referee Danian Parchment pointed to the spot when a defender brought down Rusea's midfielder Daniel Reid inside the area for Ronaldo Thompson to slot home to make the scoreline 3-0, effectively slamming the door shut on the Geoffrey Maxwell-coached unit.
AHEAD BY HALF-TIME
"We just had to protect the lead. By half-time, we had the game won, so there was no need to play high-octane football through to the end. I wanted to give rest to our players," said Rusea's coach Aaron Lawrence.
"I honestly expected a lot more from Haile Selassie, but even then, I thought we played a brilliant first half to move on," he said.
Haile Selassie barely had a shot on goal as Rusea's tactics to close them down early paid off.
However, Coach Maxwell placed the blame for his team's loss on what he said was interference from others in how the team was made up.
"When you have too many people having a say in how the team is made up and who plays as against who does not, then it will affect the chemistry and the mindset of the players," Maxwell said.
"Tonight we saw that. We lost because the players in my mind have lost the belief. But aside from that, we have done well to get where we are in spite of the issues I mentioned," he noted.