Ottey’s stunning strike halts UWI’s charge
Montego Bay United's (MBU) enigmatic winger Alan Ottey notched his fifth goal of the season with a sumptuous second-half strike to give the defending Red Stripe Premier League champions a narrow 1-0 victory over the University of the West Indies (UWI) FC yesterday.
Playing without their two preferred forwards - Dino Williams, who was serving a one match ban for card accumulation, and Corey Hylton, who is out injured - MBU wasted several chances to score, particularly in the first half.
But in a battle of the champion team versus the league leaders coming into the match, it seemed they might have had to settle for a point, until Ottey's magic shone through.
He picked up a pass laid inside, swivelled and unleashed his shot, leaving the outstanding Amal Knight beaten in the UWI goal for the game's only strike and three very important points for the champions.
They were also without their technical director Slavisa Bozicic and wing back Zvezdan Doreilovic, who are both away on family matters.
But MBU never needed them, as Ottey, Donovan Carey, Ronaldo Rodney and Jermaine Woozencroft were superb going forward.
Rodney should have scored three goals in the 18th, 27th and 30th minutes, respectively, but either fired over or straight at the UWI goalkeeper. He was later substituted in the second half.
The win was a good one for MBU, who had stumbled in the last two matches away, but playing at home in more familiar environs worked for them, with assistant coach Dillon Thelwell telling The Gleaner that he was pleased with the performance.
"This was a very good performance. There were some nervous moments, but we did the job," Thelwell said.
"Tactically, we were brilliant against this UWI team, who we knew would be coming at us. They wanted to stay atop the standings and we needed to get closer to the top. It was a hard game, but we are delighted with the win," Thelwell reasoned.
Marcel Gayle, UWI's coach said his team was unfortunate to concede so late into the game, but warned they will be come back after a two-week break stronger.
"We lost, but we are not down-hearted; we gave a go. We never looked like scoring and had the misfortune of conceding, but we will be stronger for this defeat," he said.
Ottey's goal was on the cards as he flashed a header just over the crossbar in the 37th minute and before that had a powerful shot blocked by a defender.
"I told myself that I needed to score. It was up to me to score and I am happy with the goal. It was beautiful," said Ottey, who also has four assist, on the season.