Portmore take RSPL lead
Just over a week after reclaiming the top spot in the Red Stripe Premier League, Humble Lion surrendered their place at the summit to Portmore United, who clipped former leaders University of West Indies (UWI) 1-0 at UWI Bowl.
Humble Lion fell 1-0 to Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Complex in their final match of the first round.
Elton Thompson netted his fourth goal in five games for the west Kingston team, which ended the round in sixth placed on 17 points.
Portmore sit atop the standings with 21 points, followed by Humble Lion and UWI with 20. Mobay and Arnett are next with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
At the Edward Seaga Complex, Thompson's well-placed shot after 34 minutes from the edge of the area gave the host a much deserved first half lead after they had the better of their opponents.
Thompson, who missed the first seven games of the round through injury, was happy to continue his good scoring form and help his team secure three more valuable points and noted that he never has any doubts when playing against Humble Lion as he has always done well against them.
"I had the confidence because anytime I play against Humble Lion, I never lose. I made my debut against them and I scored on my debut against them, so when I play Humble Lion, I am always fully confident that I can do it," he said.
"I am looking forward to the second round. I intend to start off hard. I want more goals to lift Tivoli, that's the aim. In the first round, we had some ups and downs, but we catch our groove and we have bounced back, and now we are heading forward straight to the top, and I am aiming high this season. I am looking forward to the 20 goal mark," he said.
Tivoli controlled the first-half but the visitors were solid in defence and dealt with the hosts' forays forward. But just past the half-hour mark, Thompson turned his marker on top of the box and beat Sanchez Lloyd with a weak but well-placed shot inside the post. The visitors spent most of the period in defence and were hardly threatening going forward.
After the break, both teams created good chances to score. Hugh Howell had the best chance two minutes after the break, but headed wide. Thompson could have also had a hattrick, but wasted two great chances after being set up by former national player Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson.
Humble Lion coach Donovan Duckie was fuming after the game, blasting his players for not being mentally tough enough.
"We are having some psychological problems. This would be the third time that we are leading the League since I have been here and we just can't handle it. I think we have a lot of mental work to do," he told The Gleaner.
Tivoli manager, Brian Rose, said the team wanted to rebound from Boys' Town's defeat and the team dug deep for the win.
"After we lost to Boys' Town, we said we were not going to take it like that, we dug deep and it paid off. We scored in the 34th minute and we held out and got the one-nil victory, which I think we deserved more than Humble Lion," he commented.
Meanwhile, all six games in the round ended 1-0. In other matches, Mobay handed Jamalco their fifth straight loss, Arnett Gardens edged Boys' Town in the Trench Town derby and Harbour View got the better of Maverley/Hughenden, while Reno turned back Waterhouse at Frome.