Waite anticipates tough Humble Lion semifinal
Coach of Arnett Gardens, Jerome 'Jerry' Waite, said that he is anticipating a tough match-up against regular season champions Humble Lion when the teams meet in their upcoming Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) two-leg semifinal tie later this month.
Arnett Gardens advanced to the last four stages of the nation's top-flight league following a 3-2 aggregate victory against last season's champions Montego Bay United after taking the second leg in Montego Bay 2-1 on Monday night, after the first game ended 1-1 a week earlier at the Anthony Spaulding Complex.
"It will always be a good game," Waite said about facing Humble Lion. "One thing we know is that Humble Lion is the best defensive team, while Arnett is the best offensive team, so it could be a tactical contest."
During the preliminary stage, Humble Lion won twice and lost the other fixture against Arnett Gardens.
However, Waite warned that this time around, Humble Lion will face a different Arnett line-up. "The team is different as the senior players are back and fitting in the system," he disclosed.
Looking back at the quarter-final victory against a MoBay team that was previously unbeaten against Arnett Gardens this season, Waite said his team was ready when it mattered most.
"I want you to remember that in 2014-15, we did not beat them until in the final. The fact that a team continue to beat you is always added motivation when it comes to the knockout stage," Waite said.
"All we had to do is step up our intensity. It was a fair result. We missed four clear chances to put away the game in the first half. Then MoBay improved in the second half," he recounted.
Fabian Reid netted for Arnett in the 17th and 76th minute, while former Reggae Boyz striker Dino Williams scored in the 63rd minute for Montego Bay.
"Our goalkeeper Omarley Francis came up with some big saves, captain Oneil 'Bigga' Thompson was outstanding in defence and striker Fabian Reid, who scored all three goals during the tie, did well," Waite reasoned.
Arnett will tackle Humble Lion in one semi-final, while the University of the West Indies will face-off against Portmore United in the other semi-final. The Premier League Clubs Association is yet to determine the playing dates as Portmore will be involved in the Caribbean Football Union Clubs Championship this month.