'A dream come true' - Calabar standout thrilled after Walker Cup PK win
Calabar High school's head coach, Lijyasu Simms, said that his players decided that their schoolboy football season would not have ended yesterday and came all out to win their ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup quarter-final clash against Bridgeport High.
The Red Hills Road-based boys defeated their Portmore rivals 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out decider at Constant Spring Sports Complex after the teams battled to a 0-0 regular and extra-time scoreline.
However, Calabar's goalkeeper Deandre McCoy came up with two saves from what were really poor kicks, to help his team into the semi-finals.
"We all sat and talked as a team. I told the boys that it is up to them as the match was a decider whether we continue the season or not. It was in their hands to decide whether we continue to play schoolboy football (for the season), or we call it a season today. They all came together and said 'coach we are going to continue playing schoolboy football'," Simms said following the victory that also sent Calabar into the FLOW Super Cup for the first time.
PUTTING CALABAR ON TOP
"It wasn't pretty, but it was one of those games that we had to dig in and it played dividends at the end. As I said before, this is a building process for Calabar. I was there in the glory days, and I am back now to put Calabar where they belong at the top in schoolboy football," he shared.
Calabar's goalkeeper, DeAndre McCoy, who was the hero, said he was always confident during the shootout.
"This has been my dream. I told my coach to let us practise some penalties. I told my team-mates that I would come out and do it for them. It is a good feeling to be in the Walker Cup semi-finals and also the Super Cup. I am very confident going forward," McCoy shared.
Losing coach, Garnet Lawrence, pointed to faulty finishing for his team's loss.
"It is a tough loss, we give God thanks anyway. It is never easy to lose on penalties. We fought hard, dug deep, we tried, and we can't complain. I am disappointed about the faulty finishing, but they are kids and should be allowed to grow," Lawrence said.
Calabar will face Jamaica College in the first of the Walker Cup semi-finals at Stadium East, starting at 2 p.m., before Kingston College meet St Andrew Technical High at 4 p.m.
Both winners will meet in the final on Tuesday at the National Stadium, at 5 p.m.