Portmore win RSPL title after dramatic penalty shootout win
Portmore United won their sixth Red Stripe Premier League title after holding their nerves to beat Waterhouse 4-3 on penalties at the National Stadium, after both teams had played out a 0-0 scoreline in regulation and extra time.
Kemar Beckford and Carlos Barrett were the culprits for Waterhouse, missing their efforts from the spot, while Portmore’s Ewan Grandison, Roberto Johnson, Damano Solomon and Jermie Lynch all bulged the net.
Waterhouse’s shootout goal-scorers were Cardel Benbow, Allan Ottey and Tremaine Stewart.
It was a win that came after much pressure, as it was Waterhouse which dominated much of the chances created throughout the contest.
The first half of the contest left much to be desired, as both teams struggled to create any clear openings in a hard to watch opening 45 minutes.
Portmore United, however, started the contest with more purpose but failed to make the most of their positive play in the first 10 minutes of the contest, as Waterhouse slowly worked their way into the contest.
Hunting their first title since the 2005 – 2006 season, Waterhouse took control of the contest midway the first half and enjoyed the better opportunities throughout regulation time.
Saneekie Burton came close to breaking the deadlock when he met a cross flush on the volley, but his effort went straight to Portmore United goal-keeper Kemar Foster.
The Drewsland-based club again went close when a header at the back-post, which came off a deep free-kick, was saved off the line by Portmore United captain Ewan Grandison, as Waterhouse continued to threaten.
Waterhouse were again knocking at the door when Andre McFarlane could only hit the post after getting by his defender and placing the ball around the onrushing Foster in the Portmore goal.
Portmore United were on the back-foot for much of the contest but they found themselves in a good position when Javon East out-muscled his marker but could not get his shot beyond goal-keeper Diego Haughton.
Waterhouse coach Donovan Duckie said he was proud of his team’s effort.
“I thought had we held our nerves in front of goal, with a little more patience, we could have been more clinical in front of goal,” said Duckie. “We had it to win in the regular time, but we did well to bring it to the penalty shootout. We have nothing to be ashamed of and I am very proud of the guys and the effort.”
Portmore United’s Shavar Thomas said he was always confident that his team would come out on top.
“I had confidence in the work that we had done, all season they have been very consistent, we have been the most consistent team over the last three years, so we were always very confident,” said Thomas.
This was Portmore United’s third straight final, losing to Montego Bay United and Arnett Gardens on the previous two occasions.