Thu | Sep 19, 2019

Mount Pleasant Academy chase history in Concacaf U-13 q-finals

Published:Wednesday | August 14, 2019 | 12:20 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Mount Pleasant Academy play Peruvian club Comunicaciones in their quarter-final match in the 2019 Scotia Bank Concacaf Under-13 Champions League, after a dominant group stage performance.

Coach Vanny Clarke believes they have shown their high quality in the tournament thus far and is very positive about their chances in today’s encounter, which is schedule for 12:00 p.m. local time.

The St Ann club blew through the group stage of the tournament, currently taking place in San Jose, Costa Rica, to become the first Jamaica team to advance to the play-offs in its five years of existence.

They defeated Mexican club Pioneros 3-1 in their opening game Saturday, before brushing aside Vancouver Whitecaps 5-1 the following day. In the final group game on Monday, they beat Peruvian side Universitario 3-0 to consolidate their spot.

But Clarke expects a tough game despite their impressive run of games so far.

“We play Comunicaciones in the quarter-final and they are a fast, aggressive, ball-playing team, a good team that will gives us some good competition. But one thing about our players is they rise to occasions, so we hope to continue improving and get the win. But we expect nothing less,” he said.

“I am confident we will play well, we have prepared well, and if they enjoy themselves and enjoy the game and play to their strength, we will see where it takes them, but we want to be in the final four,” he insisted.

He said qualifying for the quarter-final was a monumental achievement and making the semis would mean the world to the club.

“Just to qualify a team from little Jamaica for this tournamwent is a big acheivement. No team from Jamaica has ever qualified for the quarter-final, so this is a monumental achievement,” he said.

Dominant display

“We played the Vancouver Whitecaps, which is a well-known team to us, and we triumphed 5-1 and were totally dominant. We then played a team from Panama and we were ruthless and dominant. We are also the only team in the tournament to score three or more goals every game, so we had a dominant group stage performance and we just want to build on that. We want to make history and they have gone out and done that. Now we have the quarter-final and we will be up against a very good team, but we are looking forward to it. We expect to put on a good performance and we expect a good result.

“It would mean the world (to advance to the semis), as it would further promote the Mount Pleasant brand. It would be a big deal for us, as more established teams have not made it this far, much less the semi-finals,” he said.