Rusea's second-round woes continue
Rusea's High School find themselves staring down the barrel of another second-round exit for the second year in a row, after suffering a 1-0 defeat to McGrath High School in the ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup at the Collin Miller Sports Complex, yesterday.
The second round has proven to be a stumbling block for the Lucea-based school, as this defeat marks their third first leg loss since the inception of the seeded round.
In 2017, when they won the title, Browns Town won the first leg 1-0 in Montego Bay before Rusea's advanced on penalty after a 1-0 win at Drax Hall. Last year, they lost 2-0 away to Mile Gully High and were eventually eliminated from the competition on away goals despite winning 3-1 at home.
McGrath took the lead yesterday just 26 seconds into the game after Lashawn Spence slot home a cross from the right side to hand the advantage to the St Catherine-based team.
At the start of the second half, the visitors could have doubled the lead when Dinnath Whittaker curled in a corner kick that bounced off both the bar and upright before going back into play.
Rusea's had their opportunities, missing a number of chances with Kenroy Campbell hitting the upright twice in seven minutes. However, the easiest chance for the hosts came in the 85th minute when Tyrique Clarke's shot at a partially empty goal went wide of the left post, after a spectacular build up play.
Rusea's coach Dwayne Ambusley, who has been a part of the coaching staff for the past three seasons for a front seat view of their second-round struggles, believe they can avoid a repeat of last year and is remaining confident in their ability to advance to the next round, despite facing a deficit heading into the away leg.
"All is not lost, we still have 90 minutes to play. We missed a lot of opportunities this afternoon. I'm disappointed yes that we lost, but we still have another 90 minutes to go," said a defiant Ambusley.
Jermaine Thomas coach of McGrath said his team was determined to head home with an advantage and that they were well aware of Rusea's issues in their first leg encounters over the past few years.
"We definitely wanted to have a go at them from early. We didn't plan on coming here to sit back, we came out attacking and got a goal. We both created chances, however, we were more clinical to convert the chance we got, hence we won the game," Thomas reasoned.
The coach said the challenge is now to ensure that his players have the right approach for Saturday's return leg.
"We definitely have to manage the second leg. We still want to be positive as it comes down to the mental state of our players. We just have to get them refocussed for the next leg on Saturday," he added.
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