Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Portmore United midfielder Ricardo Cousins says he is delighted to have scored the goal that eventually led his team to securing a 1-1 draw against Waterhouse in their Digicel Premier League clash at Drewsland on Sunday night, a result which qualified his team for Sunday's second end-of-round final.
Portmore, which ended the round with 21 points, will play first-time end-of-round final qualifiers, Sporting Central Academy, which drew 0-0 with Harbour View to finish the round on 19.
"It feels good to be the scorer of the goal that carries the team into the final," said Cousins, whose goal in the 54th minute, a beauty from approximately 40 yards out, gave Portmore the lead.
"The team needed a goal to stay alive, based on the situation, as a number of teams heading into the day's final set of matches had a chance of making the final and I am happy to be the one who delivered."
Portmore, who led the second-round standings, got off to a shaky start when their key central defender, Adrian Reid, was red-carded for a second bookable offence in the 13th minute.
This put the visitors on the back-foot and forced them to make several adjustments, changes which would eventually pay off when Cousins scored.
Picking up a ball on or about the halfway line, Cousins proceeded to spin away from three challenges and, with goalkeeper Jovell Plunkett off his line, he let fly a powerhouse which kissed the right upright on its way into the net.
The goal led to a hush across the venue, with even Waterhouse fans applauding and commenting on the beauty of goal.
Waterhouse, however, were not to be outdone, and in the 67th minute Jermaine Anderson was on the receiving end of a cross, which he chipped past advancing goalkeeper Gareece McPherson, to equalise.
"It's good to be in the final and we plan to use it as a stepping stone, as the Premier League title is our ultimate aim," said Cousins.
"We will be going into the final confident that we will be able to pull it off, as we have been playing some good football this month and the team is hungry for success," he added.
Waterhouse's coach, Baris Johnson, said Portmore did well with reduced numbers.
"It was a fairly competitive game. We tried for three points, but in the end Portmore played well with 10 men," he said.
"We just have to now turn our attention to the third round, where, if we want to win the cham-pionship, we will have to step up our performances."