André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Tivoli Gardens extended their unbeaten streak to six, while Portmore United are close to giving up the ghost - languishing 12 points behind runaway Red Stripe Premier League leaders Harbour View - after yesterday evening's contest at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex.
Defender Ranike Anderson popped up in the 70th minute to tap into an empty net after Portmore United goalkeeper Kemar Foster failed to deal with a deep left-sided cross.
"It's a great feeling for me as a defender to score two goals with many games left in the season," said Anderson after the game.
In the all-important race for top-six security, the results send Tivoli Gardens in fifth place on 42 points, with the round set to be continued later today, while Portmore United remain on 48, 12 behind Harbour View, who host Cavalier today.
"It's a very important victory for us and to get three points off the second-place team, I think is a very good result. They play intelligent and organised football and this shows that we are improving. Our players have been working hard since this round and I'm glad that they are getting the results," said Tivoli's assistant coach, Alvin Shaw.
"Our short-term goal was to get in the top six, I'm hoping that this result will place us fifth or sixth, based on the results tomorrow (today)," he added.
However, for returning Portmore United coach Lival Dixon, who witnessed an 82nd minute dismissal of captain Damian Williams for a second yellow card, the result was aided by poor refereeing.
"Very physical game and I don't think Tivoli Gardens came here to play, but we were aware that's how they play at home. My disappointment is that the officials allowed so many things to get away today and that dampened the spirit of the game," Dixon complained.
Displeasure aside, the former national defender is adamant that the defending champions are still in with a shot at the title.
"It hurt us and cost us the game, but we have to move on. We will never concede, we have eight games to play. This sets us back, but we know that we have to do what we have to do as a team and we will try again on Sunday," Dixon said.
Tivoli Gardens 1, Portmore United 0
Savannah 1, Highgate 2
Humble Lion 0, Boys' Town 1
Arnett Gardens vs Sporting Central at Anthony Spaulding Complex (6 p.m.)
Harbour View vs Cavalier at Harbour View Stadium (7 p.m.)Montego Bay vs Waterhouse at CAtherine Hall (7 p.m.)