Arnett Gardens' Harris strengthens case for Reggae Boyz selection
Midfielder Vishinul Harris on Monday night knocked even harder on the door to a Reggae Boyz invite with another fine display as he spurred defending champions Arnett Gardens to a 2-1 win over leaders Portmore United in the Red Stripe Premier League.
The 22-year-old could not have chosen a better stage than in front of a capacity crowd with national coach Winfried Sch‰fer in attendance. Blessed with the languid movement, deceptive skill of former national player and coach Theodore Whitmore at his best, Harris glided through opposition defenders at will and sprayed passes long and short, almost to perfection. The only 'negatives' displayed by Harris was a tendency to hold on to the ball a little bit too much, which contributed to his failure to score.
For Harris, though, the important thing was getting the three points for his team.
THREE POINT AIM
"The three points are what we wanted. That was the aim before this match started, to get the three points, and we are happy that we got them," the national Under-23 player said.
The win pushed Arnett Gardens to 42 points, just one below Portmore United.
Both of Arnett Gardens' goals resulted from Harris assists. In the ninth minute, he made a slide rule pass to Leon Strickland, who collected with his back to goal, spun around and steered to the opposite corner from where goalkeeper Shaven-Sean Paul was rooted.
For the second goal, which came in the 42nd minute from the boot of Newton Sterling, Harris found him with a long pass - which he collected while off balance - and managed to get the shot off while going down.
Jovan East scored a beauty for Portmore United in the 48th minute to give them more belief, as Arnett Gardens hung on for the win.
"The main thing in the camp right now is to push for another title and this win will help us as we are just a point behind Portmore now. We normally gel properly in about December so we are in a good spot to make a run now," admitted Harris of his team's standing.
His own performance, he said, could have been better.
"It was a good performance, but not for me, enuh. But I should have killed off the game before it got to stoppage time, and I am a bit disappointed with that," said Harris, who failed to score after cutting through the backline and dismissing 'keeper Paul, but hesitated in firing and had his eventual cutback blocked.
The former Charlie Smith High School player said he was denied a clear foul in the dying minutes when he was cut down just outside the 18-yard box.
"Actually, it was a foul. It was definitely a foul. My feet were hurting me, but I had to keep on pushing," he said.
Despite not adding to his goal tally, Harris said he showed national coach Sch‰fer enough to convince him that he deserves a look.
"I think I would have shown him some of the things that I can do. Actually, I was the MVP for the game, so definitely I was the player for the night," he said confidently.
Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Portmore 22 13 4 5 27 17 10 43
Arnett G 22 13 3 6 34 19 15 42
MoBay U 22 11 8 3 34 13 21 41
Humble L 22 8 8 6 18 17 1 32
H View 22 7 9 6 23 22 1 30
UWI FC 22 8 6 8 24 29 -5 30
Cavalier 22 7 6 9 18 21 -3 27
Boys' T 22 7 6 9 23 30 -7 27
Reno 22 5 9 8 20 30 -10 24
W house 22 4 8 10 20 28 -8 20
Tivoli G 21 5 4 12 23 30 -7 19
Rivoli U 21 4 7 10 20 28 -8 19