Advantage Tivoli after first-leg 2-0 Lynk Cup win over Dunbeholden
TIVOLI GARDENS have not had much to cheer about this season, however, they continued their impressive run in the Lynk Cup Knockout competition with a 2-0 first-leg win over Dunbeholden at the Anthony Spaulding Complex yesterday.
Coach of Tivoli, Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson, said they were inspired by the community, which had demanded, and was long overdue, something to smile about.
Tommy Lawrence put Tivoli in front against the run of play after 39 minutes before Nickalia Fuller sealed the win with a well-taken goal in the 63rd minute.
"I am really happy about the performance. This is one of our best games," Johnson said afterwards.
"It is just the community on a whole. The people want to see something good from us, and this is where we try to do it and go back and give the community the right result," he commented.
Dunbeholden beat Tivoli 4-1 and 2-0 in their two Jamaica Premier League (JPL) games this season. Johnson noted that Dunbeholden will not accept defeat so easily and anticipates that their opponents will come all guns blazing for next week's second leg.
"It is always a lot of pressure playing Dunbeholden because they are a good team. We have to be focused and try to keep the discipline and do the right things at all times.
"We are confident, but we have to be levelheaded and work hard, knowing that we have another leg to go," he stated.
Dunbeholden dominated the first half and had only themselves to blame for not putting away one of the numerous clear-cut opportunities they got.
Peter McGregor, who has found his scoring boots in recent weeks in the JPL, Nicoy Christian, and Stephen Barnett all failed to take advantage of good openings.
Tivoli, who were looking to hit on the break, surprised their more-fancied opponents six minutes before halftime when Lawrence got on to the end of a pass to put the west Kingston team ahead.
Immediately after the break, Dunbeholden had a great chance, but Barnett placed his effort wide of the post.
Tivoli then grew in confidence as the game progressed and eventually pushed their opponents on to the backfoot.
Then in the 53rd minute, Fuller got loose and calmly slotted past Carlos Robinson for the second goal.
Tivoli went down to 10 men 12 minutes from time when Barrington Pryce picked up a second yellow in the 79th minute in an effort to stop a breakaway.
However, despite Dunbeholden nearly pulling one back when McGregor's header crashed off the bar and on to the line before being cleared, Tivoli held on for an impressive victory.
Dunbeholden assistant coach Ricardo Smith said they only had themselves to blame for the defeat but insisted that the tie was far from over.
"You know the saying, ‘if you don't score your chances you will end up paying for them?’ And we did that today. But apart from missing chances, we defended very poorly, and that cost us the game," he said.
"We have to come second leg and see what happens. In the Premier League, we got the better of them. So we will come next week and see what we can do," said Smith.