Lynk Cup showdown at Sabina Park
Portmore, Cavalier hunt first silverware of the season
The return of knockout cup football in Jamaica will culminate in either a new frontier conquered for Cavalier or the return to glory for Portmore United as they will face each other in today’s Lynk Cup final at Sabina Park at 8 p.m.
Cavalier are looking to capture their maiden hold on the trophy while Portmore United will be seeking to win the title for the first time since 2007 when it was called the Champions Cup.
Cavalier are on the brink of completing one part of what they hope will be a historic season, with their women’s team having one foot in the final of the Jamaica Women’s Premier League and the men on yet another deep Jamaica Premier League (JPL) run. It is something that technical director Rudolph Speid said he is aiming for to break new ground.
“There is some professional jealousy going on now because the boys will have to do the same. It’s a feat that we must mention because I don’t think any club in Jamaica has done that before, reach the finals of all major competitions in the island,” Speid said recently. “It would be unprecedented, so yes, we are going for it and hope it can happen. It is a target that we want to aim for.”
In a season where they have had to overhaul their squad, especially with the recent departures of Dwayne Atkinson and Richard King, Speid is focused on how to manage his team for the opportunities before them, which include their JPL semi-final tilt with Harbour View on Monday.
“Every final is serious but we have to be aware that we have a semi-final game three days afterwards. It takes a toll on players but we are counting down the matches and and every time we play we play to win,” Speid said.
For Portmore United who have not tasted silverware of any kind, head coach Phillip Williams sees this as vital as the club hopes to make winning trophies a habit again.
“Portmore are known for winning titles, but for the last couple of years. So winning here is very important for the club and the community. I think it will form a catalyst in terms of pulling new talent to the club and also getting back some of our supporters. It would be a plus for us,” Williams said.
Cognisant of the strength that Cavalier possess, Williams says that they will not take anything for granted in their preparations.
“It is a club with a lot of pedigree and getting the guys up and ready is at the top of our objective,” Williams said.
In the curtain-raiser at 5 p.m., Harbour View and Dunbeholden will face each other in the playoff for third and fourth. Harbour View are four days removed from their JPL quarterfinal series win against Humble Lion while Dunbeholden were eliminated by Mount Pleasant.
The Lynk Cup champions will collect $1.6 million, second place $1.4 million, third place $1,050,000 and fourth $800,000.
Road to the Final
Round of 16: Montego Bay Utd
Quarterfinal: Defeated Mount Pleasant
Semi-finals: Defeated Dunbeholden
1st round: Defeated Lime Hall Academy
Round of 16: Defeated Arnett Gardens
Quarterfinals: Defeated Molynes United
Semi-finals: Defeated Harbour View