Second-half substitute Joel Sterling struck twice yesterday to hand Clarendon College a come-from-behind 2-1 win over ten-man Hydel High in the ISSA-FLOW Super Cup round-of-16 at Sabina Park. Hydel’s leading scorer, Nicholas Nelson, fired the St Catherine school ahead in the 22nd minute, however, Sterling, who has been sidelined with injury since the third game of the daCosta Cup season, slammed home the equaliser six minutes from time before adding the winner in the second half of extra time for the defending rural champions. Sterling, who was netting his seventh goal in five matches this season, said they never doubted they would win. “It (win) was expected, so it’s just the same feeling during and after (game) … . I always knew I could go on the field and do my best, and this (double strike) is normal,” he told The Sunday Gleaner. Hydel were reduced to ten men in the 90th minute when midfielder Howard Morris was ejected for a second caution. The first period of extra time failed to produce any real chances and it was a similar situation in the second half, until a moment of real brilliance from captain Seigel ‘Pele’ Knight. Clarendon’s Player of the Season in 2014, Knight, picked up a pass in the centre circle, eluded a tackle before slipping a beauty of a through pass into the path of Sterling, who made no mistake. “I saw the pass from way back, but I wasn’t sure if I should do it on the cricket pitch because I was sliding, but it went through and I was really happy,” Knight said afterwards. Winning coach, Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, said they were always confident, and a few adjustments and the introduction of Sterling did the trick. “They (Hydel) got their chances and didn’t use them, but we knew we would get chances too, and we have this guy (Sterling) that can score goals and he came on and did wonders,” Davis commented.
The ‘Group of Death’ is what every coach of the eight top teams, has nightmare about leading to yesterday’s draw.Though, the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has made many players rusty there are still inarguably strong competitors, who against the odds are set to boom.For the 2015 Coca-Cola Top 8 Tournament of Group A, Mighty Barrolle, the only 2nd division outfit, has been paired with three strong-willed 1st division clubs – BYC I, LISCR FC and Nimba United.Honestly, it’s inarguable that former football champions, known as the Kanyan Pepper Boys or the Rollers are completely safe amongst the recent three giants, in the Group of Death.According to the Wikipedia, a group of death in a multi-stage tournament is a group, which is unusually competitive, because the number of strong competitors in the group is greater than the number of qualifying places available for the next phase of the tournament. Thus, in the group phase, one or more strong competitors in the “group of death” will necessarily be eliminated, who would otherwise have been expected to progress further in the tournament.Let’s examine the strength of each in the 8-day’s tournament to fight for the Coca-Cola Cup and US$2,000 and US$1,000 respectively.For BYC I, it’s viewed as the country’s best team and one of the tournament’s top contenders.The tough draw isn’t enough to change BYC I’s elite status and would be one of the two teams to qualify from the group stage.LISCR FC is one of the favorites in Group A because the Gardnersville team has enough talent to make a serious push to advance, regardless of their three years of title drought.Newly 1st division promoted side Nimba United would have every right to be angry to prove ‘supremacy’ after being relegated to 2nd grade and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) still undergoing two years’ suspension for administrative reasons.However, there’s a possible probability of Nimba United finding themselves in a hole with the likes of BYC and LISCR in their group – but there’s also a possibility that best teams don’t always win.The Rollers are beyond doubt out of contention but it will be a crucial 180 minutes’ experience for them to rub booths against their division’s mates with the rumor that the Red Boys are contemplating on taking advantage of an empty seat in the first division.Group B also attracts a lot of attention because of the likes of FC Fassell, IE, NPA Anchors and Aries FC.The 2013/2014 knockout champion, FC Fassell is the favorite to climb from the group. They are hardly a settled team right now, but it’s for a pretty envious reason: they have too many talent players. Coach Matthew Jalutweh has to figure out which of his previous cream of players are better than his recently signed players, and if he sorts them out correctly, FC Fassell would have no problem.But if he fails to blend the “old and the new players,” NPA Anchors and Aries have the propensity to make-up of opportunities and pull out fantastic performances.Truly, no side is completely safe in Group A, although FC Fassell would be favored to advance. All of the four teams have virtual youthful and determined players therefore any blunder from a team can deal an immediate blow.According to the fixture, BYC will host Nimba United in the opener and LISCR FC meets Mighty Barrolle.On Saturday, FC Fassell will meet NPA Anchors and IE and Aries would engage one another. All games begin at 2:00pm.The first round of the tournament is a round robin, while finals are knockout.IE resurfaced in the tournament when Watanga FC dropped.The Secretary General and Administrative Manager of Watanga, Yudu Miller said the team would only be prepared for the national football league, which is expected to kick off May 13. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Jacques Kallis on Thursday said he believed their team is a “very well balanced unit” ahead of the 2016 season.The two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions have roped in New Zealand all-rounder Colin Munro and the West Indies Test and one-day international captain Jason Holder to boost their fire power. (Full IPL 2016 coverage)”We are a very well balanced unit. We have great options which makes selection tough. Few new faces, which will give us a few new ideas and options. It is going to be exciting, we are looking forward to it,” Kallis told reporters here.Kallis was brought in as Trevor Bayliss’ replacement, who joined England as their head coach. (Also read: Ponting backs Rohit to rediscover golden touch) Asked how he managed to land the job, the 40-year-old said, “I suppose it started last season when I was the batting consultant. Trevor Bayliss then got the English job, so there was an opening.” (Also read: Fitness not captaincy the major challenge for Zaheer, Daredevils)”Venky Mysore (KKR CEO) and the guys considered me. I thought it would be nice, I have been involved with what six years now! It is set up well now, it is a new challenge. It is something I enjoy doing, passing of knowledge.” (Clash of the captains: It’s MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli)Last year, KKR-who were the defending champions then, failed to qualify for the playoffs. They lost the last two matches of the group stage and crashed out of the tournament.advertisement”We were just one game away from making the playoffs. In this format you need a little luck on the way and perhaps we lost one or two bad games which we shouldn’t have. That’s the nature of the tournament. Hopefully we can keep on playing some good cricket. We have the squad to make it to the play offs this year. We just need to win games at the right time,” Kallis said.The team is led by Delhi lad Gautam Gambhir. The left hander has not had much cricket in the past few months but Kallis insists he is ready for the challenge.”We have had a lot of practices so far. Sometimes coming in fresh is good. You need to take a break away from the game, come again and start back fresh. He (Gambhir) is certainly very positive. Hope to have a good season with him leading from the front. He is hitting the ball well at the moment,” added the former South African all-rounder.