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'El Do' West upset San Juan in East

By Kern De Freitas

El Dorado West Secondary achieved the second upset of the 2012 Coca Cola InterCol, stopping San Juan Secondary in first round play with a 4-2 win via the penalty spot yesterday at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar.

San Juan will follow 2010 champions Signal Hill Secondary out of the competition after they were upset by Roxborough Secondary a day before in the Sister Isle.

The encounter in Malabar was virtually over although El Dorado missed their first spot kick, because San Juan missed two up front and El Dorado nailed their last four. For the Tunapuna school, it was fantastic relief after they had squandered a 3-0 lead gained by the 37th minute of regulation time.

Stephon Lewis, Kerdell Chairman and Jamal Osbourne all took advantage of casual defending by San Juan, before Anthony Leandre pulled one back to make it 3-1 at half-time.

O'Neal Jarvis and Brent Sam—the latter from the penalty spot—kept San Juan in the competition a little longer, leveling the match at 3-3, but poor penalty taking by the more seasoned San Juan meant El Dorado lived to fight another day.

That a penalty shootout was needed to settle the match was down to late pressure for San Juan, and El Dorado did not handle it too well. For the last 20 minutes they were on the defensive, allowing San Juan a way back into the match.

Before that, San Juan looked unable to cope with a two-goal deficit, and with a bit more luck El Dorado might have made it 4-1.

But in the 83rd, Jarvis, given much space and time in the penalty area, collected a pass, turned and fired down the centre to make it 3-2. Sam found the penalty spot after a handball, and converted to send the match to the shootout.

The match started with four El Dorado chances inside of seven minutes, an indicator of things to come in the first half. But few would have believed they would be leading San Juan 3-0 after 37 minutes.

The go-ahead goal would come after 23 seven minutes as San Juan found it too hard to deal with a long ball from half-line. Skipper Josiah Trimmingham in central defence, waited for the ball to drop, Lewis hustled him out of it and left onrushing goalkeeper Josiah Fox in no man's land, his right-footed effort beating the 'keeper to his right.

Fox was also generous, twice letting El Dorado in, first spilling to Anthony Allsop, and then collecting air on an aerial attack, but the team in gold and black did not accept the chances.

They preferred to create their own from the right wing, and still, San Juan ably assisted. In the 35th a poor clearance landed in Chairman's path, and he sprinted down the line, left his marker and squared for national under-17 midfielder Kishun Seech-aran to do the rest.

And before the El Dorado cheerleaders could properly celebrate the ball was in the San Juan net again, this time Osborne from close range off another long ball.

But the lifeline came for San Juan in the 42nd, Andel Andrews taking full advantage of a defensive lapse to rifle in from the left of the six-metre box. Henry did very well to save, but his parry landed in conveniently for Leandre to smash home.

It gave San Juan a chance, but things ended badly for them in the penalties duel.

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