Jonah Ebanks continued his scoring tear as Academy Sports Club advanced to the 2019 President’s Cup with 3-1 semifinal win over Scholars International Sports Club Wednesday (21 February) at the Ed Bush Playing Field.
In the 26 minute, a Dwayne Dunk tackle on the edge of the Scholars box was called for a penalty. Ebanks stepped up to convert, giving the men in blue a 1-0 lead into halftime. In the 54th minute, a streaking Romario Dixon split the Scholars defense and fired a rocket from outside the box and past Scholars keeper Carlos Escobar. Moments later, a Scholars counterattack freed Ron Douglas who fired past Academy keeper Miguel Pitta, and off the goal post. Rolly Bodden provided the easy tap-in but referee Dwayne Simpson called for offside.
In the 68th minute, Scholars finally broke through as second half substitute Rodrick Pearson lobbed a ball under a streaking Raul Rodriguez who tapped it above two defenders and past Pitta to cut the lead to 2-1. In the 82nd minute, Academy would officially put the game out of reach, as a Sullivan Zelaya cross was struck sky-high by the Scholars defense, only for Mark Ebanks to settle and find an unmarked Jonah Ebanks who deposited his second of the game from point-blank distance.
“It was a beautiful game between two of the strongest teams,” said Academy Head Coach Carlos Garcia. “We wanted to keep the ball as long as we could. We knew they could kick it long to their forwards, so that avoid that, we wanted to keep the ball. We know how to play, and how to create space, and in the end we did that.”
President’s Cup Semifinal Two: Roma United 2 v 1 Elite Sports Club
A foul-laden match that featured eight cautions and two straight red cards saw Roma United Sports Club edged Elite Sports Club 2-1 Wednesday at the T.E McField Sports Complex.
“The referee had too much of an influence on the game,” said Roma United Head Coach Gregory Malcolm.
In the 30th minute, a Roma defender was given a straight for holding on a scoring opportunity. Moments later, Elite’s James Ebanks would opened the scoring in the 31st minute for a 1-0 lead. In the 34th minute, two Roma players were cautioned with yellow cards for arguing with officials. In the 40th minute, Elite’s Kimani Finn was shown a straight red card for what referees noted was a ‘stamp’.
In the second half, a James Edwards goal tied the game 1-1. Moments later, Elite’s Andrew Alexander was given the third yellow card of the game for a reckless tackle. In the 73rd minute, Alexander became the second Elite player to be sent off, this time for a second caution. In the 82nd minute, an Edwards brace gave Roma the lead and the win.
“We didn’t play as well as we could have,” said Malcolm. “We need to work on a few aspects of our game for the finals.”
The 2019 Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) President’s Cup takes place on Ash Wednesday 6 March.