All logic would indicate that after this narrow escape, the players would understand that they needed to put in a solid week's training to be able to at least draw in Cayo and also hope that Jube defeated Yabra again. These are some of the things that this writer, and I am sure many of you, just cannot comprehend. This was the worst week's training that the majority of volunteer players put in and the result was reflected in the 3 to 0 loss in Cayo.
The first half saw more heart and strength from San Pedro rather than good ball playing. Due to this, they managed to keep Verdes at bay with a 0 - 0 score after the first 45 minutes.
The remaining 45 minutes, however, was a different story. In the first half, "John" sustained an injury to his right knee and was noticeably limping and reacting slowly. Verdes on the other hand came out strong, but, with their pride hurt since they had at least three clear opportunities in the first half, and missed.
One - nil for Verdes came when Pablo tried to clear a ball and only came up with a chop shot that went directly over "John's" head and slowly rolled into the goal where it was re-confirmed by the charging strikers. This put the Dolphins in a very tight situation because it became obvious, in our home and away series with Verdes, that the young team representing us in this knock out tournament had a long way to go.
On May 31st, Verdes came to town and took home a valuable draw which set the table for the return match in Cayo. Verdes was the first to shake the net. Al tried to play the offside in the game against Verdes and it back fired. The assistant referee did not give him the benefit of the doubt and said play on. Left alone with the keeper, Earl Peter did not miss and put San Pedro down 1 to 0 until about the 42nd minute of the second half.
Rookie Lamby's move to substitute Hector Gama with Baldemar Graniel paid off with the game almost expiring. Due to the unrelenting pressure the Dolphins put on Verdes' goal in an effort to score and salvage a draw, "Baldy" became the hero. In a melee that formed in the eighth yard box, after Verdes' defense failed to clear a center, Pablo who had gone in the attack took a shot at goal. The ball fell at "Baldy's" feet and displaying a good level of coolness when in a decisive situation, he toe-pointed the ball past "Hinds" into the net for the 1 - 1 draw.
Now the Dolphins were forced to score and had to go offensive which was just what Verdes wanted to launch counter attacks. The other two goals with which Verdes beat the Dolphins were due to exactly the same factors described before. The lack of practice, John's injury and the team having to go up while being vulnerable to any counter attack, was more than enough to allow Verdes to deliver the final spanking.
We must be satisfied with the production of this young team, however, we cannot be happy. We are "thankful" however, they can do better. Now that we are out of this knock-out tournament it's time for the players to sit back and realize that it only takes a little bit of self sacrifice to jump up to the next level. They have the talent and will, but are lacking the commitment.
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