Waterhouse's Champions League campaign hits snag

September 18, 2014 2:00 AM

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WATERHOUSE failed to take full advantage of a rattled 10-man DC United and were all but booted from the 2014 CONCACAF Champions League campaign 2-1 at the National Stadium on Tuesday night.

Only the top finisher in the preliminary stages will progress to the quarter-finals set for early next year.

DC United coach Ben Olsen did not think much of the game that was too physical for his liking, but noted that what was important is that "we came here to get three points and got them".

Waterhouse captain Damarley Samuels said his side did not perform the way it was expected to.

"We did not do as well as we should have, but it's all in the game. We now just have to turn our attention to our local Red Stripe Premier League fixtures and keep working at improving as we go along," he said.

Captain Fabian Espindola scored for DC United in minutes 38 and 51, while free-kick specialist Hughan Gray was on target for Waterhouse in minute 71.

It was the second defeat in the preliminary stages that DC United were handing Waterhouse, and the negative result on Tuesday has now left Waterhouse with at best a mathematical chance of reaching the quarter-final round.

Any chance Waterhouse may hope for to remain in contention is for Tauro of Panama to turn their miserable form around and whip DC United in their home-and-away fixtures.

Before Tuesday night's home game, Waterhouse led the standings with six points after they were victors against Tauro in both their home-and-away fixtures. DC United on the other hand beat Waterhouse 1-0 in Washington to be on three points with another three games in hand.

Entering the match with the knowledge that victory is paramount for their survival in the competition, Waterhouse opened at a brisk pace and created a number of early half-chances that were spurned. DC United, on the other hand, were feeling out their opponents and organising their play to cut the pace of their hosts. And with the pace having dropped invitingly to the visitors' liking just past the midway stage of the half, DC United had begun to make their mark on the proceedings.

Seven minutes to the break, Waterhouse became casual in their play and skipper Espindola outjumped the Waterhouse defence to stroke a well measured header beyond the reach of goalkeeper Richard McCallum.

Even the scoring of the goal failed to stimulate the hosts' earlier industry and they were put to chase rather than instigate play.

Waterhouse returned for the second session a little uncertain whether or not they should go for the jugular or just pass the ball around in their half. This approach proved most catastrophic. Kenardo Forbes, who has a habit of passing the ball backwards rather than forward, gave it away to an opponent just outside the goal area. And with only one defender to negotiate, six minutes into the second half DC United went two goals up with Espindola scoring his second.

With two goals down, it prompted changes and Damion Binns came off the bench to replace Romario Campbell. Evan Taylor looked a bit dicky in defence and was replaced by the speedy forward Juvaune Benjamin.

Twenty minutes after DC United went 2-0 up, the visitors went a man down as Taylor Kemp was sent for an early shower for his second bookable offence.

From the resulting free-kick just outside the , Gray with his trademark spot-kick, hammered a right-foot past goalkeeper Bill Hamid to reduce the deficit.

But despite the numerous chances that came off after the goal, Waterhouse could not capitalise.

Source: jamaicaobserver.com

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