Moca grab important Caribbean Cup edge
Lennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
HARBOUR VIEW suffered a 2-1 loss to Moca FC out of the Dominican Republic in their 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Cup third-place first-leg tie at Sabina Park in Kingston yesterday.
Moca were forced to come from behind, grabbing goals in the 43rd minute through Gustavo Ascona and Jose Francisco in the 65th. Earlier Harbour View had gone ahead in the 15th minute through a Clifford Thomas own goal.
The contest began with the visiting side pressing the left side of Harbour View’s defence with telling crosses into the area.
One of those crosses was knocked down for Alejandro Carrera to fire a shot which was kept out by Anthony Bennett in the eighth minute.
Despite missing suspended talisman, striker Shaquel Bradford, Harbour View would turn things around in the 15th minute, getting the go-ahead goal when forward Thompson found himself inside the area and his left-sided shot was turned into Moca net by Thomas at the near post.
The home side enjoyed that lead-up until two minutes before the half, the visitors levelling the score through Gustavo Ascona, who leapt above the Harbour View backline and headed home a right-sided cross from close range.
The confidence from the first half leveller ignited the Dom Rep side, who came out more purposeful in the second stanza.
Still, it was Harbour View who would come closest to getting the go-ahead goal, as midfielder Jahshaun Anglin found himself with some space inside the opponent’s half and rifled a 30-yard shot which rattled the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
Three minutes later, Harbour View’s coach Ludlow Bernard made a quadruple change. That move seemed to have backfired as another peach of a delivery into the Harbour View box found the head of Jose Francisco, who beat Bennett in the 65th minute.
The Stars of the East threw everything at the visiting side. However, they would hold on for the crucial first-leg victory, thanks largely to a herculean defensive effort led by centreback Kelvin Duran.
Losing coach Bernard lamented squandering what was a good start.
“We started very well in terms of getting a goal and we thought that we could have built on it. We didn’t defend well. However, I am still confident and very optimistic about what this tie can bring,” said Bernard.
Winning coach Mariano Perez, speaking through a translator, said his team did well against the bigger more physical Harbour View.
“I thought our players did well and to come here and get the win is crucial as we will be doing the same thing in the next leg to ensure that we win.”