Hydel edge KC on penalties to set up Manning Cup showpiece against Mona

By November 24, 2023
Hydel's scorer Omario Henry Hydel's scorer Omario Henry

Hydel High will meet Mona High in the final of the ISS/Digicel Manning Cup following a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Kingston College (KC), after both teams played out a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time at Sabina Park on Friday.

Hydel found themselves 2-0 up at halftime, thanks to goals from Keyanni Jackson (3rd) and Omario Henry (23rd), but Kingston College fought back in the second half and managed to force the game into penalties, thanks to strikes from Damaine Smith (51st) and Alex Hislop (70th).

However, Hydel maintained their composure best during the shootout and converted all five 12-yard kicks, while Kingston College’s Kimani Reece had his effort saved by custodian Tajarie Lee, who was a member of the North Street-based team last season.

This will be Hydel’s second ever time contesting the urban area showpiece, following their feat in 2012, while Mona is making their first ever final. It is also the first time since 2016, a school apart from Kingston College, Jamaica College and St George’s College, will be crowned.

The final is set for Saturday December 8 at the National Stadium.

Winning coach Devon Anderson was over the moon about the accomplishment, having previously tried and failed with Holy Trinity.

“Words cannot express my feeling, as one spectator said, ‘coach you have been knocking at the door over the years.’ It is now cracked, and we intend to open it, so this is a joyous day for the Hydel family.

“Not a lot of people gave us a chance, but I believed in the boys, and they believed in what we are trying to do, and it paid off. We know Mona is a very good team, but hydel will come and do what Hydel does, grind very hard,” Anderson said in a post-game interview.

It was a frantic start by Hydel, who made their intentions clear with a few quick warning shots, before they eventually found the target in the third minute.  Jackson was allowed too much space to dribble, and he duly obliged by driving home a right-footer from about 20 yards out.

With that being Jackson’s eighth goal of the season, Henry went on the hunt for his and should have had it in the sixth minute when he executed a delightful first touch to a long pass from the back, but the finish lacked the same quality, as it sailed over the crossbar.

But Henry made amends in the 23rd, when he rounded a defender and rifled a right-footer from an angle Malique Williams, in goal for Kingston College.

Sitting pretty on a two-goal lead, Hydel got somewhat complacent on the resumption, and paid for the drop in tempo when a poor clearance found Smith, who drove home a left-footed effort.

And Kingston College pulled level 19 minutes later through Hislop, who picked up a pass and slotted home and it took the dreaded penalty shootout to decide a winner.

Kingston College’s Head coach Vassell Reynolds was pleased with his team’s effort despite the outcome.

“We started a little too slow, which is something we spoke about before and it happened again here and we never recovered quite well, but I am proud of the boys and the way they fought to come back from two goals down and lose on penalty. We still have the semi-finals of Champions Cup, so let us hope we do better there,” Reynolds said.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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