Defender Kyle Ming scored in the 84th minute to hand Cavalier a hard-fought 1-0 win over Vere United and seal a semi-final spot in the Jamaica Premier League on Saturday.

During the match played at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, Ming latched onto a beautiful defence-splitting pass from Melvin Doxilly and fired past the advancing goalkeeper Kadeem Davis.

It was a crucial win for Cavalier that saw them leapfrog both Tivoli Gardens and Mount Pleasant into second place and an automatic semi-final playoff spot. With their fifth win of the season, Cavalier now have 18 points, the same as Mount Pleasant but with a superior goal difference.

Waterhouse FC leads the league with 19 points.

Clarendon-based Vere United was suffering their fourth defeat and remained in fifth on 15 points.

This result also means that both Waterhouse and Cavalier will earn a bye into the semi-finals as the top two teams while Vere United will clash with fourth-placed Tivoli Gardens in the two-legged quarter-final playoff.

The other quarterfinal playoff will see third-placed Mount Pleasant will meet sixth-placed Harbour View also over two legs.

The winners of these two playoff series will face Waterhouse and Cavalier in the semi-final round.

Winning coach Rudolph Speid of Cavalier was satisfied with his young team improving with every game.

“We were playing too conservative because we were aware of the counter but in the second half, if you noticed, Kyle Ming started pushing up a lot more, getting more aggressive with his runs and that was a plan for us and it paid off,” Speid explained.

“Early in the season, we were playing for players to have personal milestones but in the latter, it’s all teamwork now and we playing for the team now.”

Meanwhile, losing coach Donovan Duckie said there is nothing they could have done to prevent that goal as the pass was world-class.

“It was a brilliant pass. It’s been a while since I have seen a pass break three lines and kudos to Cavalier. They would have advanced to the second spot and we are in the top six,” said Duckie.

“We are looking forward to the first game in the quarterfinal and we are looking to return to full strength. Our short term goals are there and it is a reality for us to compete for the title and we are in it to win it.”  

A stunning goal and a beautiful assist by 19-year-old Dwayne “Busy” Atkinson gave a youthful Cavalier FC a deserved  2-0 win over an ageing Humble Lion team in the feature encounter at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

The lively Atkinson, who came on as a 46th-minute substitute, fired a dipping shot from 25 metres that whistled past a bewildered Dennis Taylor in goal for Humble Lion in the 77th minute.

It was a beautiful goal deserving to be the first of this new season from a  player, who Head Coach Rudolph Speid said was arguably the best player in the country when he was just 15-years-old.

Then in time added on in the 90+2, Atkinson latched onto a ball at the halfway line and in one motion with the outside of his right foot, curled a beautiful through ball into the path of fellow substitute Courtney Allen, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home.

It was three very good points for a spritely and youthful Cavalier team with an average age of 20 years and they have thrown down the gauntlet that they will be contenders.

The Clarendon-based Humble Lion unbelievably averaging 32 years, was left stunned by the young guns with some early soul searching needed as to the make-up of their ageing squad.

Man-of-the-Match Atkinson, formerly of Kingston College, said he will be hoping to keep the legacy going set by the former young guns of Cavalier who are now playing overseas.

Meanwhile winning coach Everdean Scarlett, was not surprised by Cavalier’s energy.

“My team gave a good performance of themselves and in the end, it was youthful exuberance that prevailed,” noted Scarlett.

Losing coach Andrew Price said his ageing men could not respond to the more energetic younger Cavalier boys. “We had about 14 training sessions and definitely this Cavalier team has been training long before us and they are a much fitter and younger bunch,” Price pointed out.

“Fatigue set in and we had to make some substitutions but it’s a learning curve. The mind is saying they can do thing but their body won’t allow  them,” said Price

“In the second half Cavalier really turn on the burners on us. But it’s the first game so I won’t mark them too hard,” he added.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and national players have reportedly moved close to securing a deal after protracted and acrimonious negotiations.

According to reports, the latest counter-offer from the representatives of the players is a lot closer to what the JFF had initially offered and is now being considered by the body.  The parties are scheduled to meet to discuss the latest offer in short order. 

Initially, the parties had been miles apart on wage demands with the group of national players demanding US$7,000 ($1,039,068) per match, for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the JFF insisting that based on expenditure it was unable to go above US$2000 ($296,876).  However, according to JFF committee chairman Rudolph Speid the latest submission is much closer to what the JFF can afford.

“The players actually made a late submission to us yesterday.  They’re our players, we are not enemies, so we want to have a peaceful resolution," Speid told Television Jamaica.

“Of course, we are still determined that we have a plan that we have to stick to, but we are willing to listen to the players and we are going to be meeting with them again,” he added.

“They have come down substantially.  We are closer now than we have ever been before.”

Although Speid did not go into specifics, the new wage demand from the players is reported to be US$3000 ($445,315) and a US$2000 ($296,876) win bonus for the World Cup qualifiers.  However, a major sticking point is likely to be the team's demand for half of the US$8m ($1,187,507,200), prize money provided to the JFF by FIFA for qualifying for the tournament.  The amount the players would receive in that scenario would be US$4m ($593,753,600).

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