CASA Youth Soccer Classic, Fort Lauderdale, December 21, 2014 -Jamaica will be looking for a six straight championship when it lines up against Miramar in the finals of the CASA – Caribbean American Soccer Association – Youth Soccer Classic, at the Lauderhill Sports Complex, Fort Lauderdale, on Sunday afternoon (December 21).

The young Reggae Boyz – National U-17 – which is using the tournament as a dress rehearsal for the 2015 CONCACAF/WC qualifier, completed the group phase on Saturday evening with another decisive performance, dismissing a Plantation (South Florida) U-19 ensemble 4-1.

The win, their third in as many days/matches, puts them into the tournament finals against Miramar U-19 (South Florida), the group ‘B’ winners. That match is set for a 5:00 pm start and will be preceded by the third place (consolation) match between Boca United (South Florida) and Barbados U-19, at 3:00 pm.

In the Saturday evening feature, the young Jamaicans were better on and off the ball and took a 2-0 advantage into the break. Captain Jahwahni Hinds and Nicholas Nelson were on target, as the Plantation unit took a while to get settled. And when they did, Evan Lewis should have reduced the deficit but his shot from close range went straight to goalkeeper Jahmali Waite.

Focusing more on development, coach Edwards again used six substitutes through the second period with better results. An early goal from Peter Vassell and later from Substitute Hakim Williams – his first touch of the ball – was all that was required and the decent crowd showed it appreciation.

Javier Salas managed to get a shot on frame from a nice move down the right side and moments later, the Plantation team was rewarded with a beautiful goal when Ofex Peer raced down the left side and kept his composure well the fire home a hard left past the advancing goalie. 4-1 the final score.

Coach Edwards said after the game that he was grateful for the opportunity to play the full squad but noted that conceding seven goals means that there is need for some adjustments at the back.

Barbados, behind a first half goal from Edward Okey, defeated CASA U-19, 1-0 for the second spot in Group ‘B’. However they will definitely need more urgency in their game to contain a rampaging Boca (Raton) United that was just unlucky to draw the Jamaicans in their group.

Boca United whipped Brazil 3-0 in a bruising encounter to finish second in Group ‘A’ behind Jamaica but with the same goal differential (+6).

Boca added to their 1-0, half time advantage when Luke Ferreira tap home a corner kick at the far post. With the Brazilians mis-firing from all angles, Ferreira converted from the spot to complete the scoring.

So far, the nine matches over three days of competition have produced 42 goals and more is in the making for Sunday’s final.

Final Score: Miramar defeated Jamaica U17 on penalties after playing to a 2-2 stalemate.

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Author: Aubrey Campbell