Junior Super Cup NI Semi Final: Right to Dream 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara
Ghanians still dreaming of title retention
Right to Dream will have the chance to retain the Junior Section of the Super Cup NI,night in Ballymena, after they beat Mexicans Chivas in a pulsating match in Limavady.
This game started in pulsating fashion and this set the tone for the entire contest. Both teams had very early chances, Sebastien Martinez header just over for Chivas while Kevin Ofori shot straight at keeper David Ochoa, when he could have given Right to Dream (RTD) an early lead.
However, the deadlock was broken within the first 5 minutes as Jose Plascencia rose high to meet a lovely floated cross from Zahid Munoz to give Chivas the lead.
It didn’t take long for the side from Africa to level as excellent combination play between Oliver Villadsen and Ofori, down the right, created an opening for RTD skipper, Emmmnauel Bam, who sweeped the ball past Ochoa.
After this goal, the confidence soared through the ranks of the Ghanians and their sustained pressure told as Chivas conceded a penalty. Ofori and Villadsen had shown exceptional movement down the right once again, a pass was played in towards Mohammed Diomande who was clipped by Victor Nunez with the referee pointing to the spot without hesitation. Abdul Basit stepped up to take the penalty but shot straight at Ochoa. However, the ball bounced straight back to Basit off the keeper and he slotted it home. As RTD ran off to celebrate, there was bemusement and amazement, in equal measure as the assistant referee raised his flag to signal some kind of infringement. For a reason only known to the assistant, the goal did not stand and the match remained level.
Despite this incident, the game continued to entertain the large crowd who had turned out to see these 2 highly regarded teams. There were plenty of skills on show but Villadsen, for the Ghanaians, showed particularly great feet and Chivas left back, Zambrano, could not live with his pace and trickery in the first half. The right winger created a couple of good openings, as the half drew to a close, but some poor finishing from his team mates meant the teams went in at the break deadlocked.
After an early second half chance for Right to Dream where Diomande fired into the side netting, there was an incident in the match which may make Chivas feel very aggrieved considering the final outcome. Jose Plascencia had shown some nice skill to make space for himself on the right, however Diomande came flying in with studs showing and caught the quick footed Mexican behind the knee with a terrible challenge. Despite the protestations of the Mexican bench, who were right in front of the incident, the referee only produced a yellow, when the player should really have gone.
As the second half moved to it’s midway point, RTD really started to turn the screw on Chivas. If most of their success had come down the right in the first half, it was Kamal Deen on RTD’s left wing causing havoc in the second half. His darting runs were causing real panic in a Chivas defence which had been very solid in the tournament so far. Diomande, lucky to be on the pitch, had a very good shout for a penalty as he was upened in the box by Ochoa after beating a couple of defenders.
Chivas came through this period of pressure intact and started to play gain some meaningful possession again themselves. They had brought Miguel Guzman off the bench and he had made an instant impact down the right flank, enjoying an absolutely fascinating battle with Eric Oteng, neither player wanting to give an inch as the game moved into a crucial period. Guzman created Chivas’ first real clear chance of second half, a nice ball into Martinez who fed Plascencia but the finish was poor.
The game continued to ebb and flow, there were chances for Deen and Diomande to put RTD in the lead but they did take the lead son after. Despite all the fantastic football that had been on show, this goal, which proved to be the crucial one, was a little scrapy. A hopeful free kick from Oteng looked to be heading straight into the arms of Ochoa, however he hesitated and could only push it onto the bar. The ball rebounded straight to captain Bam who slammed it home for his second of the match, putting his team into the lead.
Chivas pushed hard to get back on level teams, with Martinez, in particular, having some great chances but just could not find the finish required. As his team continued to push, the referee’s final whistle sounded, leading to great celebrations for Right to Dream, but disappointment for a Chivas Guadalajara team who have lit up this year’s tournament with the football they have played. Hopefully, they will look back on their efforts with great pride once the pain of this defeat subsides.
Right To Dream, themselves, have also put in some great displays and it will be an intriguing final against County Londonderrynight at Ballymena Showgrounds.
Report by Ray Baxter (@8ballRB