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Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Naparima College have begun the Trinidad and Tobago schoolboy football season this year much in the same way they ended it last year, with silverware.

The Digicel Cup is there’s but it wasn’t easy going at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, the Secondary Schools Football League defending champions having to handle the nerves that come from lining up in front of the penalty spot after a shoot out against perennial rivals, Presentation College.

Presentation College opened the scoring in the second minute through an Ash Jacobs penalty.

A mix-up between goalkeepers and defenders would soon return parity to the scores and despite chances at both ends, there were to be no further additions to the scoreline.

Naparima College were perfect from the spot with man-of-the-match, Kern Cedeno setting the tone with the first penalty.

In fact, Cedeno would put Naparima up 1-0 in the shoot out after Jacobs missed the first penalty from Presentation.

That lead would never be relinquished with Vashaun Duncan, Thompson, Declan Marcel, and Jabari Lee all showing nerves of steel.

Fans could not have asked for a more thrilling contest to open Group B of League C of the Concacaf Nations League, as a late four-goal spree propelled Bonaire past the British Virgin Islands 4-2 on Friday afternoon at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad. 

In the 31st minute, the British Virgin Islands struck first when Tyler Forbes got on the end of a Joshua Bertie cross and volleyed it clean into the far corner. 

Bonaire came out gunning in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts with an Edshel Martha equalizer in the 74th minute. 

Martha’s goal opened the floodgates for Bonaire. Just three minutes later Yurick Seinpaal expertly chipped Ben Chapman to give the home side a 2-1 lead. Only three minutes after that, Jursten Trinidad added a third before Martha completed his brace in the 83rd minute to seal the victory.

Forbes completed his own brace in stoppage time when he pulled one back for the British Virgin Islands. 

It was a day of record breaking for the hosts; four goals is their highest ever tally, and Seinpaal’s strike ascended him to Bonaire’s all-time top scorer with four goals scored.

St Lucia Zouks skipper Darren Sammy is hoping that his new-look charges will get it right quickly despite a dismal start to their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League campaign featuring a 13-run loss to the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Thursday.

Sammy oversaw a game his team should have won. After restricting the Amazon warriors to 159-9, at 82-4, were well ahead of the run rate but gave the game away through injudicious shot making to end at 142-9.

“I think we gave them too many runs in the back end but the way [Rahkeem] Cornwall batted, we were well ahead but we didn’t play smart cricket,” said Sammy. “We kept losing wickets at different times and that cost us the game.”

Despite the all-too familiar sight of a Zouks team losing when they should have won, Sammy sees a lot of positives and believes, the side, which recently changed ownership after the CPL fell out with the previous owners just prior to the start of the competition, can come good.

“I think the first 16 overs of the match, the way the bowlers bowled was commendable. Young Obed [McCoy] taking wickets. With the bat, the way Cornwall went out and played his role was also good,” he said.

With those positives in mind, Sammy believes the team can give a better account of themselves when they next play.

“Look it is the first game of the tournament. Over the weekend we got Trinidad, so hopefully we can go out there and put in a better performance,” said a hopeful Sammy.

According to the former West Indies captain, winner of two T20 World Cups, the loss won’t mean changes to the Zouks line-up because he is happy with what he sees.

“Before the tournament started I was quite happy with the guys in the dressing room. It’s about gelling quickly. Today we lost the game. We had it and we let it slip away. So when the pressure situations come again, we just have to handle it better,” he said.

The team he sees before him, is more than capable of making those changes

“I have full confidence in the guys in the dressing room and I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game.”  

One of the heavyweights in the Concacaf Nations League, the Jamaica’s men’s national team will be one of the favorites to win their group in League B.

Theodore Whitmore’s side finished Concacaf Nations League Qualifying in eighth place and were denied participation in League A only by goal difference.

Jamaica won their first three qualifying matches by a combined score of 12-1 but had their attack shut down on their final matchday.

The team’s only defeat in CNLQ came away at El Salvador, 2-0, a match their foes needed to secure the final spot in the Gold Cup.

Jamaica’s run in qualifying saw them secure a spot in the Concacaf Gold Cup for themselves and were later named as one of the tournament’s co-hosts.

Hosting a Gold Cup match for the first time, Jamaica opened the tournament with a win against Honduras. The next two matches ended in draws but were enough to win the group.

A 1-3 loss to the United States in the semifinal denied the team a third consecutive final.

Jamaica now turn the page and begin play in the Nations League, drawn in Group C along with Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda and Aruba.

The Reggae Boyz open at home against Antigua and Barbuda before traveling to Guyana to kickoff Nations League play on Friday.

In other games, from League B tomorrow, Aruba play Guyana and Montserrat host the Dominican Republic.

Jamaican track legend Usain Bolt and his United States counterpart Carl Lewis, rarely agree on anything, but both have stood firmly beside each other in chiding ESPN reporter Max Kellerman, over disparaging comments about the sport. 

India skipper, Virat Kohli, believes his charges completed a successful routing of the West Indies in the Caribbean by being tough when they needed to be. 

Kohli was speaking after his touring side completed a 257-run victory over a virtually hapless West Indies in Jamaica.

Sent into bat, India scored 416 against the bowling of Jason Holder, 5-77 and debutant Rahkeem Cornwall, 3-105. India pressed the advantage when they bowled, skittling out the West Indies for a paltry 117 thanks, in large part to Jasprit Bumrah’s 6-27. Batting again India took a commanding lead after scoring 168-4 before again bowling out the West Indies, this time for 210.

"Pretty comprehensive again. We played good cricket, and getting the result in the manner you want is crucial as a team,” said Kohli after the game.

But it wasn’t always easy, despite the margin of victory and Kohli thanked his team for toughing out those moments when it wasn’t.

“We were put under pressure in a couple of sessions. While batting, there were some tricky situations but it took some character from the boys. Hanuma [Vihari] was the standout batsman, but Ajinkya [Rahane] in the second innings, Mayank [Argarwal] in the first innings, Ishant [Sharma] with the fifty - it was an innings full of grit,” said Kohli.

Vihari scored his maiden Test century in the first innings before going on to score an unbeaten half-century in the second to claim the man-of-the-match trophy.

“According to the surface, Vihari's innings was top class. He looks confident and the dressing-room feels calm when he bats. He's always willing to improve and correcting his mistakes. Plays with a lot of heart. Up to do anything for the team. That's why he invariably plays crucial innings for us. Young career for him so far, but he showed why he's been backed by this team,” said Kohli.

The man of the match was elated with his performance as well.

"Maiden Test hundred feels great. Missed out on the hundred in the last match, so was focusing on a big score this time. We were 200 for 5 in the first innings, and that was my goal while batting with Rishabh Pant. You had to be patient on this wicket, and select the ball where you'll score runs. There was something for the bowlers, so you need to wait for the balls. Took some calculated risks against the spinners. Even in the second innings, the template worked well for me,” said Vihari.

Two of the 12 coaches in Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League have already been fired.

Jerome Waite, longstanding coach with Arnett Gardens, was last week, sacked and this week, the coach of Dunbeholden, former Reggae Boy, Fabian Taylor was shown the door.

Waite, it was said, would not have enough time with Arnett Gardens because of his duties with the national programme. Waite is coach of Jamaica’s under-23 outfit.

Taylor’s case also had to do with the stresses involved in starting a new season at the top level in Jamaican football. The former Reggae Boy was, reportedly, not pleased with the nature of the squad Dunbeholden were going to start the season with.

Dunbeholden have returned to the tried and tested, Regel Smith, who got them to the Premier League.

Waite, who won four Premier League titles with the club,  has been replaced by Wolmer’s player and former Arnett Gardens centre half, Alex Thomas. Thomas is also the coach of Wolmer’s Boys’ in Jamaica’s schoolboy urban area competitions, the Manning and Walker cups.

Barbados have had a plethora of great results over the past few years. In 2016 they beat Curacao 1-0 in the Caribbean Cup and in 2017 they defeated Bermuda 3-2 on the road. Both of those teams were just a few years away from fantastic 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup showings. 

Barbados have also had some of the strongest home form in the entire confederation in recent time, having become a difficult beast to break down when playing at the friendly confines of Wildey. In 2018 the Bajans fended off Bermuda, Belize, Jamaica, and Cuba in four successive home matches, completing three shutouts along the way.

From back to front, Keasel Broome is an excellent goalkeeper who has spent time with multiple clubs in the USL. Emerson Boyce may be gone, but Ricardio Morris was on the back line for many of those famous wins mentioned above, and 19-year-old Kaeson Trench is currently in the Toronto FC system. Captain Rashad Jules plies his trade in Finland, and forward Mario Harte (15 goals for the national team) will cause a lot of headaches for the defenses in this group.

Barbados are a team that is very capable of producing great results, and their record speaks for itself. The players are there, the experience is there, and certainly the passion for the game is there; take a look at the sizable crowds and streaming numbers for the island’s domestic leagues for proof. 

Promotion is the goal for Barbados and a very attainable one at that, but there are six matches in this group and they need to stay focused and organized for all six of them to succeed.

Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil Van Dijk beat Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Juventus tallisman Cristiano Ronaldo to UEFA's Best Player title. Should he have? The Zone Blitz team asks the question.

The St Lucia Zouks have announced a number of changes to their playing roster for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season. 

The 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League Round of 16 continues on Thursday night with a decisive second-leg clash between reigning SCL champion Herediano of Costa Rica and Waterhouse of Jamaica at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, Costa Rica.

The two teams played to an entertaining 1-1 draw in the first leg, with Andre Fletcher scoring early for the Jamaicans prior to Keysher Brown’s equalizer for the Ticos in the first half.

While the Costa Rican side boasts plenty of Concacaf experience in both the SCL and the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, Waterhouse showed in the first leg in Kingston that it can go toe-to-toe with Herediano, which should make for a thrilling and decisive second leg.

Fletcher and Keithy Simpson will lead the Waterhouse attack, while Herediano has its own dangermen in the form of Jose Guillermo Ortiz, Francisco Rodriguez and first-leg scorer Brown.

Also in Herediano’s favor is its home form in Concacaf play.

In previous SCCL appearances, Herediano owns a 21W-3D-5L record on home soil, while in last season’s SCL, the Florenses posted a 4W-0D-0L record, with eight goals scored and zero conceded.

Asafa Powell is looking further and further away from the heady form that saw him set two world records over 100 metres after the ‘Sub-10 King’ could only manage a seventh place finish at a track meet in Madrid, Spain on Sunday. 

Reggae Boy Dever Orgill opened his account in the Turkish Super League on Saturday, helping his side, Ankaraguchu, earn a 1-1 draw with Kayserispor.

The goal, scored in the 59th minute of the encounter, was the 29-year-old’s seventh goal for the club.

Kayserispor would cancel out Orgill’s strike all the way in the 90th minute. Orgill joined Ankaraguchu in January from Austrian club Wolfsburger for €1 million.

He also scored two goals for Jamaica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this summer.

Portmore United player Emilio Rousseau, for the first time in his career, is in the mix to represent the Reggae Boyz as the team gets ready to play in the CONCACAF Nations League Group Stage in September.

The Reggae Boyz will begin their group stage campaign with a game against Antigua and Barbuda and then against Guyana in September.

Rousseau will be joined by the returning Corey Burke as names that were absent from recent friendlies.

Goalkeeper Jeadine White makes the squad along with players like Kevon Reid, Amal Knight, Fabion McCarthy, Ladale Richie, Daniel Green, Kemar Bennett, Ajeanie Talbott, Andre Lewis, Tevin Shaw, Alex Marshall, Leonard Rankine, Kaheem Parris, Clifton Woodbine, Nicholas Hamilton, Kevaughn Isaacs, and Shaquille Dyer.

Reggae Boyz coach, Theodore Whitmore is investing a lot in this squad, the former player, saying his charges upcoming matches have huge significance to their World Cup bid.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” the coach had said.

Whitmore was speaking to stake holders within the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), asking for as much support as they could possibly muster.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran a blinding final 50 to win the 400 metres inside the Charlety Stadium at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.

McPherson clocked 51.11 seconds to claim the Diamond League one-lap event ahead of the United States’s Kendall Ellis, who was timed in 51.21.

Another US athlete, Shakima Wimbley, was third in 51.50.

McPherson, coming off the final bend was not in the frame for a medal but found an extra gear over the last 70 metres, advancing from fourth to storm past Ellis, who was also moving past Wimbley.

The strong finish from Ellis was impressive but McPherson showed real heart, making sure her lane seven assignment counted for nothing.

The United States’ Phyllis Francis was a disappointing fourth in 51.56, while the Netherland’s Lisanne de Witte was fifth in 51.83.

Botswana’s Christine Botlogetswe, 52.02, France’s Deborah Sananes, 52.04, and her countrywoman Amandine Brossier, 53.29, rounded out the field.

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