Vanzie laments Humble Lion’s blunder
Humble Lion's captain Andrew Vanzie is proud of their Jamaica Premier League (JPL) second-leg quarter-final fightback against defending champions Harbour View but believes they blundered bigly by allowing his counterpart Ryan Wellington too much space, which ended their journey in the competition.
Humble Lion won the match 3-2 but lost the tie 4-3 on aggregate, with Wellington being free inside the box, providing the header from a corner to score the decisive goal.
Humble Lion had lost the first leg 2-0 and went 1-0 down, 10 minutes into Monday's return leg.
However, strikes from Andre Clennon, Rushane Sharpe and Javon Smith drew the Clarendon-based Humble Lion level 3-3 on aggregate, but with 12 minutes to go, Wellington headed Harbour View in front. Vanzie was disgusted with their marking of Wellington.
"I want to say congratulations to Ryan Wellington," Vanzie commented on his Harbour View counterpart. "We all know he (Wellington) can buck the ball very well, and we didn't mark him at all, and he got the goal, but thumbs up to the guys. We came out and gave a beautiful performance. It was never the result we wanted, but we fought extremely hard."
The 32-year-old Vanzie, considered by many as the best dead-ball specialist in the league, is Humble Lion's top scorer with five goals, and although failing to get on the scoresheet in the quarter-finals, he pointed out that he never stopped urging on his players.
"Myself, I motivated the guys very well. I drove them and pushed them extremely hard, and my teammates put up a really good fight.
"We gave up two goals in the first leg, and we came to the second leg and gave up another, but we continued to push, and I must congratulate the boys for the way they pushed themselves," he stated.
The Andrew Price-coached Humble Lion were not predicted to be in the playoffs this season, but kept their resolve and maintained a place in the top six over a major portion of the season to finish with the best defensive record, conceding 15 goals in the preliminary round.
Price has promised reinforcements up front, and Vanzie said the aim for next season is to surpass this year's performance.
"From 2017, we haven't been in the top six, and this season we worked our shoes off and decided we wanted to be in the top six, so congratulations to the boys. Hopefully, next season, we can give it another try and do better," he said.