Roseau, Dominica: Harlem United Sports Club Division One team moved into the Semifinals of the Dominica Football Association 2023 Division One Championship.
The two-time defending champion were taken all the way into penalty kick by Dublanc FC in the Quarterfinals on Sunday 8th October 2023, at the StockFarm training center. Before an appreciative crowd the boys from South were made to work very hard for the victory.
Harlem took an early lead in the first half after a good build up of intricate passes which saw Yvesterson Exavier got unto a through ball by Lujah St. Ville making no mistake to put Harlem up 1 nil.
Harlem enjoy the better possession of the match but were pegged back several minutes later when the Harlem defender fail to clear properly and was made to pay of a one time strike from the Dublanc striker just outside the box low to the right bottom corner of Harlem goal to make it 1goal apiece.
Both clubs created opportunities but the equalizer gave Dublanc a bit of momentum and minutes later they went up 2 goal to 1 from a direct Freekick from the right side of the Harlem box which eluded the Harlem Goalkeeper after being sold by a dummy run from a Dublanc striker. The first half ended 2 goals to 1 to Dublanc.
The second half started and Harlem United dominated the proceedings creating several goal scoring opportunities but were unable to convert with the Dublanc defense standing tall.
Harlem under pressure to equalizer to at list send the match into extra time made 4 substitutions at once and saw a revitalisation of the team and got the equalizer almost immediately from the boot of Jadel Xavier one of the 4 substitutes.
Harlem piled on the pressure but could not get the winner. Dublanc in the meanwhile had a few chances on the counter but could not convert. The match ended 2-2 in regulation time.
In extra time Harlem had the majority of possession and control and got the go ahead goal in the first period of extra time for the 3 -2 lead but they again were unable to hold unto their lead when Dublanc again converted from another direct Freekick this time from the left to tie the match at 3 all in the first period of extra time.
Both teams were unable to score in the second period of extra time although they both created opportunities. Dublanc hit the cross bar on two occasions from direct Freekick during the overtime period. After extra time both clubs could not be separated so the dreaded penalty kicks had to settle the outcome.
It was Harlem United who held their nerves with a perfect 5 of 5 penalties while Dublanc converted 4 out of their 5 failing to score on their last kick to give Jadel Xavier the hero of the regular time equalizer the opportunity to send Harlem into the semifinals.
He stepped up and made no mistake giving the Dublanc Goalkeeper no chance to spark a mini celebration amongst the players staff and supporters present.
Anglina Byron, developed a deep-seated passion for journalism. Anglina is recognized for her tenacity, strength, and unwavering commitment to delivering honest and reliable news across the Caribbean. She covers general affairs of the region.