“I have no harsh words for Terry Fenwick but tonight (Friday) he was well outcoached,” boasted Ma Pau SC head coach Michael McComie following his team’s 5-4 penalty win over San Juan Jabloteh after a 2-2 comeback draw in the semi-final round of the 2010-2011 Toyota Classic.
The victory puts the Woodbrook based Ma Pau into its first Final since joining the Pro League in 2008. They face DIRECTV North East Stars from 8pm on Friday 25 February at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
“With myself, it’s a handful for him (Fenwick)… and with Angus in front of me, it was a little bit too much,” continued McComie who considers himself and Eve tacticians of the game.
“But I don’t say that with any malice or disrespect because I thought that Jabloteh did well. It was just that they were outplayed in the end.
“I’ve put it into my players’ heads never to give up because anything is possible and reminded them that Jabloteh conceded two goals in their previous game.
“But again hats off to Jabloteh, they came out to do what they were supposed to do in a semi-final. I thought the game had a quality and an atmosphere of a Final and they contested us well.
Ma Pau were two goals down (Hector Sam 7th minute and Ataullah Guerra 56th minute) before second half items by Cyd Gray(60th minute) and substitute Shane Calderon (78th minute) brought the game to level terms and sending the teams to kicks from the penalty spot in the end.
“We were very sloppy in the first half because my players for one reason or the other didn’t stick to the game plan,” said McComie.
“But as I’ve said before my technically staff was cleverly put together before the season and just after the half Angus and myself spoke to the boys. No harsh words, but we made them understand that they must entertain and the people deserve to see a certain brand of football.
“We had to change things around in the dressing room and we had 45 minutes. The players also needed to understand that if we lose, we had to lose trying to play the way in which we train.
“I sensed Jabloteh started to panic when we pulled a goal back with Fenwick playing five defenders at the back.
“We had nothing to lose, so I preferred to lose the game by five goals than 2-1. We played three strikers and changed things around in the midfield and with a coach more or less panicking on the other side and trying to hold on to that goal, it was easy for us and my players accepted the challenge. It was carefully planned in the second half and hats off to our players to come from two goals down.”
McComie said he purposely didn’t kick penalties in training the day before he could not create in training the pressure they would be under if the game should go to penalties.
He applauded the performance former England based goalkeeper Clayton Ince for making saves from the spot and putting his side through to the Final.
“Ince was the savior for us. That’s what he is getting paid for and I thought that he did well for a second running to keep us in the tournament. And at the end of the day I told him I am paying him to save and I expect him to save. I am upset that he didn’t save the first three penalties and had to put us through that tense affair,” said McComie with a grin.