Academy gives Roma first taste of defeat

Academy SC handed Roma United their first loss of the 2016-17 Cayman Premier League season in a lively encounter at the Annex Sunday night.

From the get-go, it was clear it was going to be an entertaining affair with both sides not shy about their desire to keep the pace up.

An Academy SC corner flew across the face of the goal early but was no trouble for Chase Smith between the pipes. Roma also had a chance with a 2-on-1 breakaway but Academy keeper Miguel Pitta thwarted any thoughts of a Roma lead.

Captain Peter Reijn gave Academy SC the lead nine minutes before the break. With Smith pouncing for a save, Reijn lobbed the ball out of his reach and into the net. It was the first goal Roma United surrendered in the early going of the season.

Reijn had his hands full with Roma's midfielders.

Reijn had his hands full with Roma’s midfielders.

Academy SC closed the half with a 1-0 lead and Roma United went to the changing room trailing for the first time in the 2016-17 campaign.

Appearing unsatisfied with a one-goal lead, Academy SC’s youthful side played the role of aggressor coming out of the break. That paid dividends in the 63rd minute, when moments after coming on, Rohan Williams put one past Simpson – his second of the season.

Now forced to play with an extra sense of urgency being down two goals, Roma United rose to the challenge in the 80th minute, when Dexter Sharpe Monroe scored. That, however, would not be enough, as Academy SC won for the second time in three games this season.

Reijn assessed his team’s performance: “A good first half. The shape was good and we didn’t give many chances away,” the Academy SC captain told “Then we started leaning back, so the pressure came on us. It could have been 2-2 but we got a win in the end.”

He said the side’s strength was their organisation and teamwork. “When we lost our organisation in the last 25 minutes, they gained strength and it became dangerous for us [but] we did good in the end.”

Roma tasted defeat for the first time this season.

Roma tasted defeat for the first time this season.

Meantime, Roma United’s captain, Gawayne Speed, looked back on his first defeat knowing that was not what they came to the Annex looking for. “It wasn’t 100 [percent]. We didn’t play to our full potential,” he said in a post-match interview with

“We lapsed in certain areas [like] defending. We lost concentration late in the first half and they scored a goal on us. We didn’t pick up to get our feet back on the ground, so we lost the game,” Speed said, adding he was confident that Roma will get its momentum back after training this week before another tough fixture with Elite SC on 23 October. That game is at Ed Bush Sports Complex at 7:00 p.m.

Academy SC returns to the Annex to face Latinos at 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

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