Couva derby: Central, Connection in rescheduled Digicel Pro League clash on Tuesday

Central FC's Darren Mitchell, left, evades a challenge by W Connection's Jamal Clarence during the 2014 Digicel Charity Shield last September
Monday 27 October 2014

Last season’s Digicel Pro League (DPL) winners W Connection and runners-up Central FC will shift their focus to the 2014-2015 championship on Tuesday when both Couva clubs clash in a rescheduled Round One Match Day Two fixture from 7 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

The head-to-head of seven meetings between Connection and Central last season stood at a deadlock of 3 wins and 1 draw each, but already this season Connection holds the lead with a 1-0 win over the “Couva Sharks” in the 2014 Digicel Charity Shield on September 20.

“No two games are the same and I don’t think that (1-0 win) will give us any advantage heading into Tuesday’s game,” said W Connection head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier.

Connection are coming off back to back defeats (2-0 against San Juan Jabloteh in the quarterfinal round of the FCC on October 17 and 1-0 against North East Stars in Round One Match Day Three of the DPL on October 21) since edging Central just over a month ago.

“It’s very important for us to get a victory on Tuesday because we are not yet off the ground,” added Charles-Fevrier.

The Connection coach said that his team was unfortunate against North East Stars with a direct red sending off of substitute Yefer Steven Lozano.

“We had a player sent off wrongfully,” he said. “The video evidence doesn’t suggest any wrongdoing. It really hurt us in that game and we are now hoping we are not as unlucky on Tuesday.”

Charles-Fevrier said that Central, like other teams, have played more often than the “Savonnetta Boys” and it serves as a plus to his opponents but he isn’t too worried.

Central meanwhile are also preparing for Friday’s (31 October) First Citizens Cup (FCC) Final against North East Stars at the same venue, for a title they are defending, but should seek revenge against Connection after missing out on the Charity Shield.

In September a first half strike by Connection attacker Hashim Arcia separated the Couva clubs before the break and lasted till the final blow of referee Rodphin Harris’ whistle, earning the 2012 and 2013 Charity Shield winners the title a third consecutive time.

Now as much as Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes welcomes the clash against Connection, the 64-year-old Serbian said the timing of the match puts his side at a disadvantage (coming off last Friday’s 3-1 penalty win in the FCC semi-final round following a 0-0 draw), although his players are confident that they can perform well.

He added, “We will try to have good result but they (Connection) have the advantage because they are rested (having not reached the semi-final round of the FCC) and it’s not fair to us at all in such a (clash). We would prefer a fair opportunity to every team.

“We see the game against W Connection (on Tuesday) as very important to our league ambition but the (FCC) Final on Friday is more important to us at this stage. We will try to prepare in the best possible way for both games and try to have a good balance in selection of players,” ended the Central FC coach.

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015
Rescheduled Round One Match Day Two fixture
Tuesday 28 October 2014
Ato Boldon Stadium
Central FC vs W Connection—7 pm