Jabloteh edge D/Force on kicks to meet W Connection in First Citizens Cup quarters

San Juan Jabloteh goalkeeper Shane Mattis, centre, is praised by teammates after making the winning penalty save against Defence Force in Tuesday’s 2014 First Citizens Cup play-off at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
Tuesday 14 October 2014

Marvin Lee Stadium, MACOYA – Forward Devorn Jorsling missed a crucial first half penalty before witnessing - from the bench - a nail-biting end on Tuesday night as his side Defence Force went down 3-2 on penalties against San Juan Jabloteh following a 1-1 draw in their play-off match of the 2014 First Citizens Cup.

Richard Roy, a second half substitute at the expense of Jorsling, scored a late regular time equaliser after Jabloteh had the lead through a superb Andell Noray strike.

But it was Jabloteh’s goalie Shane Mattis that sprung into stardom during kicks from the penalty mark.

The 30-year-old Jamaican made two saves; denying Roy, then defender Rodell Elcock on the fifth to send his teammates and San Juan supporters alike into celebration.

With the win, Jabloteh, the 2000 and 2003 First Citizens Cup winners, advanced into Friday's quarterfinal round and will go up against six-time (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006. 2007 & 2008) winners W Connection from 6 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

The Couva venue will also host defending champions Central FC against Point Fortin Civic from 8 pm on Friday.

The quarterfinal round will continue on Saturday 18 October at the Marvin Lee Stadium with Police FC against St. Ann’s Rangers from 5 pm and two-time (2011 & 2012) former winners Caledonia AIA against North East Stars from 7 pm.

“I have a fair idea of what W Connection does,” said Jabloteh head coach Keith Jeffrey following his team’s hard-fought penalty win over Defence Force.

“So (our) system will change for W Connection relative to the game on Friday.

“We know the pinnacle is when we are against W Connection. We want to be victorious. All players must try to achieve against the best team in the land, and the best team in the land is W Connection. It is an opportunity for the (present Jabloteh) players to show if they can compete at (W Connection’s) level.”

Jeffrey added that Jabloteh’s ambition is to be successful in the 2014-2015 and to return the club onto the pedestal as one of the top teams in Trinidad and Tobago.

Jeffrey’s emotions fluctuated as he supported his team from the edge of the technical area during the kicks from the penalty mark.

Jabloteh substitute Shaquille Bertrand was the first to step up but drilled his effort wide before Dillon Kirton smashed the club’s second hit into the roof of the net beating Army goalkeeper Andre Marchan.

Marchan then pulled off save to blank Calib Sturge on Jabloteh’s third kick before goal-scorer Noray comfortably sent a left-footer into the back of the net. Jamaican Adrian Reid later scored into the top corner for Jabloteh’s third goal from the spot, slightly bettering Defence Force in the end.

At first Mattis made a low stop to deny Roy then watched a fancy Dave Long chipped attempt crash off the upright.

Mattis was defeated comfortably by Ross Russell Jr. and although getting some glove to Curtis Gonzales’ strike he conceded again, but made a low diving save to his left to deny Elcock to grab victory.
San Juan Jabloteh assistant coach Nigel Henry, on enemy grounds, as he looks on during Tuesday’s 2014 First Citizens Cup play-off against Defence Force.
“(I am) disappointed in the loss,” Defence Force head coach Ross Russell said. “(…) but I think (our) guys gave their all tonight (Tuesday). We came back from 1 nil (down) to equalize late in the game.

“Penalties go anywhere and normally we have a bad record with penalties. We continued the (poor) record (tonight).”

After two early misses by attacking midfielders Jerwyn Balthazar and Josimar Belgrave in the 7th and 18th minutes respectively, the 2002 and 2009 winners and last season’s defeated finalists, Defence Force, had a great opportunity to grab the lead.

The “Tetron Boys” had won the favour of referee Crystal Sobers, who pointed to the penalty spot, in the 26th minute after ruling that defender Jevon Morris had fouled Ross Russell Jr inside the area.

But Jorsling, typically known to comfortably score from the spot, disappointingly dragged his hit wide of the base of ‘keeper Mattis' upright.
Defence Force winger Ross Russell Jr., right, sends in one of his many telling crosses during Tuesday’s 2014 First Citizens Cup play-off against San Juan Jabloteh. Jabloteh won the match 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
“It was unlike Jorsling in a game like this where it was tight,” explained Russell. “He (Jorsling) said it just hit the wrong part of his foot and went wide. I won’t fault him much because he is really our number one penalty kicker.”

Coach Russell’s son, Russell Jr., executed a number of telling crosses from the left on the night however his teammates failed to put them on target until the 88th minute.

Russell Jr. swung in a cross in the 51st minute but Kerry Joseph directed his volley wide after rushing in towards the back post.

Then on the 55th minute the left-side attacking midfielder, who can also occupy left-back, sent another ball into the area and after taking it down, Jorsling fired wide of the upper corner.

A minute later and another raid on the San Juan defense saw Jorsling's attempt to lob Mattis, after muscling off a couple Jabloteh shirts, lift the ball high over.

Roy, who replaced Jorsling in the 65th minute, was at the end of another excellent Russell Jr. cross in the 68th minute but volleyed wide.
Defence Force substitute Richard Roy, right, celebrates scoring the regular time equaliser during Tuesday’s 2014 First Citizens Cup play-off against San Juan Jabloteh.
Then on the 75th minute Jabloteh grabbed a 1-0 advantage against the run of play through Noray, who had a 41st minute free-kick just high of the upper corner.

But when the Tobagonian turned on his favoured left foot, after being picked out by Jamaican Newtown Sterling inside the area, he fired past Marchan and into the far netting for what seemed the likely winner.

But two minutes from the end of regular time substitute Roy leveled the score 1-1 when he controlled a Russell Jr. cross inside the area and sent a left-footed strike past eventual penalty kicks’ hero, Mattis.

“It was a great game,” added Russell Sr. “I think Jabloteh fought very hard to the end – they really put in the work. We had a lot of chances that went a begging and that hurt us.”

Jeffrey meanwhile said, “Defence Force have always been a team that competes whether it be a Cup, League, or FA and we knew that we were in for a fight against them.

“But we were ready. We played them in a pre-season practice match and had a very good idea of what they wanted to do. So we just adjusted to suit and at the end of the day it worked out.

“It was a mistake that they equalised from but at the end we showed our strength and that we are an improving team from last season. And anytime you can go up against the Defence Force and win whether it is penalties or within the ninety minutes, it’s always a good thing,” concluded the Jabloteh coach.

2014 First Citizens Cup play-off

Defence Force 1 (2)–1 (3) San Juan Jabloteh

Richard Roy 88'  ;  Andell Noray 75'

Kicks from the penalty mark

San Juan Jabloteh (3)                    Defence Force (2)
Shaquille Bertrand (missed)         Richard Roy (saved)
Dillon Kirton (scored)                     Dave Long (missed)
Calib Sturge (saved)                       Ross Russell (scored)
Andell Noray (scored)                    Curtis Gonzales (scored)
Adrian Reid (scored)                      Rodell Elcock (saved)

Teams
Defence Force: 28. Andre Marchan (GK), 4. Dave Long, 6. Rodell Elcock, 8. Curtis Gonzales, 9. Devorn Jorsling (C) (26. Richard Roy 65th minute), 10. Josimar Belgrave (18. Sean Narcis 65th minute), 13. Marvin Jones, 17. Ross Russell Jr., 21. Aklie Edwards, 23. Kerry Joseph (16. Kellon Serrette 77th minute), 15. Jerwyn Balthazar

Unused substitutes: 5. Devin Jordan, 12. Jemel Sebro, 22. Jamali Garcia, 25. Sheldon Clarke (GK)

Coach: Ross Russell

San Juan Jabloteh: 30. Shane Mattis (GK), 18. Jevon Morris, 22. Calib Sturge, 12. Brendon Boucaud (16. Nyron Jones 85th minute), 6. Dario Holmes, 19. Dillon Kirton, 24. Adrian Reid, 7. Andell Noray, 17. Fabian Reid, 8. Newtown Sterling (15. Duran Dilworth 76th minute), 9. Johan Peltier (14. Shaquille Bertrand 63rd minute)

Unused substitutes: 36. Raheem Belgrave (GK), 10. Kerry Baptiste, 25. Troy Moses

Coach: Keith Jeffrey

First Citizens Cup 2014
Quarter Final Round
Friday 17 October
Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs San Juan Jabloteh (D)–6 pm
Central FC vs Point Fortin Civic (A)—8pm

Saturday 18 October
Marvin Lee Stadium
Police FC vs St. Ann's Rangers (C)—5pm
Caledonia AIA vs North East Stars (B)—7pm

Semi-Final Round
Friday 24 October
A. vs C. (M)
B. vs D. (N)

Final
Friday 31 October
M vs N