Holders N/E Stars knocked out of FA Trophy by Morv’t Caledonia; Connection, D/Force, Civic, Police and C/S Moruga also progress to quarters

File Photo: Defence Force attacking midfielder Hashim Arcia, left, celebrate scoring with striker Devorn Jorsling. Arcia scored a hat-trick in Defence Force's 5-1 win over Central 500 Spartans in the 2017 FA Trophy Round-of-16 on Sun. 22 Oct. 2017.

Morvant Caledonia United made another leap towards a fourth FA Trophy by ousting fellow Pro League compatriots and defending champions North East Stars 4-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in one of six Round-of-16 clashes contested on Sunday.

Teenaged Guyana forward Kelsy Benjamin arrived off the bench to level Morvant Caledonia on the hour mark at the Hasely Crawford Stadium with his first goal for the club after Keston George had put current Pro League leaders and 2003 and 2014-15 FA Trophy champions North East Stars in front on 29 minutes.

Unable to find the winner, both teams trashed it out from the penalty spot and Morvant Caledonia, FA Trophy champions of 2008, 2011-12 and 2012-13, eventually celebrated their first win in two attempts in all competitions under caretaker Abdallah Phillips—the assistant coach holding the reigns in absence of regular head coach Jamaal Shabazz who is expected back this week after international duty with the Trinidad and Tobago U17 Girls Team in Haiti.

Morvant Caledonia’s Kareem Joseph, Sheldon Holder, Kerry Daniel and Otev Lawrence all found the back of North East Stars goalkeeper Akel Clarke’s net while Jelani Felix stood the only scorer for the Stars with Glenroy Samuel between the sticks for the eventual winners.

Morvant Caledonia and North East Stars must lock horns for a second time in three days when the Stars return to the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday in Pro League action from 5pm at the training field.

Stars’ head coach Derek King, who will now return his focus on the Pro League crown with six league games left this season, reportedly said “[despite dominating] the (FA Trophy) affair” against Morvant Caledonia, his side deserved to be on the losing end having failed to convert their scoring opportunities.
Upcoming Trinidad and Tobago Pro League 2017 Round Two Match Day Four fixtures.
Also progressing to the FA Trophy quarter-final stage carded for November 12 were four other Pro League outfits: W Connection, Defence Force, Police FC and Point Fortin Civic – all former champions – and Super League’s Club Sando Moruga.

Connection, four-time former champions, edged Super League’s Cunupia FC 3-2 in a fiery contest that saw three red cards, a missed penalty, a converted penalty, and a “Showtime” double at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.

But six-time former champions Defence Force, led by an uninterrupted hat-trick from Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Hashim Arcia, made light work of Central 500 Spartans, trashing the Super League outfit 5-1 at Barataria Oval.

Arcia scored in the 
11th, 39th and 51st minutes for Defence Force before national teammate and defender Curtis Gonzales and Akil Morris got on the scoresheet in the 82th and 90th minutes respectively. Donavon Derrick scored the lone Spartans’ item in the 62nd minute.

Three-time former champions, Police FC, left it late against WASA FC’s Eastern Football Association (EFA) side for a 2-1 win through goals by Elijah Belgrave and Kenaz Williams 89th and 92nd minutes to overturn a one-goal deficit at WASA Ground in St. Joseph after Theo Hosein had given the hosts the lead on 59 minutes.

Elsewhere, Jabari Mitchell and Shaquille Dublin scored on either side of the break to earn 1969 champions Point Fortin Civic a 2-0 win over Police FC’s Super League side at Police Barracks in St. James.

But in Marabella, Connection and Cunupia turned the heat up on the wet Sunday afternoon.

Daniel Diaz fired Connection ahead after just seven minutes, turning Euller Eduardo Couto’s cross past Cunupia goalkeeper Keston Malchan. Then, Suriname international Dimitri Apai made it 2-0 on 53 minutes with a close range header after Diaz headed a Hughtun Hector’s left side corner back across the six-yard area.

But the diminutive Diaz and Cunupia left-back Tevin Mungo were sent off with direct red cards on the hour mark for violent conduct.

Referee Joel Cox, who awarded two penalties to Cunupia on the afternoon, also issued a direct red card to Cunupia midfielder Zavion Navarro deep in stoppage-time for what looked a hit to the face of Brazilian forward Couto.

Earlier ex-Pro Leaguer, Kevon “Showtime” Woodley, produced a double that kept Cunupia in the game and some neat tricks, including a cheeky heeled pass that created an opening for Navarro who saw his attempt crash off the upright in the 45th minute.

Woodley first sliced Connection’s lead in the 69th minute, wrong-siding Connection goalie Julani Archibald from the penalty spot after drawing a foul from defender Triston Hodge then showing teammate and another former Pro Leaguer Michael Yaw Darko how to keep his cool against the Savonetta Boys.

Darko had spilled overbar from the spot on 20 minutes after Hakeem Legall was pulled down in the area by enterprising Connection full-back Frank Padilla Gil. And moments later Archibald was at his best to keep out a strike from Legall.

But Connection despite wasting the majority of chances restored their two-goal advantage in the 71st minute when Alvin Jones, who was denied by the upright ten minutes into the second half, drilled a low Hector feed past Marchan for a 3-1 score.

“Showtime”, however, wasn’t done.

Woodley completed his double in the 75th minute, slotting the ball past a last-ditch attempt by Hodge to defend at the goal line after running free on a long pass from Stephen Julien and rounding goalkeeper Archibald.

But with Cunupia on the wrong side of a 3-2 score and self-destructing in the final moments, Connection are through to the quarter-finals.

Connection, second on the Pro League standings, will shift their focus to Tuesday’s league clash against Police FC from 3:30pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium. Simultaneously, Club Sando must take on Point Fortin Civic at the Hasely Crawford Stadium; Central FC against Defence Force at Larry Gomes Stadium; and St. Ann’s Rangers are to host San Juan Jabloteh at St. Augustine Secondary School Ground.

FA Trophy 2017
Round-of-16

(Sunday 22 October 2017)
Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Kelsey Benjamin 61’) vs North East Stars 1 (Keston George 29’), Hasely Crawford Stadium,

Morvant Caledonia won 4-1 on penalties;

W Connection 3 (Daniel Diaz 7’, Dimitri Apai 53’, Alvin Jones 71’), vs Cunupia FC 2 (Kevon Woodley 69’ pen., 75’), at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Defence Force FC (Pro League) 5 (Hashim Arcia 11’, 39’, 51’, Curtis Gonzales 82’, Akil Morris 90’) vs Central 500 Spartans 1 (Donavon Derrick 62’), at Barataria Oval;

Police FC (Super League) 0 vs Point Fortin Civic 2 (Jabari Mitchell 15’, Shaquille Dublin 85’), at Police Barracks, St. James;

WASA FC (EFA) 1 (Theo Hosein 59’) vs Police FC (Pro League) 2 (Elijah Belgrave 89’, Kenaz Williams 90’+2), WASA Ground, St. Joseph;

Club Sando Moruga 2 (Sharkeel Louison 43’, Akim Julien 56’) vs MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers 2 (Aaquil Selby 13’, Jerrel Hilbert 27’), in Grand Chemin, Moruga,
Club Sando Moruga won 3-1 on penalties;

Defence Force FC (Super League) vs Guaya United, Barataria Oval. (Postponed)

Upcoming FA Trophy Round-of-16 fixture
(Wednesday 25 October 2017)
1976 FC Phoenix vs FC Santa Rosa, 5pm, Canaan Recreation Ground, Tobago.

Trinidad and Tobago Pro League 2017
Upcoming Round Two Match Day Four fixtures
(Tuesday 24 October 2017)
W Connection vs Police FC, 3:30pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Club Sando vs Point Fortin Civic, 3:30pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Central FC vs Defence Force FC, 3:30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;

MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers vs San Juan Jabloteh, 3:30pm, St. Augustine Secondary School Ground;

Morvant Caledonia United vs North East Stars, 5pm, Hasely 
Crawford Stadium training field.

Teams at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Sunday in the FA Trophy Round-of-16
W Connection: 18.Julani Archibald (GK); 2.Frank Padilla Gil (Yellow Card), 3.Gerard Williams (Capt.), 4.Maurice Ford, 7.Neil Benjamin Jr. (11.Shervone Malik St. Prix 46th minute), 10.Dimitri Apai, 14.Euller Eduardo Couto, 16.Alvin Jones, 19.Briel Thomas (5.Triston Hodge 50th minute), 20.Daniel Diaz (Red Card), 24.Jameel Antoine (13.Hughtun Hector 46th minute).


Unused substitutes: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK); 21.Ronell Paul, 26.Isaiah Garcia, 30.Shaquille John.

Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier

Cunupia FC: 1.Keston Malchan (GK); 2.Tevin Mungo (Red Card), 5.Stephen Julien, 8.Shervon Edwards (Capt.), 10.Michael Yaw Darko, 14.Hakeem Legal (4.Kemron George 86th minute), 18.Andel Bishop, 19.Kevon Woodley, 20.Taurean Sobers (6.Keron Edwards 66th minute) (Yellow Card), 23.Zavion Navarro (Red Card), 24.Jonathan Marcelle.


Unused substitutes: 13.Gimel Felix (GK); 11.Kern Roberts.

Coach: Michael De Four