National Team News

Category: National Team News

Jabloteh tame Stars; Connection lose but cements CONCACAF return, and Civic end with a bang

​Photo: Point Fortin Civic players during the 2017 First Citizens Cup play-offs.

Caribbean powerhouse W Connection will join Pro League champions North East Stars at next season’s CONCACAF qualifying in the Caribbean Club Championship – expected to begin next March – despite losing in Tuesday's final slate of PL matches which brought to a close the 2017 PL season.

Connection, multiple-time former Caribbean champions, were edged 1-0 at the Ato Boldon Stadium by Morvant Caledonia United in the closing game of the PL calendar but had already cemented a top-two finish — which earns Trinidadian teams places at the Caribbean Club Championship — after third-place finishers Defence Force were earlier held to a 0-0 draw by fourth-placed Club Sando at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Pro League 2017 final standings

#

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

 

1

North East Stars

18

12

4

2

39

15

24

40

 

2

W Connection

18

10

3

5

33

19

14

33

 

3

Defence Force

18

9

4

5

27

20

7

31

 

4

Club Sando

18

8

6

4

28

16

12

30

 

5

San Juan Jabloteh

18

8

2

8

27

33

-6

26

 

6

Morvant Caledonia

18

6

4

8

19

21

-2

22

 

7

Point Fortin Civic

18

6

3

9

26

29

-3

21

 

8

Police FC

18

5

5

8

29

29

0

20

 

9

Central FC

18

4

5

9

23

37

-14

17

 

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

18

2

4

12

12

44

-32

10

 


Kerry Daniel scored midway through the second half for Morvant Caledonia who finished sixth—an improvement for the former Caribbean champions after ending second from bottom in the previous three PL seasons.

Connection, who missed out on the international stage this year, are far from finished. The 2017 First Citizens Cup champions and PL runners-up led by longstanding coach Stuart Charles Fevrier must face Police FC in the FA Trophy final on December 8 from 8pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Police were ruthless against last season’s three-peat league champions Central FC, defeating the Couva Sharks 7-2 in the earlier game at Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday but finished eighth. And although steadily on the drop in recent years, the Lawmen can end a two-decade-plus title drought with the FA Trophy.

Coach Richard Hood’s men, for a second game on the trot after defeating Morvant Caledonia 5-1 in last Sunday’s FA Trophy semi-finals, proved their finishing ability with Shaquille Williams and defender Dexter Alleyne both scoring twice against Central following midfielder Kurdell Braithwaite’s opening strike.

Striker Keion Wilson also got on the scoresheet in the second half for the Lawmen before an own goal credited to Central defender Tyrik John in stoppage-time completed the comfortable victory.

Alleyne, though, also had an own goal to his name for Central’s second goal after veteran midfielder Jason Marcano scored his seventh goal in all competitions this season for the Sharks.

But further south, Point Fortin Civic snared the biggest league win of the season with a 7-0 victory over cellar-placed MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers at Mahaica Oval.

Forward Jared Bennet led with his first professional beaver-trick while mid-season midfield signing Nathaniel Garcia grabbed a double in the contest that also saw Kevin Moodie score in front of home fans on their final display of the season.

Civic, though, finished seventh, ahead of, in descending order, Police, Central and Rangers, for their best placing since finishing fourth and fifth respectively in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons under current coach Reynold Carrington who returned at the helm this season after the Point Fortin outfit ended bottom last term.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, new Pro League champions North East Stars were hoping to end on winning note – just as they started in front of home fans – after securing the crown on the penultimate day, but instead conceded their first loss at the iconic Arima Velodrome despite a creditable second-half fight back against fifth-placed San Juan Jabloteh who held on for a 3-2 win.

Stars’ head coach Derek King’s idea to field a number of non-starters backfired in the first half with Julio Noel, Sean Bonval and Kadeem Hutchinson scoring past goalkeeper Jabari Brice to put Jabloteh three nil ahead with just over half hour played.

But the champion coach, King, responded by replacing Jabari Brathwaite and Seon Thomas after the break with 2006 World Cup midfielder Densill Theobald and talented midfielder-turned-defender Keston George, respectively, and got the change in momentum.

Forward Rundell Winchester headed in a Theobald corner for his 10th league – finishing two goals adrift of 2017 Golden Boot winner Neil Benjamin Jr. who scored 12 league goals for Connection – and winger Kishun Seecharan scored a brilliant goal three minutes later midway through the second half.

However it wasn’t enough to complete the Stars’ clawback despite King’s men pulling off the majority of shots including a blast from distance from Elton John that flew just wide and another Seecharan attempt which was brilliantly matched by Jabloteh ‘keeper Shemel Louison whose outstretched leg kept the ball from entering the back of the net.

Trinidad and Tobago Pro League 2017
Round Two Match Day Nine results

Defence Force 0 vs Club Sando 0, at Hasely Crawford Stadium Outside Field;

North East Stars 2 (Rundell Winchester 69’, Kishun Seecharan 72’) vs San Juan Jabloteh 3 (Julio Noel 3’, Sean Bonval 20’, Kadeem Hutchinson 32’), at Arima Velodrome;

Point Fortin Civic 7 (Jared Bennet 7’, 47’, 54’, 75’, Nathaniel Garcia 27’, 76’, Kevin Moodie 69’) vs MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers 0, at Mahaica Oval;

Central FC 2 (Jason Marcano 12’, Dexter Alleyne Own Goal 56’) vs Police FC 7 (Kurdell Braithwaite 5’, Shaquille Williams 20’, 58’, Dexter Alleyne 29’, 35’, Keion Wilson 54’, Tirik John Own Goal 90+1’), at Ato Boldon Stadium;

W Connection 0 vs Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Kerry Daniel 67’), at Ato Boldon Stadium.