Thursday April 7, 2016
Morvant Caledonia United have struggled this season but coach Jerry Moe warns that the “Eastern Stallions” are an improved side that wants to capture their second Lucozade Sport Goal Shield (LSGS).
After progressing from the qualifying round with a 3-1 win over Point Fortin Civic last Tuesday, Caledonia must now face Defence Force – the side they defeated 3-1 in the 2012 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield final – for their second quarterfinal meeting this season after defeating the Army/Coast Guard combination 2-1 during the First Citizens Cup on October 18.
Defence Force though, did storm back in the Digicel Pro League to trash Caledonia 8-0 on January 8 but only managed a 2-1 win in the league when both sides last met on February 21.
“We know Army,” said Moe. “We have met them three times already this season, including one where they slaughtered us. But we are a different team now. We are aware of their strengths, especially on the set pieces as well as having a few quality players. We are preparing for them but more importantly it’s down to how we manage ourselves in the one-on-one situations.”
Caledonia and Defence Force will clash from 4pm on quarterfinals Day Two on Saturday April 9 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium before San Juan Jabloteh meets Police FC from 6pm.
Defending LSGS (2014) champions Central FC are eager to retain the title, while 2009 and 2013 winners W Connection are chasing a third major trophy this season after the First Citizens Cup and Toyota Classic.
“Two years [since winning the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield] is a very long time,” said W Connection assistant coach Earl Jean on Monday. “We are spoilt on winning trophies at W Connection and we have been awaiting on our next chance. We are [presently] very motivated for a third trophy this season.”
Central, yet to win a major trophy this season, will begin their LSGS defence against St. Ann’s Rangers from 6pm on quarterfinals Day One on Friday April 8 at the Ato Boldon Stadium followed by W Connection against 2010 winners North East Stars from 8pm.
“Testament to the type of football we are playing we have top scored in the past couple months and we want to take that into this (Lucozade Sport Goal Shield) tournament,” said Central FC team manager Kevin Jeffrey. “Expect us in the final and lifting the trophy.”
On Monday Moe said going all the way to win the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield is very important to Caledonia.
“We (Caledonia) don’t have a chance in the league, so this is our opportunity to [salvage] something this season,” explained Moe, whose side sits third from the bottom on the 10-team DPL standings with 18 points—28 points away from leaders Central (46 points) while Defence Force (42 points) are second with five games left.
“We are not the same team at the start of the season, so [you] will see an improved Caledonia from the qualifiers,” added the Caledonia coach.
Caledonia did look an improved side when they whipped Civic 3-1, before Rangers edged LSGS debutants Club Sando 1-0, in the qualifiers on Tuesday with Trinidad and Tobago international and former Kazakhstan-based player Robert Primus scoring one and setting up another scored by the “Eastern Stallions” captain Kareem Joseph, who also ended with an assist after setting up Jameel Neptune to score the final goal in progressing to the quarterfinal round.
Moe pointed out, “It wasn’t a bad game. But we took too long to in going forward and capitalising on the possession we had. Many times we allowed them (Civic) to get back behind the ball.”
Caledonia last won a title in March 2013. That title, the FA Trophy, in the 2012/13 season that also saw them lift the First Citizens Cup. It was the glory days of the Morvant/Laventille based club who were the Caribbean Club Champions and Lucozade Sport Goal Shield winners in the previous season.
Lucozade Sport Goal Shield 2016
Friday April 8
Ato Boldon Stadium
Central FC vs St. Ann’s Rangers—6pm
W Connection vs North East Stars—8pm
Saturday April 9
Hasely Crawford Stadium
Defence Force vs Morvant Caledonia United—4pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs Police FC—6pm
Qualifying Round results
Tuesday April 5
Morvant Caledonia United 3 (Robert Primus 41’, Kareem Joseph 71’, Jameel Neptune 78’) vs Point Fortin Civic 1 (Kelvin Modeste 72’), at the Ato Boldon Stadium;
Club Sando 0 vs St. Ann’s Rangers 1 (Johan Peltier 86’), at the Ato Boldon Stadium.