Connection and 10-man Central progress in Toyota Classic via penalties

Ataulla Guerra (centre), pictured last season with teammates (left to right) Darren Mitchell, Jason Marcano and Kevon Villaroel, made his Central FC return against Point Fortin Civic on Friday night following a lengthy lay-off due to injury.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Former champions W Connection and Couva-rivals Central FC both narrowly advanced into the quarter-final round of the Toyota Classic 2015 via penalty kicks at the Mahaica Oval on Friday night.

Connection, Toyota Classic champions in 2005, 2011 and 2013, defeated Club Sando 5-3 from the spot after a 0-0 draw in the first match of a Round of 16 double-header at the Point Fortin venue.

Then in the later match, which also ended in a 0-0 stalemate, Central, who finished the heated encounter with 10-men, surfaced 3-2 winners after a dramatic shoot-out involving home side Point Fortin Civic.

Civic, leading 2-1 on kicks, had a gift of an opportunity to apply further pressure on Central after goalkeeper Miles Goodman had blanked Willis Plaza—the Trinidad and Tobago international seemingly lost his composure due to a three-minute wait for the top of the netting to be repaired after a thunderous kick from Civic’s Andrei Pacheco had beaten goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.

However Civic failed to find the back of the net again with winger Akeem Redhead blasting his attempt into the night sky before Williams denied substitute Jared Bennett and Bevon Bass struck the base of the upright.

Unlucky for Troy Moses, who scored along with Pacheco, and goalkeeper Goodman, who produced another save to deny Central’s Leston Paul, that the Couva Sharks, courtesy converted kicks from Ataulla Guerra, Andre Ettienne and Darren Mitchell, were the ones celebrating a quarter-finals spot.

Central, the defeated First Citizens Cup finalists a week ago, moves into the quarter-final round where they will meet Morvant Caledonia United, 5-3 winners over Super League opponents 1976 FC Phoenix last Wednesday.

W Connection forward Shahdon Winchester (left) skips away from a challenge by North East Stars utility player Keryn Navarro during a clash last season.

While Connection, fresh from last week’s First Citizens Cup crowning, will meet Toyota Classic 2012 champions North East Stars, who hammered Super League side Siparia Spurs 8-0 in their Round of 16 fixture last Wednesday.

Shahdon Winchester, Jomal Williams, Dwight Quintero, Kurt Frederick and Gerard Williams were all clinical from the spot to beat Sando goalkeeper Alexei Julien.

While Sando, this season’s First Citizens Cup third place winners, paid the price of defeat after Akeem Humphrey, who had a brilliant regulation-time performance, hammered his side’s third kick onto the crossbar.

Kevon Woodley, Kemuel Rivers and Kern Cupid, who were part of six former Connection players fielded by Sando, converted their kicks.

Connection started the game without regular captain Alvin Jones, while the club’s leading scorer in all competitions this season, Jomal, was utilised off the bench.

Coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier had called on the services of Jomal following a goalless first half which included stand-in captain Neil Benjamin Jr. fluffing an attempt wide in the 3rd minute with goalkeeper Julien at his mercy after collecting a defence-splitting pass by vice-captain Winchester.

Under half hour later Benjamin returned the favour with a low pass across the area but Winchester’s effort lacked the desired sting, affording Julien a comfortable gather.

There were further attempts by either side, but little to trouble opposite goalkeepers, forcing the repeat of the 2013 final, which Connection won, to be decided from the spot.

As expected, the second match of the double header didn’t lack intensity between home-side Civic and Central. The contest also had some teeth to it, forcing referee Cecile Hinds to intervene on numerous occasions, including ejecting Central midfielder Elijah Manners with a direct red card in the 67th minute for a lunging tackle on Civic’s Glenn Sutton.

It was a tough day at the office for Central, the reigning league and Caribbean champions, as Civic slugged it out in every area of the pitch, taking full advantage of the absence of Central’s star midfielder Marvin Oliver, who missed the match due to being suspended by his club for an internal matter.

Central head coach Ross Russell fielded former Civic defensive ace Andre Ettienne and midfielder Ataulla Guerra for the first time after lengthy lay-offs due to injury but even that failed offer much against the side they defeated 3-0 in league action at the same venue on September 26.

Guerra had troubled goalkeeper Goodman from distance in the fifth minute when the ball took an awkward bounce and two minutes later Jason Marcano had the ball into the back of the net, but the offside flag had already been lifted.

Marcano failed to win the luck of the flag again in the 73rd minute after his deflected strike, following a run and cross from the left by Marcus Joseph, ended in the back of the Civic net.

Goodman, who kept out a low Marcus Joseph volley at the near post in the 18th minute, produced another excellent save on the hour mark to keep out a Plaza effort off a Marcano free-kick.

Despite their improved efforts, including a stoppage-time Andrei Pacheco free-kick which clipped the top of the upright and attempts earlier by Troy Moses and Redhead which were blanked by opposing goalkeeper Williams, Civic eventually fell on penalties.

Round of 16 action continues today (Saturday) at the Larry Gomes Stadium with St. Ann’s Rangers against Pro League counterpart Defence Force from 3 pm.

Then on Sunday, the Guayaguayare Recreation Ground will come alive when home side Guaya United welcomes Police FC from 3 pm, and simultaneously at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Super League side Marabella Family Crisis Centre will take on defending Toyota Classic champions San Juan Jabloteh.

Toyota Classic 2015
Round of 16 (Preliminary Round)
Wednesday 4 November results
Ato Boldon Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United 5 (Eugine Kirwan 3’, Akeem Roach 12’, 67’, Densill Theobald 22’, Kennedy Isles 90’+) vs 1976 FC Phoenix 3 (Stefano Wright 31’, Dominic Mc Dougall 45’+, Lejandro Williams 53’) (A2)

Marvin Lee Stadium
Defence Force (Super League) 0 vs FC Santa Rosa 1 (Devon King 72’) (D1)

North East Stars 8 (Jomoul Francois 13’, 63’, 64’, 75’, Kerron Cummings 14’, 47’, Gorean Highly 9’, Dillon Jaggasar 71’) vs Siparia Spurs 0 (B1)

Friday 6 November results
Mahaica Oval
W Connection 0 (5) vs Club Sando 0 (3) (B2)
W Connection won the match 5-3 on penalties

Kicks from the penalty mark
W Connection 5 Club Sando 3
Shahdon Winchester (scored) Kevon Woodley (scored)
Jomal Williams (scored) Kemuel Rivers (scored)
Dwight Quintero (scored) Akeem Humphrey (post)
Kurt Frederick (scored) Kern Cupid (scored)
Gerard Williams (scored)

Point Fortin Civic 0 (2) vs Central FC 0 (3) (A1)
Central won the match 3-2 on penalties

Kicks from the penalty mark
Point Fortin Civic 2 Central FC 3
Troy Moses (scored) Ataulla Guerra (scored)
Andrei Pacheco (scored) Willis Plaza (saved)
Akeem Redhead (missed) Andre Ettienne (scored)
Jared Bennett (saved) Leston Paul (saved)
Bevon Bass (post) Darren Mitchell (scored)

Upcoming Round of 16 matches
Saturday 7 November 2015
Larry Gomes Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Defence Force (Pro League) (D2)—3 pm

Sunday 8 November 2015
Guayaguayare Recreation Ground
Guaya United vs Police FC (C1)—3 pm

Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
Marabella Family Crisis Centre vs San Juan Jabloteh (C2)—3 pm

Quarter Final Round
Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia United (E)
North East Stars vs W Connection (F)
Winners C1 vs Winners C2 (G)
FC Santa Rosa vs Winners D2 (H)

Semi Final Round
Winners E vs Winners F
Winners G vs Winners H

Final

Teams at the Mahaica Oval on Saturday
Game 1
W Connection: 2.Kurt Frederick, 3.Gerard Williams, 5.Triston Hodge (4.Maurice Ford 77th minute), 8.Briel Thomas (Yellow Card) (19.Dwight Quintero 65th minute), 9.Shahdon Winchester (Yellow Card), 11.Neil Benjamin Jr. (Capt.), 14.Andre Toussaint, 17.Aikim Andrews, 18.Julani Archibald (GK), 25.Christian Felipe Ocoro Viveros, 34.Jabari Mitchell (10.Jomal Williams 60th minute)

Unused substitutes: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK), 13.Kion Joseph, 21.Shannon Gomez, 46.Anfernee Frederick

Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier

Club Sando: 5.Devon Drayton, 6.Kemuel Rivers, 7.Akeem Humphrey, 8.Jeromie Williams, 11.Teba Mc Knight (Capt.) (20.Keith Williams 82nd minute), 13.Kern Cupid, 16.Kevon Woodley (Yellow Card), 17.Jared London, 22.Corneal Thomas, 24.Devon Modeste (19.Ryan Frederick 77th minute), 33.Alexei Julien (GK)

Unused substitutes: 9.Jessie Downing, 15.Amrit Gildharry, 18.Shane Hospidales, 26.Shaquille Holder, 34.Kelvin Henry (GK)

Coach: Anthony Streete

Match Referee: Kevin Smart

Game 2
Point Fortin Civic: 1.Miles Goodman (GK), 15.Nedeon Noel (Yellow Card), 2.Garyl Doldron (28.Jared Bennett 68th minute), 11.Tigana Sparks, 19.Andrei Pacheco, 27.Kern Peters, 12.Glenn Sutton (Yellow Card), 8.Akeem Redhead, 16.Kelvin Modeste (Capt.) (Yellow Card) (7.Nickcolson Thomas 46th minute), 25.Troy Moses, 99.Corey Cyrus (10.Bevon Bass 82nd minute)

Unused substitutes: 52.Akini Adams (GK), 21.Rondell Paul, 14.Kerwin Stafford, 23.Mickell Charles

Coach: Leroy De Leon

Central FC: 2.Elton John (Yellow Card), 4.Andre Ettienne, 7.Jason Marcano (11.Darren Mitchell 79th minute), 12.Jamal Jack, 17.Marcelle Francois, 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK), 25.Elijah Manners (Red Card), 33.Willis Plaza, 45.Ataulla Guerra, 99.Marcus Joseph (14.Nicholas Dillon 82nd minute), 22.Leston Paul

Unused substitutes: 6.Kerry Baptiste, 30.Akel Clarke (GK), 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 26.Mickaeel Jem Gordon, 23.Jean-Luc Rochford

Coach: Ross Russell

Match Referee: Cecile Hinds