Friday 27 November 2015
Central FC head coach Ross Russell is hoping for a reunion with his former side Defence Force in the final of the 2015 Toyota Classic on December 6.
Despite being held to a 1-1 Digicel Pro League draw against W Connection last Tuesday, Russell is confident that Central will overcome their Couva-rivals when both sides meet again from 6 pm in semi-final two of the Toyota Classic on Sunday 29 November at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
In semi-final one, Russell’s former club Defence Force will tackle defending Toyota Classic champions San Juan Jabloteh from 4 pm at the Port of Spain venue.
“We are going to win on Sunday!” Russell said after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Connection. “We are going to win. I don’t want to express my confidence fully, but we are going to win. Once we bury our chances, Connection would be off our back.”
Trinidad and Tobago international forward Willis Plaza had Central ahead 1-0 after dominating the first half on Tuesday night, but a late equaliser from Connection’s Briel Thomas with two minutes of regular time left, ended in the first Clasico draw of the season.
In previous meetings this season, Central edged Connection 1-0 in September to unseat the three-time defending Digicel Charity Shield winners. Then late October the Savonetta Boys fired back 2-1 to win the final of the First Citizens Cup to dethrone the two-time defending champions Central.
Also, Russell is calling on his former club, Defence Force, to top Jabloteh in semi-final one.
“I really want to reach the final and meet Defence Force,” said Russell, a former player and coach at Defence Force.
“I want to deal with my old club in the final. I am hoping they take their A-game in the semi-final (against Jabloteh) so that Central and Defence Force can enjoy the final.”
Compulsory retirement from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force last December, also saw Russell path ways with the army-coastguard combination Pro League outfit, which he steered to Digicel Pro League titles in 2010-11 and 2012-13 along with the 2009 First Citizens Cup and the 2012 Digicel Pro Bowl.
Last August Central snapped up his services and had his first game against Defence Force in October which ended in a thrilling 2-2 league draw.
In the Toyota Classic, Central and Connection both advanced from the Round-of-16 via penalties after goalless results against Point Fortin Civic and Club Sando, respectively. Central went on to defeat Morvant Caledonia United 2-1 in the quarter-finals while Connection were comfortable 3-0 winners over North East Stars.
Toyota Classic 2015
Semi Final Round
Sunday 29 November
Hasely Crawford Stadium
San Juan Jabloteh vs Defence Force—4 pm
Central FC vs W Connection—6 pm
Sunday 6 December