DIRECTV North East Stars lost its shine in the quarter-final round of the Digicel Pro Bowl on Friday night to crash out of the tournament with a 2-1 defeat against T&TEC FC in the second clash of a double header at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.
Defender Anthony Noriega scored twice in the first half to cushion a coach-less ‘Electric Boys’ with head coach Dexter Cyrus absent from the technical area after circulated rumors that he was sacked last week—which was refuted by the club’s management.
T&TEC advanced into the semi-final round against Defence Force, 6-0 winners over Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh at the Hasely Crawford Stadium with Ross Russell Jr. netting a hattrick (20th, 59th and 90th minutes), Richard Roy a double (5th and 71st minutes) and Michael Edwards an item in the 88th minute all against a very inexperienced goalkeeper Granger.
Down south, T&TEC started with former England based goalie Clayton Ince who pulled off a superb reflex save to push behind a looping Ryan Stewart effort off a cross by Gary Glasgow from the right.
T&TEC then took the advantage in the 17th minute when defender Anthony Noriega directed an Akeem Adams right side corner into the back of the North East net from close up for the 1-0 score.
It was from a blast on goal by Bevon Bass a minute earlier that goalkeeper Andrew Durant made a save guiding the shot out for a corner, which resulted in the goal.
T&TEC then made it 2-0 from another corner, this time goalkeeoer Durant punched the highball onto Noriega before it made its way back into the net on the half hour mark.
Teammate Sylvester Teesdale was a foot too high of a third T&TEC item in the 35th minute when he executed a powerful left footed shot from just inside the area, as the ‘Electric Boys’ continued to dim the Stars.
T&TEC goalie Ince was called into action in the 37th minute and gloved away a second strike by Stewart, to keep out the Sangre Grande club.
North East Stars finally pulled a goal back in the 70th minute, reducing the score-line 1-2 when Anthony Wolfe headed past Ince at the back post by meeting a perfect freekick cross ball by Stewart after Marcus Joseph fouled Keryn Navarro on the right of the area.
Referee Gyann Mc Donald then called a questionable penalty in the 74th minute when Stars substitute Jameel Perry went down inside the area against Akeem Adams, however two minutes later, Ince pulled off a brilliant save against Stewart from the spot.
A frustrated North East Stars ended marched off the field a man short at the final whistle, after Wolfe picked up his second yellow card in added on time for dissent.
Other quarter-final results saw W Connection edge Police FC 1-0 at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium and Caledonia AIA defeat St. Ann’s Rangers 3-1 with striker Devorn Jorsling registering a double.
Connection will meet Caledonia from 6pm on Friday 11 May at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in the semi-final round and T&TEC against Defence Force two hours later from 8pm.
North East Stars—Andrew Durant(gk), Charles Pollard(capt.), Keion Goodridge, Jeromie Williams(Kaydion Gabriel 62nd minute), Anthony Wolfe, Jeronimo Wendes De Sousa, Gary Glasgow(Kareem Perry 46th minute), Kayode McKinnon, Ryan Stewart, Seon Power, Keryn Navarro
T&TEC FC—Clayton Ince(gk)(capt.), Corneal Thomas, Romauld Aguillera, Sylvester Teesdale, Glen Sutton(Javed Mohammed 78th minute), Keeron Britto, Anthony Noriega, Bevon Bass(Marcus Joseph 65th minute), Akeem Adams, Aubrey David, Shackeil Henry(Kerry Baptiste 65th minute)
Full Digicel Pro Bowl quarter-final results
W Connection 1—0 Police FC
Jelani Grosvenor 22’
North East Stars 1—2 T&TEC FC
Anthony Wolfe 70’ ; Anthony Noriega 17’, 30’
St. Ann’s Rangers 1—3 Caledonia AIA
Cameron Roget 57’ ; Devorn Jorsling 25’, 90’, Abdallah Phillips 39’
Defence Force 6—0 San Juan Jabloteh
Richard Roy 5’, 71’, Ross Russell Jr. 20’, 59’, 90’, Michael Edwards 88’