Front runners Central, W Connection register 2-0 wins over Caledonia, N/E Stars respectively

  • Guerra inspires Central to win over former employers
  • Connection extend unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions

Atualla Guerra (second from right) prepares to shoot as four Caledonia AIA players close in during Central FC’s 2-0 win in their Digicel Pro League Round Three Match Day Three clash at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Tuesday 10 March 2015.
Tuesday 10 March 2015

Atualla Guerra was called upon as a second half substitute against his former employers Caledonia AIA on Tuesday and became involved in a deadlock-breaking goal before scoring another to earn Digicel Pro League leaders Central FC a 2-0.

But the result only temporarily extended the "Couva Sharks"' lead before second placed DIRECTV W Connection also recorded a 2-0 win to defeat third placed North East Stars in the second match of a Round Three Match Day Three double-header contested at the Marvin Lee Stadium.

Willis Plaza gave Central a 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute for his 8th league goal this season. The Trinidad and Tobago international forward was alert in the box to capitalise on rebound off the crossbar – ahead of Caledonia defenders and substitute goalkeeper D'Eandre Villaroel – following a strike from above the box by Guerra.

Guerra, who was thrown into the mix at the expense of defender Marcelle Francois following the break, then guaranteed victory in the 89th minute with his 10th league goal this season for a 2-0 score.

The T&T international midfielder slotted past Villaroel from close up following a sweeping play on the right and into the box, involving Plaza, Kaydion Gabriel and Sean de Silva.

Caledonia had suffered their first blow in the 32nd minute of play when goalkeeper Shemel Louison had to be replaced by the teenaged Villaroel, who had represented San Juan North Secondary in the Secondary Schools League last season.

Louison, Grenada national team goalie, had picked up a knock — to his face it appeared – after colliding with teammate, Haitian defender Pierre Hitner, whilst making a low gather to deny Central a scoring chance.

Louison had earlier made an excellent one-handed save to put behind a left-footed strike by De Silva, which was intended for the inside of the near post in the 16th minute.

But that was the only on-target attempt by Central prior to Plaza breaking the deadlock just over the hour mark.
Central FC forward Willis Plaza (centre) in preparation for a strike towards goal as Jamil Joseph (right) reacts, and Pierre Hitner (left) looks on during Central FC’s 2-0 win in their Digicel Pro League Round Three Match Day Three clash at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Tuesday 10 March 2015
Plaza had three from a total six near misses by the Zoran Vranes-coached Central before scoring. Jamal Jack, Leston Paul and De Silva had the others while Caledonia’s Nathan Lewis forced the best save out of goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams in the 5th minute with a volley.

Central had other tries prior to Guerra’s late, but Villaroel were able to make saves denying Guerra in the 75th and 93rd minutes, and substitute Jason Marcano in the 84th minute.

Needless to say, the goals came and Central (13-3-3, 42 points) maintained their five points lead on second placed W Connection (11-4-3, 37 points), while North East Stars (9-3-7, 30 points) continue to occupy third and Caledonia (5-4-9, 19 points) in eight.
W Connection forward Hashim Arcia (right) advances towards goal ahead of defender Keryn Navarro during his team’s 2-0 win over North East Stars in their Digicel Pro League Round Three Match Day Three clash at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Tuesday 10 March 2015.
Akeem Garcia gave Connection the lead in the 41st minute against North East Stars – the team also ranked third after Connection and Central with the best defensive record this season.

The Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 forward dispatched a low strike into the far lower corner from inside the right of the box after meeting a defence-splitting pass by midfielder Devaughn Elliot.

That goal came after the cross bar denied goals on either end. Fifteen minutes inside the match North East Stars’ defender Jesus Perez met a Jayson Joseph free-kick with a diving header, only to see goalkeeper Julani Archibald keep it out with a superb one-handed save. And on the rebound winger Kion Joseph, who was later denied by Archibald in the 40th minute, smashed the ball towards goal but that cannoned off the cross bar to Connection’s delight.

Connection’s Colombian midfielder Yhon Stiven Reyes Lopez was also denied by the cross bar in the 23rd minute after letting off a strike from the edge of the box.

Connection forward Hashim Arcia, who was denied by Stars’ goalkeeper Cleon John in the 54th and 65th minutes, finally made it 2-0 in the 84th minute, smashing in from close up, Jerrel Britto's rebound which crashed off the far upright.

The win extended Connection’s unbeaten run in the league to six matches, and nine in all competitions, while Central boasts a five-match undefeated stretch in the league and eight in all competitions.

Round Three Match Day Three will continue on Wednesday 11 March at the very same Marvin Lee Stadium with cellar-placed St. Ann’s Rangers (0-1-17, 1 point) against seventh-placed Police FC (6-5-7, 23 points) from 6 pm and sixth-placed Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh (7-5-6, 26 points) against Point Fortin Civic (8-3-7, 27 points) from 8 pm.

Central, Connection and North East Stars, however, will shift their focus, along with Defence Force, to Sunday’s semi-final round of the 2015 TTFA FA Trophy competition. The match-ups, venues and times are expected to be revealed on Wednesday afternoonfollowing a random draw at the TTFA office at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015
Round Three Match Day Three results
Tuesday 10 March 2015
Central FC 2 (Willis Plaza 63', Atualla Guerra 89') vs Caledonia AIA 0
W Connection 2 (Akeem Garcia 41', Hashim Arcia 84') vs North East Stars 0

Upcoming matches
Wednesday 11 March 2015
Round Three Match Day Three
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Police FC—6 pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic—8 pm

Teams at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Tuesday
Central FC: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK), 3.Keon Goodridge, 12.Jamal Jack, 6.Leston Paul, 24.Kevon Villaroel, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 33.Willis Plaza, 2.Elton John, 17.Marcelle Francois (45.Atualla Guerra 46th minute), 8.Sean de Silva (5.Akeem Benjamin 90th minute), 28.Borfor Carr (7.Jason Marcano 64th minute)

Unused substitutes: 99.Dwight Quintero, 1.Javon Sample(GK), 14.Jean-Luc Rochford, 29.Upston Edwards

Coach: Zoran Vranes

Caledonia AIA: 1.Shemel Louison (GK) (34.D'Eandre Villaroel GK 32nd minute), 5.Christoper Mejia, 22.Jameel Neptune, 12.Kareem Joseph, 9.Keyon Edwards, 28.Pernell Schultz (31.Domini Garnett 55th minute), 23.Jamil Joseph, 27.Nathan Lewis, 16.Pierre Hitner (Yellow Card), 26.Nicholas Mercano, 29.Mikaeel Jem Gordon (8.Keron Bethelmy 66th minute)

Unused substitutes: 4.Conrod Smith, 20.Rogelio Robinson, 32.Kyle Bartholomew, 35.Israel Honore

Coach: Jerry Moe

Referee: Crystal Sobers

W Connection: 5.Mekeil Williams (C), 12.Jerrel Britto, 3.Gerard Williams, 13.Devaughn Elliot (25.Christian Viveros 74th minute), 29.Akeem Garcia, 14.Hashim Arcia, 18.Julani Archibald (GK), 26.Maurice Ford, 27.Shannon Gomez, 36.Triston Hodge (2.Kurt Frederick 80th minute), 8.Yhon Stiven Reyes Lopez (40.Jomol Williams 75th minute)

Unused substitutes: 22.Aquelius Sylvester (GK), 10.Yefer Steven Lozano, 20.Christian Rodriguez, 43.Shirvone St. Prix

Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier

North East Stars: 4.Keithy Simpson, 12.Jayson Joseph (26.Zavion Navarro 86th minute), 15.Glenton Wolfe, 22.Cleon John (GK), 25.Keryn Navarro, 38.Jesus Perez, 6.Jeromie Williams (Yellow Card) (41.Neveal Hackshaw 42nd minute), 44.Kion Joseph (40.Jomoul Francois 77th minute), 23.Kennedy Hinkson, 14.Dwane James, 10.Keron Cummings

Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK), 5.Aquil Selby, 18.Kaashif Thomas

Coach: Angus Eve

Referee: Rodphin Harris