Benjamin, Arcia shine as Connection maul Police 6-1; Guerra earns Central late point against N/E Stars

Digicel Pro League to resume on January 9

W Connection winger Neil Benjamin Jr. scored two goals and had two assists in Thursday's 6-1 win over Police FC in their Round One Match Day Seven clash of the 2014-2015 Digicel Pro League.
Thursday 18 December 2014

Ato Boldon Stadium, COUVA — Neil Benjamin Jr. and Hashim Arcia each scored twice on Thursday to guide defending Digicel Pro League (DPL) champions DIRECTV W Connection to a comprehensive 6-1 win over Police FC.

But in the second match of the Round One Match Day Seven double header at the Couva venue, leaders Central FC (14 points) needed a stoppage-time goal to salvage a 1-1 draw against North East Stars to stay one point ahead of Connection (13 points) as the league heads into the Christmas break.

A low curling free-kick by Tyrone Charles, in the 41st minute, slipped through the wall then past goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams at the near post for a 1-0 Stars' lead.

But just when the score-line seemed settled in favour of the Sangre Grande club, boasting one of the best defensive records this season, Central finally fired back in the first of three minutes stoppage-time when second half substitutes Jason Marcano and Ataullah Guerra combined.

It was from a Marcano right side cross into the area that Guerra, returning for the first time in weeks following a heel injury, sent a first-time half-volley into the back of goalkeeper Cleon John’s net for a 1-1 tie.

In the earlier contest, however, goals rained in favour of Connection, although ending the match with 10 men following a red card sending off of forward and goal-scorer Jerrel Britto for abusive language in the 60th minute.

Connection made light work of Police FC and took complete control of the game in the first half and had half their tally to show for it.

Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 and Connection attacker Akeem Garcia gave the Stuart Charles-Fevrier coached-"Savonnetta Boys" a 1-0 lead in as early as the 2nd minute when his tame effort was spilled into the back of the net by goalkeeper Adrian Foncette.

That advantage turned into a 2-0 cushion by the 27th minute when Britto directed Benjamin’s squared pass into the back of Foncette’s goal.

Benjamin then got to his first goal in the 32nd minute after latching onto a neat Arcia through-ball before hitting past the Police goalie for a 3-0 score which Connection took into the dressing room at the break.

Benjamin and company returned in the second half without any signs of sympathy. Instead Connection were ringing the Christmas bells but not sharing the joy as out-of-sorts Police surrendered to three more goals in the second half.

Benjamin got to his double in the 54th minute when he latched onto a long ball forward by goalkeeper Julani Archibald, which the Police defence failed to cut off, and hit past a hapless Foncette for a 4-0 score.

And a minute later Arcia got to this first league goal this season, for a 5-0 score-line, with a wonderful curling strike from inside the area off Britto’s cross, swung in from the left.

Not long after, Britto was given his marching orders from referee Cecil Hinds, reducing Connection, already comfortably in front, to 10 men.

But Connection weren’t done yet. The “Savonnetta Boys” celebrated a 6-0 by the 74th minute when double goal-scorer Benjamin completed his second assist and Arcia got to his second goal on the night.

Police finally got their consolation item for a 1-6 deficit in the 78th minute through attacker Kerry Fredericks, who hit into the back of the net from an angle off an Elijah Belgrave rebound but it wasn’t an item worth celebrating.

Police, on the bye in Round One Match Day Eight when the DPL resumes on January 9, 2015, will have more than sufficient time to pick themselves up before taking to the field again.

Round One Match Day Eight will see W Connection against Caledonia AIA; Central FC against Point Fortin Civic; Defence Force against San Juan Jabloteh; and North East Stars against St. Ann’s Rangers.

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015
Round One Match Day Seven
Tuesday’s results at the Hasely Crawford Stadium
Caledonia AIA 4 (Nathan Lewis 20', Kareem Joseph 26', Pernell Schultz 56', own goal Dario Holmes 59') vs San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Johan Peltier 64')

Defence Force 1 (Richard Roy 46') vs Point Fortin Civic 1 (own goal Glynn Franklyn 81')

Thursday’s results at the Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection 6 (Akeem Garcia 2', Jerrel Britto 27', Neil Benjamin Jr. 32'', 54', Hashim Arcia 55', 74') vs Police FC 1 (Kerry Fredericks 78')

Central FC 1 (Ataullah Guerra 90'+1) vs North East Stars 1 (Tyrone Charles 41')

Thursday’s teams
W Connection: 18. Julani Archibald (GK), 3. Gerard Williams, 5. Mekeil Williams, 11. Tremain Shayn Paul, 12. Jerrel Britto, 14. Hashim Arcia, 29. Akeem Garcia (34. Jabari Mitchell 77th minute), 35. Martieon Watson, 39. Alvin Jones, 65. Neil Benjamin Jr., 36. Triston Hodge

Unused substitutes: 19. Joel Leslie Russell, 13. Devaughn Elliot, 16. Anselm Jackson, 10. Yefer Steven Lozano, 22. Aquelius Sylvester (GK), 23. Keon Boucher

Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier

Police FC: 18. Adrian Foncette (GK), 2. Jasimar Ashers, 11. Kareem Perry, 17. Dexter Alleyne (15. Jameel Perry 56th minute), 19. Christon Thomas, 20. Elijah Belgrave, 24. Jibri Mc David, 32. Kaaron Foster, 35. Kerry Frederick, 39. Kevin Lewis (25. Noel Williams 29th minute)

Unused substitutes: 4. Karlon Murray, 13. Elijah Roberts, 29. Clevon Mc Fee, 30. Marcus Chandool, 31. Theon Browne (GK)

Coach: Richard Hood

Match Referee: Cecil Hinds

Central FC: 21. Jan-Michael Williams (GK), 5. Akeem Benjamin, 11. Darren Mitchell, 99. Dwight Quintero, 28. Miguel Romeo (14. Jean-Luc Rochford 59th minute), 9. Qian Grosvenor (7. Jason Marcano 68th minute), 15. Kaydion Gabriel, 17. Marcelle Francois (45. Ataullah Guerra 46th minute), 10. Marvin Oliver, 3. Keion Goodridge, 19. Nathaniel Garcia

Unused substitutes: 45. Ataullah Guerra, 14. Jean-Luc Rochford, 30. Akel Clarke (GK), 23. Denzil Daniel, 13. Seon Thomas, 27. Shaquille Williams

Coach: Zoran Vranes

North East Stars: 22. Cleon John (GK), 3. Kareem Richardson (44. Kion Joseph 38th minute), 8. Adrian Noel, 9. Tyrone Charles (6. Jeromie Williams 79th minute), 10. Keron Cummings, 12. Jayson Joseph, 14. Dwane James, 18. Kaashif Thomas (41. Neveal Hackshaw 68th minute), 23. Kennedy Hinkson, 25. Keryn Navarro, 38. Jesus Perez

Unused substitutes: 1. Stefan Berkeley (GK), 36. Anthony Diaz, 40. Jomoul Francis, 42. Taryk Sampson

Coach: Angus Eve

Match Referee: Rodphin Harris