Champions Defence Force moved up to fourth spot and just ten points off leaders W Connection, after winning the first of back-to-back matches against Police Football Club by a 3-1 margin on Sunday night at Ato Boldon Stadium (ABS). Defence Force have played three matches less than W Connection, and are quickly back into action tonight when they again play the Lawmen.
Today, the Pro League stages double-headers at both the Hasely Crawford and Ato Boldon stadium, respectively. In Port of Spain, St. Ann’s Rangers meet Caledonia AIA in a 6 p.m. match, while North East Stars and Central FC meet two hours later. Defence Force tackle Police from 6 p.m. at the Ato Boldon Stadium, while the eight o’clock clash features San Juan Jabloteh and Point Fortin Civic.
Sunday’s victory over Police maintains a mathematical chance that Defence Force could still retain the title, but they need to keep winning. Defence Force had some early luck when Police twice struck the crossbar. Just three minutes into the match, an Akiba Peters free-kick crashed onto goalie Kevin Graham’s crossbar, and so did a strike from above the area by attacker Kareem Perry eight minutes later.
Striker Devorn Jorsling and midfielder Jerwyn Baltazar both scored to give Defence Force a two-goal lead, before striker Elijah Belgrave pulled Police closer at 2-1 just past the half-hour mark. However, it was Belgrave’s brother Josimar, who secured the points for Defence Force with a goal in the dying minutes
Jorsling scored his ninth league goal this term for the army/coastguard combination for a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute, by beating Police goalkeeper Adrian Foncette from inside the six-yard box after receiving a short Curtis Gonzales cross. And by the 27th minute, Army coach Ross Russell’s men were leading 2-0 when Balthazar blasted past keeper Adrian Foncette from inside the area, after Jorsling’s pass picked him out.
Police reduced the deficit to 2-1 in the 33rd minute through forward Elijah Belgrave, who defeated Army goalkeeper Kevin Graham from close up, following a mix-up in the area, before Josimar got a 89th minute insurance goal by finishing from inside the area after substitute Kerry Joseph’s cross from the right.
Also winning 3-1 on Sunday at ABS were Caledonia AIA over San Juan Jabloteh. Caledonia’s 24-year-old Monserrat international forward Julian Wade scored his first Pro League double on Sunday night, netting on either side of the half against Jabloteh after the San Juan club had held the lead for exactly 30 seconds following a trademark Jean-Luc Rochford free-kick.
Rochford’s kick from 23 yards out in the 28th minute was too good for goalkeeper Shemel Louison, however Caledonia fired back in quick succession within the following two minutes to overturn the deficit.
Wade, who earlier hit the crossbar, levelled the scores 1-1 in the 29th minute from inside the area, hitting past 18-year-old rookie goalkeeper Shundelle Mayers, who initially made a block against Pernell Schultz.
And by the 30th minute the Jamaal Shabazz-coached Caledonia were leading 2-1 when Denzil Theobald found the back of the net with a low drive from just inside the area. Wade completed his double in the 90th to give the Morvant/Laventille club a 3-1 win, when he headed past Mayers, off a Nathan Lewis cross. The result pushed Caledonia up a spot into sixth with 27 points.
UPCOMING DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE MATCHES:
6 pm —Police FC vs Defence Force, , Ato Boldon Stadium
8 pm —San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic, Ato Boldon Stadium
6 pm —St. Ann’s Rangers vs Caledonia AIA, Hasely Crawford Stadium
8 pm —North East Stars vs Central FC, Hasely Crawford Stadium
DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE STANDINGS:
Teams P W D L GF GA GD Points
Direct TV W Connection 21 13 6 2 43 15 28 45
Central FC 20 10 8 2 41 18 23 38
Point Fortin Civic FC 22 11 3 8 32 24 8 36
Defence Force 18 11 2 5 37 24 13 35
North East Stars 21 9 6 6 22 16 6 33
Caledonia AIA 20 7 6 7 30 28 2 27
Police FC 21 8 3 10 29 36 -7 27
San Juan Jabloteh 21 3 3 15 22 50 -28 12
St. Ann’s Rangers 20 1 1 18 15 60 -45 4