It as much a battled between Joevin Jones and Willis Plaza, as between W Connection coach Stuart Charles Fevrier and his Central FC opposite Terry Fenwick.
The 2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield (LSGS) final takes place from 8.10 p.m. at Ato Boldon Stadium (ABS) and is the feature of a double-header that also matches Defence Force and Caledonia AIA in a TT Pro League encounter two hours earlier (6 p.m.).
Mouthwatering, one might say? A Lucozade might well be needed. The 2014 LSGS final will feature two of the most competitive teams and coaches in Trinidad and Tobago professional football, the ever-calm St Lucian Fevrier and loud-shouting Englishman Fenwick. Out of five meetings for the season, defending LSGS champions W Connection and “The Sharks” Central FC have shared two wins, two losses and one draw. The $30,000 first-prize cash injection is also expected to further fuel the rivalry tonight.
W Connection have already won the three trophies this season; the Digicel Charity Shield (September), Toyota Classic (December), and FA Trophy (December), while Central won the First Citizens Cup (October). Both teams are also star-studded.
Leading W Connection is the Pro League’s current-best player and T&T international Joevin Jones. But they also have star quality in Daneil Cyrus, Hasim Arcia, Silvio Spann, Jomal Williams and Neil Benjamin Jr, who have all worn T&T national colours at some level.
They also have a foreign contingent consisting of St Lucian left-back Kurt Frederick, the St Kitts-Nevis pair of defensive midfielder Gerard Williams and keeper Julani Archibald, Colombian utility player Christian, and the exciting Surinames attacking pair Stefano Risjell and Demetrie Apai.
“I expect Central to be very aggressive... very intense, so we have to be prepared for that sort of game,” Fevrier told www.ttproleague.com this week. “We have to make sure we match their aggression when we are without the ball.”
Central are led by in-form striker Plaza, who has scored 14 goals, including two in the Goal Shield, since signing in January from Vietnamese club Song Lam Nghe An.
Central invested heavily in the January transfer window when they contracted Plaza, former Finland-based pro Atuallah Guerra, ex two-time FIFA Youth World Cup midfielders Leston Paul and Sean De Silva, and also Samuel Delice, formerly of the Defence Force.
A quality support cast also include T&T national keeper Jan Michael Williams, Rundell Winchester, Marvin Oliver and Jason Marcano among others.
“In the last two games we absolutely destroyed them,” said Fenwick, a three-time Pro League winning coach, while at former club San Juan Jabloteh.
“We are full of confidence at the moment and it’s a game that we want. We also know that they (Connection) don’t want us (in this Final). We are not going there to finish second place to anybody on Friday night,” added Fenwick.
(Digicel Pro League)
5.30 pm - Caledonia AIA vs Defence Force, Ato Boldon Stadium
(2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield)
8.10 p.m. - W Connection vs Central FC, Ato Boldon Stadium
HOW THEY GOT TO LSGS FINAL:
(Quarter Final Round)
Central FC 4 (Willis Plaza, penalty) 14 & 43, Atuallah Guerra 81, Marvin Oliver 90 - penalty) Caledonia AIA 0
W Connection 3 (Tremain Shayn Paul 8, Jamal Clarence 15, Hashim Arcia 24) San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Kareem Smith 76)
Central FC 2 (Dwight Quintero 15, Rundell Winchester 79) North East Stars 0
W Connection 1 (Hashim Arcia 53) Point Fortin Civic 0