CHAMPIONS Defence Force leave for the 2014 Caribbean Club Championship with confidence, after edging in-form Point Fortin Civic on Sunday for a third consecutive win in the Digicel Pro League.
A header by Army defender Glynn Franklyn separated the teams, as Defence Force had some luck when Civic twice struck the crossbar. Defence Force also played a man short in the latter stages after the goalscorer Franklyn was sent off for a rash tackle on Kevin Modeste.
Defence Force wide midfielder Kerry Joseph provided the cross, from which Franklyn’s header deflected in off a defender for the match’s lone goal. Victory kept Defence Force fifth with 26 points, having played three matches less than second-placed Central FC (32 points) and North East Stars (32 points).
The Army have three tough outstanding matches against Police, Point Fortin Civic and W Connection.
Having not previously lost in eight matches since a 2-1 setback against Caledonia AIA on January 3, Civic remain fourth on 29 points from 17 matches. However, today they can join the two teams above them with victory over the bottom team St Ann’s Rangers.
The teams meet from 6 p.m. at Ato Boldon Stadium, where the Couva doubleheader also sees leaders W Connection playing San Juan Jabloteh two hours later, and a victory will stretch their lead to 11 points with six match-days left in the season.
Meanwhile, both Defence Force and Caledonia AIA leave this week to compete in the semi-final stage of the Caribbean Club Championship. Defence Force head to Jamaica, where they play the home team Harbour View, Alpha (Guyana) and Notch (Suriname) in Group Three action.
Caledonia are in Group Two, where they play Haitian host As Mierabalis, Jamaicans Waterhouse and Inter Moengotapoe (Suriname).
Group One will be hosted in Puerto Rico by Byamon, and also contains Bodden Town (Cayman Islands), Centro Dominguito (Netherland Antilles) and USR de Sainte Rose (Guadeloupe). All group action gets going on Saturday.
The winners of each semi-final group will advance to the final round where they join Valencia (Haiti) in the four-team final round from April 18-20. The top finishers in Caribbean final round, will qualify for three spots in the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League.
UPCOMING DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE MATCHES:
6 p.m.—Point Fortin Civic v St Ann’s Rangers, Ato Boldon Stadium
8 p.m.—W Connection v San Juan Jabloteh, Ato Boldon Stadium
DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE RESULTS:
Defence Force 1 (Glynn Franklin 34) vs Point Fortin Civic 0
Police 4 (Wendell Joseph 5 & 51)—penalty, Jameel Perry 12, Akiba Peters 83) vs St Ann’s Rangers 0
Central FC 3 (Marvin Oliver 18, Ataullah Guerra 19, Willis Plaza 28) vs W Connection 0
North East Stars 1 (Trevin Caesar 18) vs San Juan Jabloteh 0
Pro League standings
Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Direct TV W Connection 17 11 4 2 32 12 20 37
Central FC 18 8 8 2 34 17 17 32
North East Stars 18 8 5 4 21 12 9 32
Point Fortin Civic FC 17 9 2 6 26 17 9 29
Defence Force 15 8 2 5 29 21 8 26
Police FC 17 7 3 7 23 26 -3 24
Caledonia AIA 17 5 6 6 24 21 3 21
San Juan Jabloteh 17 3 2 12 19 38 -19 11
St Ann’s Rangers 18 1 0 17 12 56 -44 3