UP AND OVER: St Augustine Secondary winger, Aikim Andrews, right, skips over a tackle from Chaguanas North Secondary's Juma Aberdeen, during their Coca Cola National InterCol semifinal, at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva, yesterday. Andrews scored for St Augustine as the teams finished locked at 2-2 after regulation time, before St Augustine prevailed 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark. —Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

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GREEN MACHINE IN INTERCOL FINAL

By Kern De Freitas kern.defreitas@trinidadexpress.com

The Green Machine of St Augustine Secondary rolled into Central yesterday and claimed a berth in next week's Coca Cola InterCol final when they edged Chaguanas North Secondary 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva.

They could not shake the new Central Zone champions in 90 minutes, as they were locked 2-2 at the full-time whistle.

St Augustine hit the target four times kicking second, while Jaron Humphrey and goalkeeper Maalik Campbell hit the crossbar for Chaguanas to prompt celebrations from the St Augustine players and fans.

The Chaguanas North goals came from David Maloney in the 11th minute and Jesse Frank made it 2-1 to Chaguanas from the penalty spot. At the other end of the field, Ricardo John provided St Augustine's first, and Aikim Andrews locked things up at 2-2 shortly after halftime.

Chaguanas had much to be hopeful for after 45 minutes, with a one-goal lead over their fancied opponents. Their 2-1 half-time lead came courtesy daring and enterprise, but coach Nicholas Griffith would have known it would not be easy for his team to maintain their advantage. Chaguanas showed how they upset "Big Five" champions Carapichaima East Secondary. They showed courage in attack despite making their first trip to the national InterCol stage.

They went ahead through David Maloney, when St Augustine lost the ball and were too slow to recover. It gave Deon O'Garro enough room to start the counter-attack, and St Augustine goalkeeper Romario Romain spilled the resulting cross, which allowed Maloney to finish from close range.

Ricardo John ensured Chaguanas did not keep their advantage, producing a beautiful strike in the 28th minute from just over 18 metres that Campbell, in the Chaguanas goal, was powerless to stop.

Frank restored the Chaguanas lead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.

But less than two minutes after the resumption, national youth player Andrews weaved his way through two defenders, and cheekily finished his left field run on the angle with Campbell at his mercy.

St Augustine enjoyed the attacking steam for much of the second half, but could not translate that into goals; John was caught offside at least three times, Michael Williams missed a sitter from close range, and Andrews also handed Chaguanas a late reprieve from space on the right.

Chaguanas themselves had late chances, but twice Maloney missed from close range, while the troublesome O'Garro was heavily marked by the St Augustine back line. His header close in was well handled by Romain.

The best efforts, though, of both teams would not allow the match to be decided in regulation time. St Augustine had another gear, however, to be perfect from the spot, putting themselves in yet another final.

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