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Defence Force edges Connection; Glen tricks T&TEC

Another weekend, another win for the Defence Force.

It was a close shave but, at the final whistle, Defence Force was celebrating again as the army/coast guard combination edged defending champions, DIRECTV W Connection, 2-1 last night at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.

It was the tenth successive unbeaten outing for coach Ross Russell’s men and nine of those results were victories. The level of consistency and the unconquerable spirit within this Defence Force squad has been remarkable for much of its League campaign.

Photo: Defence Force players celebrate against W Connection. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force players celebrate against W Connection.
(Courtesy Wired868)

There was no master class last night from the men in yellow shirts, though. In fact, Defence Force was there for the taking.

But, at the crucial moments, Connection lacked the nerve and ruthless instinct to finish off a sluggish opponent.

It was Connection’s second defeat from its last three league fixtures and saw the reigning champion slip to fourth place behind North East Stars, who defeated T&TEC FC 3-1 at the same venue earlier yesterday evening.

World Cup 2006 striker Cornell Glen scored a classy first half hattrick to wrap up a straightforward triumph for the Sangre Grande-based club who announced earlier that star defender Seon Power has signed a one-year deal with Thailand Premier League cub, Chainat FC.

The T&TEC defence simply had no answer to Glen who opened the scoring in the third minute with a clipped close ranged finish after finding space in the opposing penalty area to run on to a clever Kerry Baptiste pass. He doubled the Stars’ advantage in the 28th minute with an effort that deflected off opposing defender and T&TEC trainer Adarryl John.

Garcia, a promising teenaged midfielder, pulled a goal back, three minutes later, with a thumping free kick that surprised Stars custodian Cleon John and smashed off the underside of the bar before bouncing over the goalline. It was the second goal from as many games for the Shiva Boys student.

Photo: T&TEC's teenaged playmaker Nathaniel Garcia (centre) has scored two goals from as many games in the Pro League. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: T&TEC’s teenaged playmaker Nathaniel Garcia (centre) has scored two goals from as many games in the Pro League.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

But Glen bettered the young man’s strike with an exquisite lofted finish, four minutes before the interval, that comprehensively beat T&TEC goalkeeper Darryl Francis and nestled into the top right corner.

Glen is understood to have been close to an international recall for the recent friendly against Peru but might have been omitted to facilitate Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones.

Trinidad and Tobago’s joint national head coach Jamaal Shabazz was in attendance yesterday and the talented striker may not have to wait much longer for his chance as the “Soca Warriors” continue their search for a dependable “number nine.”

W Connection could surely do with Glen’s talents as well.

The “Savonetta Boys” have scored 21 goals from 12 Pro League matches with 12 goals conceded, which might not appear too shabby at first glance. But take away their two outings against table proppers, T&TEC, and a different picture emerges.

Connection has scored 11 goals and conceded just as many from 10 games played this season, excluding a 10-1 aggregate league triumph against T&TEC over two matches.

And the absence of a cutting edge upfront again haunted the defending champions last night.

Connection made a storming start to the game and should have gone ahead in the 18th minute when Joevin Jones collected with time and space in the opposing penalty box but outfoxed himself with a tame chip straight into the gloves of Army custodian Kevin Graham.

It proved a costly miss as Defence Force responded to race two goals clear with strikes from Kevon Carter and Devorn Jorsling in the 40th and 43rd minutes respectively.

Nothing if not patient, Russell’s troops bided their time and struck when Connection lost its rhythm in the closing stages of the first half.

The first goal was a beautiful team effort with an exchange at speed between Curtis Gonzales, Jorsling and Josimar Belgrave that ended with Carter tapping home a raking right side Jerwyn Balthazar cross from close range.

Photo: Defence Force winger Kevon Carter (left) wheels away to celebrate after scoring the opener against W Connection. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force winger Kevon Carter (left) wheels away to celebrate after scoring the opener against W Connection.
(Courtesy Wired868)

The second was an individual gem from a set piece as Connection’s Colombian custodian Alejandro Figueroa stood in the centre of the goal but still could not reach a Jorsling free kick that went over the wall but curled away from his opponent’s despairing dive.

Connection boss Stuart Charles-Fevrier responded quickly by introducing Clyde Leon and Neil Benjamin for Silvio Spann and Andrei Pacheco at the halftime interval. And the Couva-based squad did claw its way back into contention as Jones contorted his body to volley home a left side Stefano Rijssell cross.

But Connection could not turn possession into good scoring opportunities and Defence Force comfortably dealt with the long ranged efforts that came their way. Until, that is, the fourth and final minute of stoppage time.

Central defender Daneil Cyrus was operating as an auxiliary striker by then and he peeled off his marker and into the opposing area. Faced with a tight angle, he sent a pinpoint cross towards the last post.

Hashim Arcia attacked the ball but, from two yards, somehow managed to skew his effort wide at the near post.

Referee Neal Brizan blew his whistle immediately after Arcia’s miss and the 24-year-old attacker remained with his head buried in the turf. Jones, Kurt Frederick, Cyrus and assistant coaches Earl Jean eventually coaxed the young man back to his feet and his tears flowed freely as he headed gingerly towards the dressing room to face his teammates.

Almost certainly, Connection’s chances of retaining its league crown evaporated in that sorrowful moment.

And, defiant and unbowed, Defence Force marches on.

(Teams)

W Connection(4-2-1-3): 21.Alejandro Figueroa; 3.Akeem Benjamin, 4.Daneil Cyrus, 5.Elijah Joseph (captain), 32.Kurt Frederick, 12.Gerrard Williams, 36.Joevin Jones, 20.Silvio Spann (8.Clyde Leon 46), 17.Andrei Pacheco (65.Neil Benjamin 46), 14.Hashim Arcia, 26.Stefano Rijssel (30.Aaquil Campbell 85).

Unused substitutes: 22.Aquelius Sylvester, 6.Kemuel Rivers, 19.Joel Russell, 25.Christian Viveros.

Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier

 

Defence Force (4-2-3-1): 1.Kevin Graham; 14.Cory Rivers (captain) (9.Richard Roy 74), 5.Devin Jordan, 20.Rodell Elcock, 8.Curtis Gonzales; 3.Keston Williams, 15.Jerwyn Balthazar (21.Aklie Edwards 67); 29.Jemel Sebro, 12.Josimar Belgrave, 11.Kevon Carter (17.Ross Russell Jr 54); 10.Devorn Jorsling (vice captain).

Unused substitutes: 25.Sheldon Clarke, 2.Glynn Franklyn, 18.Sean Narcis, 24.Jahvon Neptune.

Coach: Ross Russell

 

Referee: Neal Brizan

Digicel Pro League

(Fri Feb 15)
North East Stars 3 (Cornell Glen 3, 28, 41), T&TEC 1 (Nathaniel Garcia 31) at Macoya

Defence Force 1 (Kevon Carter 40, Devorn Jorsling 43), W Connection 1 (Joevin Jones 63) at Macoya

(Sat Feb 16)

Central FC versus Caledonia AIA, 5 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva

Pos   Team Pld W T L GoalsDiff Pts
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 4 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 3 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 7 4 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 4 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 8 4 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 4 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 6 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 3 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 4 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 4 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 4 4 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 4 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 4 3 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 4 2 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2012/13 0 0 5 3 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 5 4 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 3 3 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 4 2 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 6 2 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 3 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 2 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 5 1 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 1 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 2013/14 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 Defence Force 21 14 4 3 52:220 46:13
0 W Connection 12 10 2 0 27:50 32:2
0 Caledonia AIA 21 13 3 5 53:270 42:18
0 Point Fortin Civic FC 12 5 2 5 17:140 17:17
0 W Connection 21 11 5 5 46:190 38:20
0 North East Stars 11 5 2 4 11:80 17:14
0 North East Stars 21 10 8 3 32:170 38:17
0 Police FC 12 5 2 5 18:200 17:17
0 Central FC 21 8 6 7 31:320 30:27
0 Caledonia AIA 11 3 5 3 17:140 14:14
0 Police FC 21 3 7 11 25:430 16:40
0 Central FC 10 3 5 2 13:110 14:11
0 St Ann's Rangers 21 2 7 12 22:490 13:43
0 Defence Force 8 4 1 3 15:140 13:10
0 T&TEC 21 2 2 17 13:650 8:53
0 San Juan Jabloteh 11 3 1 7 18:270 10:22
0 St Ann's Rangers 11 1 0 10 11:340 3:30
0 Westside Superstarz 2 2 0 0 6:00 6:0
0 Club Sando 10 8 2 0 26:70 26:2
0 Club Sando 2 1 1 0 5:30 4:1
0 Guaya United 8 7 1 0 22:80 22:1
0 Malabar FC 2 1 1 0 5:40 4:1
0 Malabar FC 10 6 3 1 32:190 21:6
0 Guaya United 2 1 1 0 4:30 4:1
0 Westside Superstarz 9 5 0 4 21:120 15:12
0 Real Maracas 1 1 0 0 3:10 3:0
0 Joe Public 9 4 3 2 17:130 15:9
0 Stokely Vale 2 1 0 1 5:50 3:3
0 1976 FC Phoenix 8 3 4 1 10:80 13:7
0 Joe Public 2 0 2 0 0:00 2:2
0 Real Maracas 8 4 1 3 13:120 13:10
0 Defence Force 2 0 1 1 2:30 1:4
0 Stokely Vale FC 9 4 0 5 17:190 12:15
0 Siparia Spurs 2 0 1 1 2:40 1:4
0 Bethel United 9 2 2 5 12:230 8:17
0 WASA FC 2 0 1 1 0:20 1:4
0 WASA FC 10 1 3 6 8:140 6:21
0 FC Santa Rosa 1 0 0 1 1:20 0:3
0 Siparia Spurs 9 1 2 6 20:260 5:20
0 1976 FC Phoenix 1 0 0 1 0:30 0:3
0 Bethel United 1 0 0 1 0:30 0:3
0 Defence Force 8 1 2 5 11:260 5:17
0 FC Santa Rosa 9 0 1 8 7:290 1:25
0 Trinidad and Tobago 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 Guatemala 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 Jamaica 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 Aruba 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 United States 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
0 Panama 0 0 0 0 0:00 0:0
1 Naparima College 13 10 1 2 40:1228 31:7
1 Panama 5 5 0 0 9:09 15:0
1 Defence Force FC 15 9 5 1 40:832 32:8
2 San Juan North Secondary 13 9 1 3 30:1515 28:10
2 United States 5 3 1 1 12:210 10:4
2 W Connection 16 9 5 2 40:1426 32:11
3 St Anthony's College 12 9 0 3 36:1620 27:9
3 Guatemala 5 3 1 1 6:24 10:4
3 Central FC 15 9 4 2 36:1125 31:10
4 St Benedict's College 13 6 5 2 16:88 23:11
4 Trinidad and Tobago 5 1 1 3 7:70 4:10
4 Police FC 16 7 3 6 39:336 24:21
5 Trinity College East 13 6 5 2 25:196 23:11
5 Jamaica 5 0 2 3 2:7-5 2:11
5 San Juan Jabloteh 16 7 2 7 27:270 23:23
6 Shiva Boys Hindu College 13 7 0 6 24:240 21:18
6 Aruba 5 0 1 4 1:19-18 1:13
6 North East Stars 15 6 4 5 19:30-11 22:19
7 St Mary's College 13 5 3 5 16:151 18:18
7 Club Sando 16 5 2 9 15:30-15 17:29
8 St Augustine Secondary 13 4 6 3 20:200 18:15
8 Morvant/Caledonia Utd 15 4 1 10 15:36-21 13:31
9 Fatima College 13 4 3 6 20:28-8 15:21
9 Point Fortin Civic 15 3 3 9 14:35-21 12:30
10 Presentation College (San Fernando) 13 4 1 8 16:20-4 13:25
10 St Ann's Rangers 15 2 3 10 13:34-21 9:33
11 Carapichaima East Secondary 13 3 3 7 10:25-15 12:24
12 Chaguanas North Secondary 13 2 4 7 8:31-23 10:25
13 East Mucurapo Secondary 12 2 1 9 9:25-16 7:28
14 Arima North Secondary 13 2 1 10 15:27-12 7:31

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 15 years experience at several local and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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