Newly crowned domestic champions Defence Force signed off on the 2012/13 Digicel Pro League season last night with an emphatic 4-0 win over T&TEC FC at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Two goals in each half saw the army/coast guard combination ease past the table proppers in a lopsided fixture that typified the final day of the Pro League.
Photo: Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene hands the league trophy over to stand-in Defence Force captain Kevon Carter.
In Couva, DIRECTV W Connection and Neal & Massy Caledonia rained a combined eight goals without reply on Police FC and St Ann’s Rangers respectively.
An Andrei Pacheco hattrick and a goal apiece from 18-year-old striker Neil Benjamin Jr and Surinamese attacker Stefano Rijssel saw Connection maintain its strong close to the season with a 5-0 win over the sixth place Lawmen.
The result kept Connection in third place and ahead of fourth place North East Stars by goal difference.
Second place Caledonia AIA whipped second from bottom St Ann’s Rangers 3-0 after captain Stephan David set the “Eastern Stallions” on their way with a penalty for his first goal this season. Jamal Gay, who is expected to return to the Trinidad and Tobago international set-up next month, also scored in his fourth successive game while Guyanese attacker Vurlon Mills managed his first item since re-joining the club in January.
Photo: Caledonia AIA captain Stephan David is knocked over by Police midfielder Kenaz Williams in a previous fixture.
(Courtesy TT Pro League)
Things were tighter for the opening game in Macoya where the Sangre Grande-based Stars edged rookie club Central FC 1-0.
North East was again without talisman striker Cornell Glen, who is recovering from a calf strain, but got the decisive item from Kerry Baptiste who nipped ahead of stand-in Central goalkeeper Shane Mattis to nod home a Kennedy Hinkson cross in the 30th minute.
The Jamaican goalkeeper atoned somewhat, ten minutes later, when he flew to his right to keep out a Baptiste penalty kick. And Stars attacker Elijah Manners had a second half attempt ruled out for offside as neither team managed another goal.
One goal was never going to be enough in the closing match, though.
T&TEC FC gave the Defence Force team an honour guard as the champions strode on to the artificial surface. The “Electricity Boys” were even more generous in the 32nd minute as defender Cebastian Bailey got a turn completely wrong and, under minimal pressure, flicked the ball into his own net.
Kevon Carter, who was deputising for the suspended Cory Rivers, got Defence Force’s second, six minutes later, after an incisive build-up that involved Curtis Gonzales and Devorn Jorsling.
Photo: Defence Force attacker Kevon Carter (left) glides past T&TEC FC defender Cebastian Bailey.
Jorsling, already the top domestic scorer, got his 20th league goal of the season and 27th in all competitions from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute before Jerwyn Balthazar signalled the start of the party with a bullet into the roof of the net from on top the penalty box.
And the new Digicel Pro League champions were crowned.
Defence Force: 1.Kevin Graham; 2.Glynn Franklyn, 20.Rodell Elcock, 21.Aklie Edwards (28.Dwight Scott 46); 29.Jemel Sebro, 8.Curtis Gonzales, 17.Ross Russell; 15.Jerwyn Balthazar, 12.Josimar Belgrave (9.Richard Roy 34), 11.Kevon Carter; 10.Devorn Jorsling (7.Balondemu Julius 54).
Unused substitutes: 25.Sheldon Clarke, 16.Kerry Joseph, 18.Sean Narcis, 19.Dexter Pacheco.
Coach: Ross Russell
T&TEC (4-1-4-1): 32.Tevin Archer; 66.Antuan John (40.Stefan Payne 75), 7.Cebastian Bailey, 8.Eustace Darius, 35.Akiniyel Rouse; 20.Brent Garcia; 15.Tigana Sparks (37.Tyrell Seales 54), 42.Akeem Redhead, 46.Nathaniel Garcia, 16.Bevon Bass; 10.Daniel Garcia (25.Givon John 54).
Coach: Dexter Cyrus
Referee: Neal Brizan
Friday’s Digicel Pro League results
(10 May 2013)
North East Stars 1 (Kerry Baptiste), Central FC 0 at Macoya
Defence Force 4 (Cebastian Bailey OG 32, Kevon Carter 38, Devorn Jorsling 53 pen, Jerwyn Balthazar 90), T&TEC 0 at Macoya
W Connection 5 (Neil Benjamin Jr 15, Andrei Pacheco 20, 48, 50, Stefano Rijssel 29), Police 0 at Couva
Caledonia AIA 3 (Stephan David 31 pen, Jamal Gay 47, Vurlon Mills 65), St Ann’s Rangers 0 at Couva