Central FC made light work of Caledonia AIA last night to claim their fourth title this season and the Digicel Pro Bowl crown with a 4-1 triumph at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Former Caledonia star and “Soca Warrior” Ataulla Guerra bit the hand that once fed him with a tidy opener for Central after just seven minutes, following a Uriah Bentick cross.
However, the “Eastern Stallions” rallied and got a lifeline in the 43rd minute as playmaker Conrad Smith released Nathan Lewis in the opposing penalty area and the winger went to ground after contact from Bentick.
It was a debatable call, made worse by the fact that it was awarded by referee Rodphin Harris, who, if you listen to coach Terry Fenwick, is Central’s greatest rival.
There was no ambiguity about the penalty kick itself as Caledonia captain Kareem “Tiny” Joseph sent Central custodian Jan-Michael Williams the wrong way, after a stuttering run-up.
Caledonia barely had three minutes to enjoy being on level terms before Willis Plaza, another Trinidad and Tobago international, restored Central’s lead with a brilliant angled strike into the far corner.
And the Stallions barely showed up in the second half as Central kept the ball for fun and pulled away with goals from Jason Marcano and substitute Jamal Jack.
Caledonia midfielder Keyon Edwards was ejected in the 75th minute for dissent but there was little defiance otherwise from the Morvant/Laventille-based team, who ran out of steam after an arduous season.
And it meant that the “Couva Sharks” scooped another massive trophy to go with their Caribbean Club Championship, Pro League and First Citizens Cup crowns.
(Check later this afternoon for full match report)
Central FC (3-4-2-1): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (1.Javon Sample 82) (GK); 2.Elton John, 5.Akeem Benjamin (11.Darren Mitchell 46), 3.Keion Goodridge; 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 6.Leston Paul, 10.Marvin Oliver, 4.Uriah Bentick; 7.Jason Marcano, 45.Ataulla Guerra (12.Jamal Jack 52); 33.Willis Plaza.
Unused substitutes: 8.Sean De Silva, 14.Jean-Luc Rochford, 17.Marcelle Francois, 19.Nathaniel Garcia.
Coach: Dale Saunders
Caledonia AIA (4-2-3-1): 1.Shemel Louison (GK); 12.Kareem Joseph (captain), 16.Pierre Hitner, 23.Jamil Joseph, 22.Jameel Neptune; 26.Nicholas Marcano, 9.Keyon Edwards; 27.Nathan Lewis (25.Anthony Charles 82), 4.Conrad Smith (30.Domini Garnett 60), 18.Trayon Bobb; 28.Pernell Schultz,
Unused substitutes: 34.D’Eandre Villaroel (GK), 2.Kyle Mack, 29.Mickaeel Gordon.
Coach: Jerry Moe
Referee: Rodphin Harris
Digicel Pro Bowl final
(Fri May 29)
Central FC 4 (Ataulla Guerra 7, Willis Plaza 43, Jason Marcano 51, Jamal Jack 67), Caledonia AIA 1 (Kareem Joseph 40 pen) at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
MVP: Willis Plaza (Central FC)