Sports & Games FC Santa Rosa and Defence Force are taking their National Super League (NSL) title run down to the wire, as both teams notched comfortable away victories on Sunday.
Only three points separate first-place Santa Rosa from the Army/Coast Guard combination, and with just four Premiership games left, spectators can expect some end-of-season fireworks. The teams had met on November 13, and Santa Rosa managed to hold off a demotion after that game ended in a 2-2 draw. Still, in just about a month from now, either Santa Rosa or the Defence Boys is in for a very Merry Christmas.
The jingle bells aren’t chiming just yet though, as defending champs Defence Force tackle WASA FC and the southern trio of Siparia Spurs, Petrotrin Palo Seco and Guaya United in their final four games. Santa Rosa—who have conceded the least number of goals from league play—will take on Guaya, Matura Re United, Real Maracas and relegation-threatened Queen’s Park Cricket Club.
Sunday’s showdown, though, proved both teams were ready for a title battle, as they dominated their opponents, even without home crowd advantage.
In Tobago, Defence Force showed no remorse for current NSL Knockout champions Bethel United, hammering a 4-nil demolition—with all goals coming in the first half. Strike star Akil Morris helped himself to a double while Ronald St Louis and Keston Williams also made it on to the score sheet.
In Siparia, Santa Rosa shut down the Spurs to claim a 3-0 victory. Durwin Ross opened the scoring in the 27th minute, while Rashad Griffith and Keron Clarke bagged second half items to seal an impressive win for the guests.
Santa Rosa’s next match up won’t be so easy, though, as they face Guaya United’s “Green Army” in their next match at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya on 27 November. Guaya, who narrowly missed out on the Premiership title last season, battered Police 7-0 at the New Lands Ground in Guayaguayare on Sunday.
Guaya’s top marksman, Carlon “Judgment” Hughes, grabbed a hat trick, while Jody Allsop, Shaquille Ferrier, Kevin Jagdeosingh and Kendes Garica had one apiece.
At the Grand Chemin Recreation Ground in Moruga, home team Club Sando Moruga reinforced their third place spot in the Premiership standings, edging the visitors, Real Maracas, 3-2. Moruga are seven points away from the top of the table and will be hoping for a Santa Rosa slip up soon.
Marabella Family Crisis Centre and QPCC are on relegation watch, as both teams were whipped on Sunday, edging ever so closer to relegation.
Marabella lost 3-1 to Matura Re United in Malabar, while QPCC were beaten 2-nil by WASA FC.
In the Championship, the competition to get promoted to the Premiership is now hotter than ever as just one point separates the top four teams. With two Championship rounds to go, UTT, Cunupia FC and Central 500 Spartans all have 26 points, while Saddle Hill Hotspur are on 25.
On Saturday, UTT and Cunupia battled to a 2-2 draw in O’Meara, while Central 500 Spartans got a key 2-1 victory over Barrackpore United SC.
The tension is high as a break in the deadlock is expected when the Central Spartans tackle Cunupia FC on November 26 and UTT host Saddle Hill Hotspur on November 30.
Last season, QPCC dramatically got the lone promotion spot after a tense final day battle with Prisons FC.
Who will be the champions of the Championship this time around?
NSL Championship Division Results
(Saturday 19 November)
Petit Valley/Diego Martin United 3, Carenage United 0 at Diego Martin North Secondary School. Petit Valley/Diego Martin United won by default;
The game between Prisons FC and Youth Stars did not play;
Central 500 Spartans 2 (Husani Thomas 28, Donavin Derrick 31), Barrackpore United SC 1 (Mekheil Peters 50) at Hugo Francis Recreation Ground;
UTT 2 (Dillon Bartholomew 3, Kevaughn Connell 82), Cunupia FC 2 (Shervon Edwards 30, Dillon Jaggasar 37) at UTT, O’Meara;
Saddle Hill Hotspur were on a Bye.
NSL Premiership Division Results
(Wednesday 16 November)
Police FC 0, WASA FC 0 at St James Barracks;
(Sunday 20 November)
Petrotrin Palo Seco 2 (Angus John 79, Tigana Sparks 90), 1976 FC Phoenix 2 (Nigel Thomas 12, LeJandro Williams 35) at Palo Seco Velodrome;
Guaya United 7 (Shaquille Ferrier 22, Carlon Hughes 23, 25, 47, Kevin Jagdeosingh 33, Kendes Garcia 49, Jody Allsop 81), Police FC 0 at New Lands Ground, Guaya;
Club Sando Moruga 3 (Nigel John 11, David Neptune 68, Jesse Edwards 79), Real Maracas 2 (Kheelon Mitchell 27, Kevin Jeffrey 90) at Grand Chemin Recreation Ground;
Bethel United 0, Defence Force 4 (Ronald St Louis 23, Akil Morris 23, 40, Keston Williams 44) at Mount Gomery Recreation Ground;
Siparia Spurs 0, Sports & Games FC Santa Rosa 3 (Durwin Ross 27, Rashad Griffith 56, Keron Clarke 67) at Irwin Park, Siparia;
WASA FC 2 (Dwight Crichlow 72, Glen Walker 90), QPCC 0 at WASA, St Joseph;
Matura Re United 3 (Dorian Robinson 7, Kitwana Abosi 19, Brendon Figuera 82), Marabella Family Crisis Centre 1 (Juma Clarence 60) at Larry Gomes Stadium Training Field;
Upcoming NSL Championship Division Fixtures
(Saturday 26 November)
Youth Stars vs Barrackpore United, 5pm, Cyd Gray Complex, Roxborough;
Central 500 Spartans vs Cunupia FC, 3:30pm, Hugo Francis Recreation Ground;
Prisons FC vs Carenage United, 3:30pm, YTC, Arouca;
(Wednesday 30 November)
UTT vs Saddle Hill Hotspur, 6:30pm, UTT, O’Meara;
Barrackpore United SC vs Prisons FC, 6:30pm, Barrackpore Recreation Ground;
Petit Valley/Diego Martin United FC are on a Bye.
Upcoming NSL Premiership Division Fixtures
(Sunday 27 November)
Bethel United vs Petrotrin Palo Seco, 6pm, Mount Gomery Recreation Ground;
1976 FC Phoenix vs WASA FC, 5pm, Canaan Recreation Ground;
Defence Force vs Siparia Spurs, 3:30pm, Defence Force Headquarters;
Police FC vs Matura Re United, 3:30pm, St James Barracks;
Sports & Games FC Santa Rosa vs Guaya United, 5pm, Marvin Lee Stadium;
QPCC vs Club Sando Moruga, 3:30pm, CIC Grounds, St Clair;
Marabella Family Crisis Centre vs Real Maracas, 5pm, Guaracara Park.