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Central drop two points with Sando tie; Connection whip Police FC to close gap

A low shot from just outside the opposing penalty area by Jamaican midfielder Keithy Simpson breathed life back into the 2016/17 Pro League race last night, as mid-table outfit, Club Sando, held leaders and defending champions, Central FC, 1-1 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

It was only the second time in 10 games that Central, who are still unbeaten in the league, have dropped points this season. And second placed W Connection did not let the opportunity pass them by, as they whipped Police FC 3-1 in the second game of the Couva double header.

Photo: Club Sando attacker Akee Roach (left) looks to glide past fallen Central FC defender Kevon Villaroel during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 16 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Club Sando attacker Akee Roach (left) looks to glide past fallen Central FC defender Kevon Villaroel during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 16 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The results meant that Central’s lead atop the standings dropped from six to four points. And the blip might add a touch more anxiety for the “Couva Sharks”, who are at loggerheads with the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team technical staff at present.

Central managing director Brent Sancho, a former World Cup 2006 defender, infuriated current national coach Tom Saintfiet, during the week, by sticking to the FIFA rulebook and refusing to hand over his players—goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and midfielders Sean De Silva and Nathaniel Garcia—on anything more than a limited basis for training.

Saintfiet allowed Pro League clubs to use their national players yesterday and De Silva opened the scoring for the Sharks after just six minutes. But Central could not hold off Sando who fought back to level the game with a controlled strike by Simpson.

Connection, who provided more players to the international side than any other Pro League club, had an altogether different approach to their Couva rivals. Head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier stuck to his long-standing principle of using the players who train regularly with his club.

So, the “Savonetta Boys” opted not to use their national call-ups of captain and playmaker Hughtun Hector, flanker Aikim Andrews and defenders Daneil Cyrus and Maurice Forde.

Photo: W Connection utility player Aikim Andrews (right) prepares to unleash a shot while Defence Force winger Ross Russell Jr looks on during the Digicel Pro Bowl final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 27 May 2016. Andrews scored but Defence Force won 2-1. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection utility player Aikim Andrews (right) prepares to unleash a shot while Defence Force winger Ross Russell Jr looks on during the Digicel Pro Bowl final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 27 May 2016.
Andrews scored but Defence Force won 2-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

And, ironically, it was Connection who flourished last night as Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 captain Jabari Mitchell took advantage of a rare start to grab his first goal of the season while Suriname attacker Dimitrie Apai and Shackiel Henry got the other items in a 13 minute second half offensive burst.

Connection have more goal getters than any other club this season with 12 different scorers while Police FC are next with 10 and third placed San Juan Jabloteh and second from bottom Morvant Caledonia United are next with nine.

Kareem Freitas, who was hampered by injury at the start of the season, got his first item of the campaign for Police in the 78th minute. But it was no more than a consolation item for the “Lawmen”, who remain in seventh place with a lead of just one point over St Ann’s Rangers.

Rangers play Morvant Caledonia from 3.30pm on Sunday at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella while fourth placed Ma Pau Stars tackle table proppers, Point Fortin Civic, from 4pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium and sixth placed Defence Force play Jabloteh from 6pm at the same venue.

Photo: Central FC midfielder Leston Paul (right) looks to escape from a Club Sando opponent during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 16 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC midfielder Leston Paul (right) looks to escape from a Club Sando opponent during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 16 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Pro League results

(Friday 16 December)

Club Sando 1 (Keithy Simpson 67), Central FC 1 (Sean De Silva 6) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Police FC 1 (Kareem Freitas 78), W Connection 3 (Dimitrie Apai 53, Jabari Mitchell 60, Shackiel Henry 66) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Upcoming fixtures

(Sunday 18 December)

Morvant Caledonia vs St Ann’s Rangers, 3.30pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Ma Pau Stars vs Point Fortin, 4pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Defence Force vs San Juan Jabloteh, 6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.

Photo: Santos Laguna goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin uses his right leg to block a shot from W Connection attacker Dimitrie Apai during 2015 CONCACAF Champions League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Santos Laguna goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin uses his right leg to block a shot from W Connection attacker Dimitrie Apai during 2015 CONCACAF Champions League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Standings (Tabulated as Won-Drawn-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Central FC            11-9-2-0-24-11-29

W Connection     11-8-1-2-3211-25

S/Juan Jabloteh 10-6-1-3-19-13-19

Ma Pau Stars       10-4-2-4-18-18-14

Club Sando           11-4-2-5-19-20-14

Defence Force    10-4-1-5-16-17-13

Police FC               11-3-3-5-23-22-12

S/A Rangers       10-3-2-5-13-17-11

M’vt Caledonia  10-1-4-5-15-21-7

Point Fortin       10-0-2-8-938-2

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14 comments

  1. Sherdon for someone who was not there, what do you mean.

    • The calls were horrible… the 2nd goal fir W. Connection resulted from a disregarded foul on police

    • My police team was only playing ah set ah English long ball football eh and all W- Connection tall defenders was doing was wining the air balls and heading them back up the road and my player Thomas who likes to always hold on to the ball while dribbling eh, he didn’t realize that when he always get the ball two players was always on him and taking the ball away from him eh, hence the reason why he should have been playing one touch/ two touch football until the opportunity existed to take them on eh I am sure that my real professional Coaches Stuart Charles Fevrier and Earl Jean who is always sitting in the stands on the opposite of the stadium taking notes eh saw him before on video eh and told their players how to deal with him, anyway well done W connection Brazilian style football eh. Them really good yes.

  2. The Police fc vs W Connection game saw the worst refereeing for the season… as I walked out no less 5 different persons were complaining about it…

  3. Oh boy twice congrats to W Connection who played without 5 national team players and still won 3-1. Tough luck Central letting it slip. Congrats to Club Sando pulling a hard owned point. Tough luck Police