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Pro League scores: Sando surprise Jabloteh for third straight win, but goals scarce in top flight

Club Sando maintained their rich vein of form in the 2017 Pro League season with a third successive win—and their biggest scalp to boot—as they edged San Juan Jabloteh 2-1 in action at the Barataria Recreation Ground today.

Jabloteh, the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship runners-up, opened the scoring through full back Jevon Morris in the 35th minute but had their lead wiped out before the interval by new Sando arrival Akim Armstrong.

Photo: Club Sando player Akeem Humphrey (left) gets between the ball and a St Ann’s Rangers opponent in 2015/16 Pro League action.
(Courtesy Kerlon Orr/Wired868)

And the winner came in dramatic fashion for coach Angus Eve’s men as Nical Stephens decided the match in the third minute of second half stoppage time for the visitors.

The result propelled Sando to fourth place in the 10-team standings, just three points shy of joint leaders W Connection and North East Stars. And Eve’s men are the joint highest scoring team this term with 11 goals from six matches.

So far, though, the 2017 Pro League season looks like breaking the wrong sort of scoring records.

This afternoon, Defence Force and Morvant Caledonia United produced the fifth goalless tie of the season at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar. And, after six rounds of matches, the Pro League has recorded just 58 goals this season.

By way of context, the 2016/17 Pro League season had 109 goals and just one goalless result from the first six rounds.

Coincidentally, more than half of the early scorers at this stage of the competition last year no longer ply their trade in the local top flight competition as Akeem Roach (Club Sando), Jamille Boatswain (Defence Force), Jerrel Britto, Jason Scotland (both North East Stars), Darren Mitchell, Kenwyne Jones (both Central FC) and Willis Plaza (San Juan Jabloteh) have all moved on while veteran poacher Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force) is on leave at present.

Photo: Defence Force striker Jamille Boatswain (second from left) squeezes his shot past Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (left) while defender Julius James (second from right) and Jerwyn Balthazar look on during the Pro Bowl final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 February 2017.
Defence Force won 5-3 on kicks from the penalty mark after a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The W Connection duo of Neil Benjamin Jr and Marcus Joseph have a credible four and three goals respectively thus season while Sando’s Tyrone Charles has three. But better offensive returns would have been expected from the likes of Jameel Perry (Police FC), Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Jason Marcano (Central FC) and Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh).

Perhaps it half-explains why Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence promoted second division forward Keron Clarke to his 26-man provisional squad to face Ecuador after the 31-year-old FC Santa Rosa forward’s seven goals from four TTSL outings.

Pro League results

(Friday 14 July)

Central FC 0, St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Josh Toussaint 57) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

W Connection 2 (Neil Benjamin 2, Marcus Joseph 38), North East Stars 2 (Jameel Neptune 83, Kordell Samuel 90+2) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Point Fortin Civic 0, Police FC 0 at Mahaica Oval;

(Saturday 15 July)

Defence Force 0, Morvant Caledonia Utd 0 at Larry Gomes Stadium;

San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Jevon Morris 35), Club Sando 2 (Akim Armstrong 37, Nical Stephens 90+3) at Barataria Recreation Ground.

Photo: W Connection attacker Neil Benjamin Jr (right) challenges Honduras Progreso defender Nixon Duarte for the ball during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 25 August 2016.
Connection and Progreso played to a 1-1 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

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28 comments

  1. It will wiill be a plus in a way we will be able to see some level of development Clubs are forced to look at younger players due to lack of money to spend on high price players if you look at Rangers and carlie presently and they are holding there end well on the development side it offers well .

  2. I would agree that the quality of strikers has diminished due to players moving overseas. This is a good thing for national team supporters as it means there is room for developing strikers to play first team football and learn the game more quickly. However, Jamaal is spot on because defenses have improved. Not necessarily individually but as a unit you see more compactness and willingness to work. I would say that both Rangers and Caledonias defenses this season have been the best I have witnessed. The coaches tactics may not be pretty, but they have these boys working hard, adhering to team tactics and staying in formation. There will be no super teams this season. Benches are very lightweight. The results on the pitch are a direct result of the lack of funding available to clubs. It also doesn’t help that that fiend Shabazz has returned to coaching and refuses to give up points lol.

  3. I saw a new breed of players poping up at present with Brasil quick technical good and strong .

  4. The morden game is base on proper defensive organization and fast transition .

  5. Thats the hall mark of a good coach to produce quality football

  6. I’ll respond later Jamal lol

  7. Good discussion to have..If there is an improvement in any football department we must give credit to it,It is very difficult for any coach to work on offense and defense consistently,so if the goals have dried up a bit it may work well for our National teams down the road…We definitely have to see when our Club teams are tested internationally

  8. Jamaal, nobody has said that the quality of play is better or worse. You can read the story over to double check if you like. It really is just a stat. Not that we mind your input at all. It is helpful actually.

  9. No I agree that attacks have lacked potency but I have also seen more compact units allround

  10. Therefore I contend that if less goals are scored while it points to diminished potency in attack….it could also mean improved defending and goalkeeping…..Even if you bring Ramesh Om Lalla and Pamela Elder….Lasana and James I hold my ground!!!!!!

  11. Quality of play is not just determined by goals scored. It is determined by the behaviour of opposing teams on the pitch…When In Possession…When they NOT In Possession and In Transition…meaning when the ball changes hands. I have counter suggested based on your comment ….that the lack of goals MAY also mean …teams have improved defensively on the pitch.
    Tele Santana once said in a lectured class that I was present that he prefers to win 4-3 than 1 nil….. On that same course Carlos Alberto Parriera said he prefers a 1 nil.

  12. Jamaal, if Messi and Ronaldo left La Liga (for an example), it would be easy for coaches to say defences are doing better too. It is a fact that goals have dried up. It is a fact that the league lost more than half of their top forwards from last season. Nobody said that was the only factor. But I struggle to see how it is a negligible point.
    You seem to be suggesting that these improved defences you talk about would have been just as strong if they were coming up against Kenwyne, Boatswain, Plaza, etc…

  13. And suddenly we need deeper analysis ….really ? When social media puts a fan on the same level with Pep… Jose … and Sir Alex.
    I thought social media was primarily a lame man/woman viewpoint….If we need more indepth analysis Wired will have no discussions

  14. And James Saunders what is the finite state that you will say a team is good defensively. I saw our national team give up goals but would you say they in a mess defensively ?

  15. You guys got to look back at my comments. And if you have not seen that teams in the league have improved defensively then maybe thats why you two are better journalists than coaches. And I mean no disrespect here. But I agree that the league needs better offensive players but I hold my ground on my point about the improved defending

  16. Tell me how our national team is weak defensively what aspect of defending please?

  17. These are the same teams that play in concacaf and look like school boys defensively, while our national team is notoriously weak defensively. I think that this is something that need deeper critical analyses to determine solid reasons rather than make assumptive statements AKA i agree with Lasana Liburd

  18. Could it be that teams have improved their defensive organization coupled with the absence of the top strikers ? I think the end to end action and open play has been replaced with having to look for ways to break down more compact units .

    • That’s an optimistic way of looking at it. I don’t see any reason for defences to suddenly be twice as good. There is more talent leaving than coming in that position too and pre-seasons haven’t been impressive either.
      I’m skeptical of that explanation.

    • I wont say twice as good I would say improved. What about goalkeepers today two goalkeepers saved one v ones and made point blank saves. One might say poor finishing another might say great goalkeeping. If in world cups less goals are scored . Is it the quality of play is bad ? Or are we going to say once there are plenty goals the quality of play is good?

    • I think each game not just the scorelines brings its own analyses

    • Jamaal each murder is different. But we read something into the total murder rate all the same and compare it to previous years for clues.
      And nobody said more goals necessarily means better play. But it might mean better finishers.
      If you really think that a drop by nearly 50 goals for the same period (granted Central v Stars still has to play) is solely because Pro League defences are suddenly awesome, am I really the one who is being naive?

    • Jamaal the 1990 World Cup was notoriously stingy for goals. It was the lowest scoring World Cup. Do you think it was a better tournament than 1986 or 1994? Because I actually do remember the reviews there slating teams for stifling tactics, lack of entertainment and a shortage of offensive quality.