Defence Force made it eight successive Pro League wins last night as the defending champion football club is just four points behind present leader DIRECTV W Connection with a game in hand.
The “Teteron Boys” will play Connection twice before the end of the season and those meetings will decide the destination of the Pro League trophy and the million dollar first prize.
Once more, it was a narrow triumph for coach Ross Russell’s men who are finding goals hard to come by in the absence of prolific striker Devorn Jorsling, who is nursing a hamstring injury.
Last night, Defence Force midfielders Josimar Belgrave and Kerry Joseph did the trick with two second half goals although a late item from Rangers’ Kittian attacker Kennedy Isles did rattle some nerves.
Current Rangers coach Anthony Streete has been in charge for just three league matches so far and Isles has three goals during that spell, which helped the St Ann’s-based club to a win and draw before last night’s loss. To put that into context, Rangers has managed one point more under Streete’s three matches than from the 19 games with previous coach Gilbert Bateau.
It was Defence Force that got something tangible out of the match though.
For all that, the army/coast guard combination is third at present. Central FC is second, thanks to a superior goal difference, but the “Couva Sharks” have just two games left and not enough time to catch Connection.
It is still mathematically possible though not probable for Central to snatch the crown. Coach Terry Fenwick must not only win his two remaining matches but also have Defence Force win and draw against Connection and then pick up just one point from games against San Juan Jabloteh and Caledonia AIA. Even then, Central would still need Caledonia to defeat Connection in the last game of the season.
Central managing director Brent Sancho might as well pick the next winning Lotto numbers.
Still, the Sharks did their job last night too with a 4-1 rout of a 10-man Police team.
Willis Plaza continued his impressive form with a double, which brings him to 12 goals and just three shy of leading marksman Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic) although the former player played his first game for Central in January.
Ataullah Guerra opened the scoring for Central after missing an earlier penalty while Darren “Chucky” Mitchell closed the score summary with a solo effort in second half stoppage time. Police, who lost Anton Hutchinson to a red card, scored first after just two minutes but could not build on Aaron Stewart’s opener.
Central can still add some gloss to its campaign on Friday when the Sharks face Connection in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield final. But Connection and Defence Force have the driver’s seat in the race for the million dollar first prize as well as the second place spot that carries a berth for the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship.[standings league_id=2 template=extend logo=true]