Twenty-three-year-old Trinidad and Tobago attacker Marcus Joseph brought Point Fortin Civic’s 2013/14 Digicel Pro League campaign to an end on a high note tonight. Joseph scored a stoppage time winner as Point Fortin from a goal behind to edge Caledonia AIA 2-1 in the final fixture of the regular season at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Joseph was already the League’s top scorer before kick off, after Trevin Caesar failed to score in North East Stars’ 1-0 win over St Ann’s Rangers, but his final match winner was well received by his Point Fortin teammates and supporters alike.
Earlier, Caesar, who was one goal shy of Joseph with 14 League items, began on the bench as Stars kicked off; and utility player Kennedy Hinkson put the Sangre Grande-based team ahead after just two minutes with a volley from the edge of the area.
Caesar was introduced at halftime and should have scored his 15th goal of the season in the 60th minute but headed on to the post from a precise right side Jomoul Francois cross. And the Rangers team, which was always in the game, should have equalised in the closing minute only for teenaged central defender Isaiah McIntyre to hit over bar after an impressive forward surge.
There was another early goal in the second fixture as Pernell Schultz took advantage of some slack defending to drive past Point Fortin custodian Marvin Phillip in the fifth minute.
Point Fortin settled soon after and a goal seemed to be a matter of time. Caledonia custodian Shemel Louison had other ideas and the frame of the goal was on his side.
Twice, Joseph and defender Weslie John thumped efforts that ricocheted off the crossbar while Louison saved more than a half dozen one-on-one situations from Joseph and Akeem Redhead before, in the 88th minute, Caledonia defender Akeem Thomas inadvertently headed into his own net from a deep Steven Joseph free kick.
And in stoppage time, Joseph, who was honoured by football enthusiast Earl “Mango” Pierre with a pair of Messi Adidas boots and $5,000 in cash for his exploits, ran on to a Nickcolson Thomas to coolly finish through Louison’s legs for three points as well.
The domestic top flight season ends on Friday when Police FC faces DIRECTV W Connection in the Digicel Pro Bowl final from 8 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Caledonia AIA: 1.Shemel Louison (GK); 12.Kareem Joseph (27.Nathan Lewis 63), 3.Nuru Muhammad (captain), 5.Akeem Thomas, 6.Akeem Thomas, 15.Aaron Lester, 8.Keron Bethelmy, 9.Keyon Edwards, 16.Tyrone Charles (19.Nical Stephens 46), 28.Pernell Schultz, 13.Julian Wade (32.Kyle Bartholomew 79)
Unused substitutes: 34.Kevin Graham (GK), 18.Denron Frederick, 24.Conrod Smith, 30.Akil Stafford.
Coach: Jamaal Shabazz
Point Fortin Civic: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 29.Kevin Rouse, 5.Andre Ettienne, 4.Weslie John, 2.Garyl Doldron; 21.Andre Alexis (7.Nickcolson Thomas 46), 8.Steven Joseph, 19.Andrei Pacheco (17.Glen Sutton 69), 18.Akeem Redhead; 10.Marcus Joseph, 33.Jamille Boatswain (13.Ancil Wells 79).
Unused substitutes: 6.Kelvin Modeste, 30.Akiniyel Rouse.
Coach: Reynold Carrington
Pro League results
(Tue May 20)
North East Stars 1 (Kennedy Hinkson 2), St Ann’s Rangers 0 at Couva
Point Fortin Civic 2 (Akeem Thomas OG 88, Marcus Joseph 90), Caledonia AIA 1 (Pernell Schultz 5) at Couva