DIRECTV W Connection brought an impressive 2013/14 season to a close tonight as it picked up its fifth title this term with a 3-0 win over Police FC in the Digicel Pro Bowl final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Three second half goals—two from Surinamese international Stefano Rijssel and one from “Soca Warrior” Joevin Jones—undid a Police team that performed brilliantly to get to this stage but was out of its depth on the big night.
It was 18 years before Police last advanced to a cup final but, sadly, the “Lawmen” could not make the most of the occasion. And, if not for a string of impressive saves from Police goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, the margin of victory would have been embarrassing.
Foncette made fine reflex saves from Rijssel and defender Joel Russell in the first half and, after the break, kept out a wicked Silvio Spann corner, two close range efforts in quick succession from Kurt Frederick as well as strikes from Hashim Arcia and Jones.
But Foncette could not keep them all out.
Six minutes into the second half, Rijssel got the opener as the Police defence failed to clear a right side Alvin Jones cross and Rijssel clipped the loose ball over Foncette. It was a soft goal to concede on any evening, let alone in a final.
Two minutes later, Connection doubled its advantage in similar fashion. This time, it was left back Kurt Frederick who overlapped to devastating effect and the elder Jones brother, Joevin, roofed his cross for the game’s second goal.
Police never looked capable of a recovery and the match turned into a shooting gallery. Thirteen minutes from time, Rijssel put some deserved gloss on the scoreline with Connection’s third item.
And, at the final whistle, another title was on its way to Connection to go alongside the Digicel Pro League, Toyota Classic, TTFA FA Trophy and Digicel Charity Shield trophies.
W Connection (4-2-1-3): 18.Julani Archibald (GK); 39.Alvin Jones, 19.Joel Russell,15.Mekeil Williams, 2.Kurt Frederick, 3.Gerard Williams (captain), 7.Silvio Spann (25.Christian Viveros 64); 10.Joevin Jones; 12.Jerrel Britto (65.Neil Benjamin Jr 71), 14.Hashim Arcia (40.Jomal Williams 84), 20.Stefano Rijssel,
Unused substitutes: 22.Aquelius Sylvester (GK), 13.Devaughn Elliot, 26.Eden Charles, 29.Jem Gordon.
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
Police FC (4-2-3-1): 18.Adrian Foncette (GK); 29.Clevon McFee, 20.Elijah Belgrave, 5.Anton Hutchinson, 17.Dexter Alleyne, 13.Elijah Roberts (12.Vernell Ramirez 55), 6.Kenaz Williams; 19.Christon Thomas, 21.Todd Ryan (captain (23.LJ Mitchell 82), 10.Trent Noel; 15.Jameel Perry.
Unused substitutes: 31.Theob Browne (GK), 22.Aaron Downing, 24.Ariei McDavid, 25.Kemron Purcell, 26.Wendell Joseph.
Coach: Richard Hood
Digicel Pro Bowl final
(Fri May 23)
W Connection 3 (Stefano Rijssel 51, 77, Joevin Jones 53), Police FC 0 at Hasely Crawford
Top Scorer: Jameel Perry (Police FC) – 5 goals
Most Valuable Player: Stefano Rijssel (W Connection)
Most Valuable Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier (W Connection)