Defence Force sharp shooter Devorn Jorsling gave another demonstration of his scoring prowess this afternoon as the “Army/Coast Guard” combination edged Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh 1-0 in Pro League action at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
The result ensured that the Army will finish in third place for the second successive season and, once again, will not represent Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Champions League qualifiers.
In contrast, Jabloteh remain sixth and now have no chance of catching fifth placed North East Stars. It is an improvement for the “San Juan Kings” who finished eighth in the nine team table last season. But with wins over leaders Central FC and Defence Force, earlier in the season, and a tie with defending champions DIRECTV W Connection, there is a suspicion that Jabloteh can do even better than this.
There was little worth remembering this afternoon, though, in a typically flat contest involving two teams that can neither win a trophy nor be relegated. As such, the statistical tussle between the Pro League’s all-time record goal scorers Jorsling (134) and Jabloteh’s Kerry Baptiste (131) was the main point of interest.
Not for the first time this season, Jorsling came out on top with a swing of his left boot after a wall pass with Army midfielder Kerry Joseph. Jabloteh goalkeeper Shane Mattis barely had time to flinch as Jorsling’s strike from the edge of the area soared into the top left hand corner.
It was Jorsling’s 135th career league goal and his 20th item this season from 21 outings with just 13 starts. He may still need to lose a few pounds to tempt “Soca Warriors” coach Stephen Hart but, with captain Kenwyne Jones virtually untouchable, perhaps Central’s Willis Plaza shouldn’t take his CONCACAF Gold Cup squad place for granted.
Baptiste did a get chance to respond in the 53rd minute but held on too long and was kept out by alert Defence Force goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke. Clarke made two important saves from Jabloteh winger Tyrone Charles in the 69th and 89th minutes respectively to preserve the result although Jorsling also failed to take two decent chances in the second half.
The result did not flatter the soldiers though.
Next stop: Pro League coronation day on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva as W Connection tackles Police FC from 6 pm followed by Central versus North East Stars from 8 pm.
A draw would seal the title for Central while Connection, who have a game in hand, need a big win over Police and a Stars triumph.
Defence Force (5-4-1): 25.Sheldon Clarke (GK); 13.Marvin Jones, 22.Jamali Garcia, 6.Rodell Elcock, 21.Aklie Edwards, 17.Ross Russell Jr (90.Jelani Felix); 12.Jemel Sebro (11.Akeem Roach 55), 4.Dave Long, 99.Jerwyn Balthazar (captain), 23.Kerry Joseph (10.Josimar Belgrave 62); 9.Devorn Jorsling.
Unused substitutes: 28.Andre Marchan (GK), 2.Glynn Franklyn, 16.Kellon Serette, 26.Richard Roy.
Coach: Marvin Gordon
San Juan Jabloteh (4-2-3-1): 30.Shane Mattis (GK); 4.Garth Thomas, 15.Isaiah McIntyre, 6.Dario Holmes, 18.Jevon Morris; 24.Adrian Reid, 11.Damian Williams; 29.Tyrone Charles, 10.Kerry Baptiste (captain) (20.Nkosi David), 7.Andell Noray (9.Johan Peltier 60), 8.Newton Sterling (25.Micah Lansiquot 60).
Unused substitutes: 36.Raheem Belgrave (GK), 23.Brendon Figuera, 27.Tekay Hoyte, 28.Kendes Garcia.
Coach: Keith Jeffrey
Pro League result
(Sun Apr 26)
Defence Force 1 (Devorn Jorsling 34), San Juan Jabloteh 0 at Malabar;
(Tue Apr 28)
W Connection v Police FC, 6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium,
Central FC v North East Stars, 8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.