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Lucozade Sport: Connection spank Stars, Central squeeze past Rangers

Pro League giants Bankers Insurance Central FC and DIRECTV W Connection advanced to the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield semifinals yesterday but in contrasting styles after victories over St Ann’s Rangers and Japs North East Stars respectively at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Photo: W Connection midfielder Paolo De La Guardia (left) tries to keep up with North East Stars midfielder Neil Mitchell during Lucozade Sport Goal Shield quarterfinal action on 8 April 2016. Connection won 4-1. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-Images/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection midfielder Paolo De La Guardia (left) tries to keep up with North East Stars midfielder Neil Mitchell during Lucozade Sport Goal Shield quarterfinal action on 8 April 2016.
Connection won 4-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-Images/Wired868)

Central, the defending knock out champions and reigning TT Pro League winners, needed kicks from the penalty mark to hold off table proppers, St Ann’s Rangers, while Connection avenged an April 1 defeat to Stars with a 4-1 triumph in the second match of a double header.

The “Couva Sharks” took to the field first against a Rangers team that trails them by 34 points in the league competition. Buoyed by a midweek triumph over Club Sando, Rangers were determined to be a troublesome opponent though.

Keron Cornwall put the Angus Eve-coached outfit ahead in the 20th minute but the advantage lasted less than 10 minutes as Trinidad and Tobago international attacker Rundell Winchester equalised with his first goal since his mid-season return from the United States second division with Portland Timbers II.

There were no further goals in regulation time and Central were the more efficient team from the spot, as they held their nerve for a 3-1 shootout triumph.

Things were more clear cut in the second affair.

Photo: Central FC forward Rundell Winchester (centre) tries to escape from St Ann's Rangers players Sedale McLean (right) and Jeromie Williams during Lucozade Sport Goal Shield quarterfinal action on 8 April 2016. Central won 3-1 on kicks from the penalty mark. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-Images/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC forward Rundell Winchester (centre) tries to escape from St Ann’s Rangers players Sedale McLean (right) and Jeromie Williams during Lucozade Sport Goal Shield quarterfinal action on 8 April 2016.
Central won 3-1 on kicks from the penalty mark.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-Images/Wired868)

Each goal in the quarterfinal and semifinal round is worth TT$1,000 each for the eventual winner. Connection might have already banked TT$4,000 then.

Shahdon Winchester put the “Savonetta Boys” ahead, after just 10 minutes, and although Kerry Baptiste managed an equaliser—three minutes after the interval—second half items from Jelani Peters, Andre Toussaint and Neil Benjamin Jr helped Connection cruise to a comfortable win.

Lucozade Sport quarterfinal action continues today in Port of Spain, as Defence Force tackle Morvant Caledonia from 4 pm and San Juan Jabloteh square off against Police FC from 8 pm. Both fixtures are scheduled for the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The Lucozade Sport Goal Shield is the third cup competition of the Pro League season. W Connection secured both the First Citizens Cup and Toyota Classic Cup titles.

On last night’s evidence, they have their hearts set on a hattrick of trophies.

Photo: North East Stars midfielder Anthony Guppy (right) tries to break free of W Connection midfielder Paolo De La Guardia during Lucozade Sport Goal Shield quarterfinal action on 8 April 2016. Connection won 4-1. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-Images/Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars midfielder Anthony Guppy (right) tries to break free of W Connection midfielder Paolo De La Guardia during Lucozade Sport Goal Shield quarterfinal action on 8 April 2016.
Connection won 4-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-Images/Wired868)

2016 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield results

Quarterfinal round

(Friday April 8)

Central FC 1 (Rundell Winchester 29), St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Keron Cornwall 20) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

*—Central FC won 3-1 on kicks from the penalty mark

W Connection 4 (Shahdon Winchester 10, Jelani Peters 56, Andre Toussaint 62, Neil Benjamin Jr 87), North East Stars 1 (Kerry Baptiste 48) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Photo: Fans look on from the sidelines during TT Pro League action between Defence Force and San Juan Jabloteh on 12 March 2016 at the Barataria Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Fans look on from the sidelines during TT Pro League action between Defence Force and San Juan Jabloteh on 12 March 2016 at the Barataria Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

(Saturday April 9)

Defence Force vs Morvant Caledonia United, 4 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

San Juan Jabloteh vs Police FC, 6 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium.

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5 comments

  1. Connection had a decent game. I thought Shahdon Winchester had a stellar performance in terms of his physical and aggressive play. Awful refereeing though, totally atrocious from the middle man last night.

  2. Central FC vs. Rangers was drab and boring to me. Truth is, Rangers could have won, easily too after Marcus Joseph saw red. But apparently they thought you supposed to lose against the big guns. The penalty kickers looked uninspired and eventually Rangers succumbed.