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Stars stun Central; Tinto hands Couva Sharks first loss of Pro League season

Central FC tasted defeat for the first time in the 2016/17 Pro League season today, as second half strikes from Hayden Tinto and Jerrel Britto secured a surprise 2-0 win for Ma Pau Stars over the defending champions at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.

The result means, for the first time since 7 October 2016, the “Couva Sharks” end the round of matches outside the top spot. Central now trail Connection by two points, although the former team still have a game in hand.

Photo: Ma Pau Stars winger Hayden Tinto (left) takes on Morvant Caledonia United defender Seon Thomas during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 22 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars winger Hayden Tinto (left) takes on Morvant Caledonia United defender Seon Thomas during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 22 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Perhaps the situation might have been different but for a power outage at the Hasely Crawford Stadium last Tuesday with Central about to face Defence Force. Had the Sharks won, they would still have a one point lead atop the standings.

They still have that game to play against the Army/Coast Guard combination. But, psychologically, coach Dale Saunders’ troops must grapple with the fact that they now have to fight from behind with just five games left this season.

Central used speedy forward Rundell Winchester off the bench today. But, with Kenwyne Jones departed, Marcus Joseph absent, Sean De Silva injured, Jason Marcano jaded and Keron Cummings still a shadow of himself, the Sharks lacked bite.

And Stars, who were without injured veterans Carlos Edwards and Jason Scotland, capitalised in the 62nd minute as Naparima College schoolboy Shane Sandy, utilised as a makeshift left back, pulled a clever cut back for Tinto to blast past Central custodian Jan-Michael Williams.

And the defending champions, who are seeking to become the first team to win the Pro League in three successive seasons, were done and dusted once frontman Jerrel Britto blasted home a penalty in the 83rd minute.

Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jerrel Britto (centre) lines up a shot while Morvant Caledonia United defenders Taje Commissiong (left) and Ordell Flemming look on during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 22 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jerrel Britto (centre) lines up a shot while Morvant Caledonia United defenders Taje Commissiong (left) and Ordell Flemming look on during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 22 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The final score saw Stars leapfrog Defence Force to fourth place, although they trail leaders Connection by 13 points.

Elsewhere at the Barataria Recreation Ground, Morvant Caledonia United suffered their eighth league loss of the season as they were edged 1-0 by a Nical Stephens strike for Club Sando. And Trinidad and Tobago winger Nathan Lewis celebrated his return to Pro League debut with the opening item for San Juan Jabloteh in a 3-1 win over Police FC.

Towering striker Jamal Gay notched a double for Jabloteh while Jameel Perry grabbed a solitary item for Police.

Photo: San Juan Jabloteh forward Jamal Gay stretches for the ball during Pro League against Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 1 November 2016. Jabloteh won 3-2. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh forward Jamal Gay stretches for the ball during Pro League against Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 1 November 2016.
Jabloteh won 3-2.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Pro League results

(Friday 13 January)

St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Jameel Antoine 59), Point Fortin Civic 1 (Nion Lammy 75) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Defence Force 1 (Jamali Garcia 64), W Connection 4 (Dimitrie Apai 1, 49, Jamal Charles 33, Neil Benjamin Jr 58) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

(Saturday 14 January)

Central FC 0, Ma Pau Stars 2 (Hayden Tinto 62, Jerrel Britto 83 pen) at Larry Gomes Stadium;

Morvant Caledonia Utd 0, Club Sando 1 (Nical Stephens 12) at Barataria Recreation Ground;

San Juan Jabloteh 3 (Nathan Lewis 11, Jamal Gay 53, 63), Police FC 1 (Jameel Perry 32) at Barataria Recreation Ground.

Photo: W Connection striker Jamal Charles (right) dances around Club Sando goalkeeper Kelvin Henry during Pro League action on 10 January 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection striker Jamal Charles (right) dances around Club Sando goalkeeper Kelvin Henry during Pro League action on 10 January 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures

(Tuesday 17 January)

Ma Pau Stars vs Club Sando, 3.30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;

Point Fortin Civic vs San Juan Jabloteh, 6pm, Mahaica Oval;

St Ann’s Rangers v W Connection, 6pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Defence Force v Morvant Caledonia Utd, 8pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

(Wednesday 18 January)

Police FC vs Central FC, 3.30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium.

Photo: Club Sando forward Akeem Roach (right) is watched closely by W Connection defender Jelani Peters during Pro League action on 10 January 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Club Sando forward Akeem Roach (right) is watched closely by W Connection defender Jelani Peters during Pro League action on 10 January 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Standings (Tabulated as Won-Drawn-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

W Connection     14-11-1-2-4313-34

Central FC             13-10-2-1-26-13-32

S/Juan Jabloteh 14-8-2-4-25-17-26

Ma Pau Stars       14-6-3-5-27-25-21

Defence Force     13-6-1-6-21-22-19

Club Sando           14-5-2-7-21-25-17

Police FC               14-4-4-6-30-26-16

S/A Rangers        14-4-4-6-20-24-16

M’vt Caledonia   14-2-4-8-17-25-10

Point Fortin        14-0-3-11-1151-3

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2 comments

  1. So once again, a league that gets 100 spectators on a good day has games at 3:30 during the week,are they targeting school children?!?!?

  2. Well done, Ma Pau! Very disappointed in the linesman as a cameramans evidence showed that the ball clearly hit the inside of the net and should have given Central the lead. But that’s football, and Ma Pau took their chances well.