Twenty-one year old Club Sando attacker Akeem Roach remains on course for his maiden Pro League scoring title despite a barren showing yesterday in a 3-3 draw with St Ann’s Rangers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Roach, who has 11 goals, failed to find the back of the net in the 18th and final league game of the season.
Instead, 16 year old St Anthony’s College schoolboy Che Benny stole the spotlight with a double—his first top flight goals—as Rangers stormed back from a three goal deficit to snatch a point.
Jameel Antoine grabbed the other item for Rangers while Joel Lewis, Akeem Humphrey and Shaquille Holder were on target for Sando.
Club Sando are fifth in the 10 team while Rangers are eighth. Neither can be overtaken, regardless of the results this evening and tomorrow.
There was a draw in the second game of yesterday’s Couva double header as well as Police FC striker Jameel Perry and Courts Morvant Caledonia United winger Lester Joseph traded items in a 1-1 stalemate.
It was Perry’s tenth league goal this season.
Morvant Caledonia finished ninth while Police climbed to sixth—although the Lawmen will be overtaken if Defence Force draw or defeat Point Fortin Civic from 5pm today at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin.
Defence Force marksman Devorn Jorsling, who is the TT Pro League’s all-time record scorer with 153 goals, has nine items this season but will miss the chance to overtake Roach today due to injury.
His offensive partner, Hashim Arcia, is not far behind with eight league goals along with forward Jamille Boatswain who is likely to start in place of Jorsling at Mahaica. Ironically, Boatswain scored seven of his eight goals for Civic this season before he swapped clubs just last month.
Tomorrow is the Pro League’s million dollar affair with leaders Central FC chasing history against San Juan Jabloteh from 3.30pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium. If the “Couva Sharks” win, they will become the first team in Pro League history to win three successive titles.
However, a draw or loss for Central will open the door for DIRECTV W Connection to pip them on the line.
Connection trail Central by just one point and they face Ma Pau Stars from 3.30pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
The two Couva clubs are the only winners of the million dollar Pro League jackpot, as Connection won in 2013/14 before Central banked the prize in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
Connection’s Surinamese winger, Dimitrie Apai, can become the first foreigner to win the Pro League scoring title if he can match or surpass Roach. Apai has nine goals at present along with Central midfielder Darren “Chucky” Mitchell who, remarkably, started his sterling scoring run while playing at right back.
Stars striker Jerrel Britto, who also has nine goals, will not have a shot at the Golden Boots prize, as he departed last week for a professional deal in Honduras. But Britto’s veteran teammate Jason Scotland is still in the running with eight items.
The 37 year old Scotland, a former World Cup 2006 player, won his only scoring title in 2000 for Defence Force before departing for Britain in a professional career that took him to the England and Scotland Premier Leagues.
Jorsling’s four scoring titles remain a Pro League record. But maybe Roach, a winger-cum-striker, can start his own dynasty this season.
Pro League results
(Friday 3 February)
St Ann’s Rangers 3 (Che Benny 62, 85, Jameel Antoine 82), Club Sando 3 (Joel Lewis 3, Akeem Humphrey 12, Shaquille Holder 55) at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Police FC 1 (Jameel Perry 2), Morvant Caledonia Utd 1 (Lester Joseph 64) at Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Saturday 4 February)
Point Fortin Civic v Defence Force, 5pm, Mahaica Oval;
(Sunday 5 February)
San Juan Jabloteh v Central FC, 3.30pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
Ma Pau Stars v W Connection, 3.30pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
2016/17 Pro League top scorers
11—Akeem Roach [2 pen] (Club Sando),
10—Jameel Perry (Police FC),
9—Darren Mitchell (Central FC), Devorn Jorsling [2 pen] (Defence Force), Jerrel Britto (Ma Pau Stars), Dimitrie Apai (W Connection),
8—Jamille Boatswain [7 goals for Point Fortin Civic], Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Jason Scotland [1 pen] (Ma Pau Stars),
7—Dylon King [FK] [6 goals for St Ann’s Rangers] (Morvant Caledonia), Hughtun Hector, Jamal Charles (W Connection),
Pro League Golden Boots
1999: Arnold Dwarika (Joe Public)—45 goals
2000: Jason Scotland (Defence Force)—22 goals
2001: No information
2002: Sean Julien (South Starworld Strikers)—16 goals
2003/04: Randolph Jerome [Guyana] (San Juan Jabloteh)—28 goals
2004: Jerren Nixon (North East Stars)—37 goals
2005: Gefferson Goulart [Brazil] and Earl Jean [St Lucia] (both W Connection)—14 goals
2006: Roen Nelson [Jamaica] (Joe Public) and Anthony Wolfe (San Juan Jabloteh)—16 goals
2007: Peter Byers [Antigua and Barbuda] (San Juan Jabloteh)—15 goals
2008: Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force)—21 goals
2009: Kerry Baptiste (Joe Public)—35 goals
2010/11: Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force)—15 goals
2011/12: Richard Roy (Defence Force)—15 goals
2012/13: Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force)—21 goals
2013/14: Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic)—16 goals
2014/15: Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force)—21 goals
2015/16: Makesi Lewis (Police FC)—21 goals