DEFENCE Force FC, 2017 losing finalists in the First Citizens Cup, made their intentions clear in the 2018 tournament with a dominant opening 4-0 win over San Juan Jabloteh in the second game of an Immortelle Group double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Sunday.
Dylon King bagged two goals and Reon Moore added one in a superior first half showing, before debutant Brent Sam arrived off the bench in the second half to slap home the soldiers’ fourth item against his ex-club.
After the game, their coach Marvin Gordon sounded a warning to their rivals for the 2018 season.
“If you remember (during) the (First Citizens Cup) launch, I talked about playing Jabloteh in the pre-season and dominating them and it was just a matter of coming tonight and getting the business (done),” Gordon said after his side’s win.
“(The result) wasn’t strange for me,” added the coach. “I know what I have in my dressing room and I thought (my) players were brilliant tonight.”
Earlier, Akim Armstrong scored twice on his domestic debut for two-time former champions Central FC to give the Stern John-coached Couva Sharks a 2-0 win over MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers who must next face the fury of Defence Force on June 18.
Central, boasting the likes of Densill Theobald, Anthony Wolfe, goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Jared London and Duane Muckette, were the more experienced of the two sides and were trying to shake off the disappointment of the 2018 Caribbean Club Championship finals in Jamaica last month when they failed to qualify—after three chances—for this season’s Concacaf League.
It was not until the stroke of the half-hour mark that Muckette and Keron Cummings tested Rangers’ number one Cleon John who made two excellent saves.
John, though, was unable to rescue coach Adrian Romain’s side four minutes from the half as Central grabbed a 1-0 lead. Armstrong’s angled a shot came at the end of a Couva Sharks’ move that involved no less than a dozen passes as they ran circles around Rangers.
Rangers had opportunities through Kristian Meloney and forward Jamal Gay but could not find the net,
However, Armstrong, who two months ago moved to Central from Club Sando, was celebrating a double after he got the better of defender Holan Joseph to lift the ball over John and into the back of the Rangers net to put the score at 2-0.
John’s younger brother and Jabloteh custodian, Christopher Biggette, had a torrid time vs Defence Force, fetching the ball out of the net twice in quick succession early on and four times in total. King led the Defence Force rout with the opening goal on 12 minutes when he climbed in the Jabloteh box to meet a floated right side cross from debutant Kathon St. Hillaire after a low feed from the left by Moore.
Moore doubled the lead two minutes later after he dispossessed defender Jamal Spencer of the ball and made a solo run into the box before sending a shot into the Jabloteh net.
King, who flashed an effort just wide before the break, would get his double in the 67th minute to make it 3-0, burying the ball past Biggette who had moments before denied Hashim Arcia.
Substitute Sam made it 4-0 in the 73rd minute, blasting the ball past a hapless Biggette after picking up a short feed from Arcia.