|Club Sando rise to top spot in Pro League |
Sunday, August 13 2017
CLUB SANDO are the new TT Pro League leaders after edging Morvant Caledonia United 1-0 in the second game of a double-header on Friday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo to move top of the ladder with the help of bottom-half Point Fortin Civic.
Sando, thanks to a first-half Keron Cornwall strike, improved their points tally to 17, one more than previous leaders North East Stars, who earlier on the night surrendered a 1-0 loss at the death against hosts Civic at the Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin.
Civic punished the Stars on a spill by goalkeeper Akel Clarke in stoppage time with Kevin Moodie, for his first top flight goal, hitting in the net from close up to snap visitors unbeaten run of six games, while improving coach Reynold Carrington’s side to five games unbeaten— the last two ending in wins.
The result moved Civic two spots up into seventh, to join three-time holders Central FC, and Defence Force, who rallied late to hold 10-man Police FC to a 2-2 draw in the first game of an electrifying Hasely Crawford Stadium double-header, on nine points, while North East Stars (16 points), with two games in hand, dropped into second with their first loss of the season.
Third-place W Connection (14 points), however, had a chance to return to the summit yesterday at the St. Augustine Secondary School Ground against MIC-IT St Ann’s Rangers yesterday, while Central and San Juan Jabloteh returns to action against each other from 6 pm at Barataria Oval on Tuesday.
Sando, the new leaders, are now undefeated in their last seven games with five of them ending in wins for coach Angus Eve—the latest a revenge result over Morvant Caledonia who had beaten them at the start of the season.
Revenge, it is said, is a dish served cold, and Eve had five former Morvant Caledonia players in his artillery—Akim Armstrong, Nical Stephens and Tyrone Charles in the starting line-up and Joel Leslie Russell and Keyon Edwards off the bench.
But it took a single Cornwall strike to put Sando back on winning ways against a side they had beaten six out of seven times in all competitions, dating back to the southerners’ debut 2015/16 season at the top flight.
Cornwall’s hit towards goal from just inside the area took deflection to beat goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel and Sando were in front after teammate Kevon Piper drilled an attempt just wide of the far upright early on and Armstrong, the ex-Morvant Caledonia captain, hitting the bar. The item was recorded by referee Crystal Sobers as an own goal and Cornwall, one of the string pulling masters of the Sando midfield, remains with just two goals to his name this term.
Earlier on the night Reon Moore, however, grabbed his third goal of the season with a solid drive past Police FC goalkeeper Adrian Foncette to put his Defence Force side 1-0 ahead after 27 minutes at the Mucurapo venue.
But a sublime strike from Police midfielder Kareem Perry and into the far netting of Andre Marchan’s net nine minutes later on the other end, off a headed clearance, from the top right of the box, pulled Police level.
The Lawmen were fired up in the oldest rivalry of Trinidad and Tobago but it wasn’t until the 58th minute that coach Richard Hood’s players took a 2-1 advantage through striker Kareem Freitas.
Freitas fired powerfully past a Marchan from close range at the end of a quick move initiated by Foncette’s long feed from the opposite end.
And 10 minutes later Freitas had another attempt cleared out by defender Curtis Gonzales after goalkeeper Marchan spilled into the path of the speedy Police forward in the middle of the area.
But Freitas, who had earlier entered referee Rashby Mc Phie’s bad book for time wasting, was shown his second yellow card in less than a 10-minute span and the eventual red less for what was deemed, by the official, a dive in the Defence Force area 15 minutes from time.
Hood showed his bravery by adding fresh legs utility player Christon Thomas upfront as a replacement for Jameel Perry who was denied by the upright in the 8th minute.
However Defence Force stormed back with coach Marvin Gordon calling on his big guns—Devorn Jorsling, Jerwyn Balthazar and Hashim Arcia— off the bench and found the equaliser through veteran Balthazar seven minutes from time.
The crafty midfielder drilled a low rebound past a hapless Foncette, who had made backto- back saves to twice deny Hashim Arcia.