Rangers, AIA draw 3-3 in opener
By JOEL BAILEY Monday, April 7 2008
SUPERSTAR RANGERS and Caledonia AIA played to an exciting 3-3 draw in Round One Match Day One of the 2008 Pro League season on Saturday evening.
This match was the second of a double-header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
Midfielder Christon Thomas put Rangers ahead after 50 seconds, moving past right-back Dwain Jacobs and Charles Pollard before, from a tight angle, slotting his right-footer to the right of Caledonia’s goalkeeper Michael Woods.
Guyanese striker Nigel Codrington replied in the 21st, collecting a pass from countryman Konata Mannings, in his first match for AIA, and placing his right-footer past Rangers’ keeper Shane Mattis.
The Jamaican Mattis suffered a back injury after acrobatically parrying a thunderous left-footer from Walter Moore in the 31st, but Caledonia went ahead 28 minutes later.
After Mattis blocked a Codrington effort, Kendall Velox, back with his old club, took the loose ball, dribbled past a defender before finding an unmarked Codrington who slotted home from close range. A minute later, Rangers levelled the scores at 2-2 when Devon Modeste intercepted a weak clearance from Moore and drilled home his right-footed drive.
In the 70th, Codrington, who had a fine game, sent a through ball to Hayden Tinto who broke Rangers’ off-side trap and tucked home his right-footer.
Another defensive error cost AIA dearly, as Howard Lowe’s lame attempt to clear in the 79th, found Josimar Belgrave who poked the ball for Modeste to centre for Keyon Edwards to volley home.
Woods, who never inspired confidence, got his marching orders in the 86th for handling the ball well outside the penalty area, after Pollard failed to stop a goal-bound Edwards.
In the earlier match at Mucurapo, defending champs Jabloteh opened their account with a 3-1 win over debutants Ma Pau SC. The muscular Antiguan forward Peter Byers, leading goal scorer last season, netted a pair for Jabloteh, his first in the 7th and the other the 25th, while Trent Noel added a 20th minute penalty.
Jabloteh’s defender Karlon Murray, under pressure from former clubmate Cornell Glen, scored an own-goal in the 63rd.
Action in Round One Match Day Two will take place tomorrow.
Other results: At Ato Boldon Stadium: W CONNECTION (4) Andrei Pacheco 20th, Douglas Da Costa 40th, Kerron Smith 84th, Ateba McKnight 89th vs TOBAGO UNITED (1) Collie Hercules 45th.
At Larry Gomes Stadium: UNITED PETROTRIN (3) Kennedy Hinkson 31st (penalty); Jerol Forbes 38th, 52nd vs NORTH EAST STARS (1) Sylvester Teesdale 85th.
At Larry Gomes Stadium: DEFENCE FORCE (1) Devon Jorsling 11th vs JOE PUBLIC (1) Kerry Baptiste 37th.