DEFENCE FORCE extended their lead at the top of the TT Pro League table with a gutsy 2-0 victory against second placed Terminix La Horquetta Rangers on Tuesday evening at the La Horquetta Recreation Grounds, La Horquetta, Arima.
The match lived up to the expectations of a top of the table clash as scores of spectators murmured at the end that this was the best game of the season thus far. The game was played with high-intensity throughout the match as Army/Coast Guard combination did most of the offensive play in the early stages while Rangers sat back and attack on the counter through wingers Aikim Andrews and Kishun Seecharan.
Defence Force hopes of winning was dented a blow after captain and defender Curtis ‘Boyo’ Gonzales received a straight red card for retaliating after he was fouled in the 18th minute. The home team should have taken the lead when they were awarded a penalty in the 43rd after a handball in the box. Defender Jevon Morris, who missed several matches in the last few weeks with an injury, was called upon to take the spot-kick. However, his mediocre shot was well-saved by Army`s goalie Aaron Enill who was labouring after sustaining an injury prior to penalty kick.
In the last minute of the first period, Army`s striker Brent Sam had a shot from an acute angle that came off the post. In the same possession, on the opposite end of the field, Seecharan`s thunderous strike tipped the crossbar, then Isaiah Lee shot was palmed away by Enill to complete the action-packed first half.
On the resumption, Sam`s free-kick went inches over the top of Jabari St Hillaire goal. However, after the hour mark, Army`s talisman Hashim Arcia slapped home the opening goal for his team. Arcia could have scored a second in the 75th minute but his solo effort and curling shot went wide of St Hillaire`s goal
Seecharan, who was ruthless against Army attack, had a shot that was cleared off the line in the 87th minute. Then, Reon Moore sealed the victory for the “Teteron Boys” when he ran unto Arcia`s ball over the top that somehow eluded St Hillaire and he was alert to slip it in from close range.
Following the victory, Defence Force are now on 26 points which is seven points clear of Rangers and eight points clear of third placed Police Fc. The leaders dedicated their victory to defender Jules Lee who broke his foot early in the week while training.
At the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Tiger Tanks Club Sando notched their second victory in succession with a 5-0 blowout of San Juan Jabloteh. Striker, Shaqkeem Joseph scored the first item in the 17th minute and in the last minute of the first-half Kevon Williams made it 2-0. Keron Cornwall scored a second-half brace in the 76th and 81st, while Luke Charles added the fifth goal in the last minute of regulation time. The previous match at the same venue between between Police and Cunupia FC ended in a 0-0 draw.