BRENT SAM converted a pair of penalties as Defence Force whipped Police 4-2 on Friday, at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground in Arima, to move to second spot in the Ascension Football Tournament.
This was the second straight game in which Police had two players shown red cards, and their indiscipline proved costly on Friday as Defence Force climbed one spot to second on the ten-team standings, with Police slipping one place to third.
The lawmen ended Sunday’s game against Central Soccer World with nine players. That game ended with a 3-1 victory for Police, at their Barracks in St James.
On Friday, they lost right-back Kaydion Gabriel midway in the second half, while referee Cecile Hinds issued a red card to central midfielder Gabriel Nanton after the final whistle.
In the second game of a double-header, Police went ahead in the 17th minute, when attacker Mickaeel Gordon, on the rebound, hit a left-footer into the open net after Defence Force goalkeeper Christopher Biggette parried Jabari Mitchell’s freekick onto the post.
But Sam levelled the scores nine minutes later, from the penalty spot, to the right of goalie Adrian Foncette, after Gabriel used his right arm to guide a ball, from Defence Force’s captain Curtis Gonzales, back to his keeper.
Defence Force had the better of the exchanges in the latter stages of the first half and, a minute into the second half, took the lead through Jameel Boatswain, who took advantage of poor marking by collecting a pass from Jameel Cooper and finishing, to the left of the goalie.
Gordon got his second goal in the 65th, as he was picked out, unmarked in the penalty box, by Kareem Freitas, and slotted home a right-footed shot.
The momentum changed back to Defence Force’s favour four minutes later, when Hinds awarded a penalty for a foul on Shaquille Bertrand by Police’s central defender Xavier Wheeler. Replays showed that Bertrand lost his footing, on the wet outfield.
Gabriel showed his fury as he yelled directly at Hinds’ face and was sent off, while Sam remained calm to net his second penalty kick of the match.
With eight minutes of regulation time remaining, Foncette’s terrible clearance was collected by Kevon Goddard, who sent the ball to substitute striker Dwight Quintero. Foncette, who was out of his penalty area, had no chance as Quintero neatly lobbed the goalie with a right-footed effort.
Nanton, one of the shining lights for a youthful Police outfit, expressed his views to the referee seconds after the game ended, and was brandished with a red card.
In the earlier game at La Horquetta, Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw by Cunupia FC.
Teenaged midfielder Real Gill put the hosts in front after 32 minutes, with a left-footed shot which flew past Cunupia’s goalie Jean-Pierre David.
But Cunupia’s substitute Kwesi Allen replied in the 56th with a header, beyond the reach of Rangers’ keeper Jabari St Hilaire.
There will be a clash of Central-based teams on Sunday, with Central Soccer World facing Central FC at the Police Barracks, St James from 5 pm.