MATCHDAY SIX of the Tiger Tanks Men’s Under-20 Invitational Tournament served a treat for spectators as the weekend was blessed with goals across every fixture.
In the opening game of the round, on Saturday, Club Sando edged Petit Valley/Diego Martin United 2-1 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. The Southerners got off to a bright start with a fifth minute goal from Kanye Francis as he rifled a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area into the top right corner.
But the Diego Martin outfit equalised through a header by Elijah Seechan from six yards out in the 76th minute. The ball was swung into the penalty area from the right flank and Seechan comfortably nodded the ball into the back of the net.
Club Sando found the winner in the 84th minute when captain Thaj Neptune pounced onto his deflected header from a corner kick and smartly placed his shot past goalkeeper, Jamal Blackman. This marked their third consecutive win in the tournament and they are now up to third place.
The second game of the double-header at Mucurapo provided a dramatic encounter between Trendsetter Hawks and AC Port-of-Spain.
AC POS opened the scoring in the 42nd minute via a penalty kick by their captain Terriq Martin. Three minutes later, the Hawks drew level when Antonio Chee Ting headed home from inside the goal area after a scramble of headers following a corner kick. POS converted a corner of their own in the 56th minute, but in controversial fashion as referee Rashby McPhie failed to spot a handball by Jahiem Frederick prior to the ball being put out of play for the corner kick. Frederick himself strongly headed the ball into the back of the net to put POS 2-1 ahead.
But the Hawks fought back once again and found themselves another equaliser in the 89th minute through an acrobatic finish by Kalif King from 12 yards out. A goal at the end of each half earned the Hawks a point as both teams shared the spoils with two goals apiece.
In the early Sunday fixture, Police FC survived a late scare in their 3-2 win against Central FC.
Police struck first in the fourth minute when Jardel John tapped the ball in from the top of the goal area. Central got themselves on level terms when Anacletus Raphael leaped high and headed home from a lofted free kick in the 19th minute, but Phillip Tinto put Police back in front in the 24th minute with a powerful left-footed strike from 18 yards out.
Tinto netted his second, minutes after the break, to extend his team’s lead. Central pulled a goal back through Jahdell Thomas in the fourth minute of second half stoppage-time but it served as a consolation as they suffered their fourth loss in the tournament.
The other matches saw the underdogs triumph with the bottom two teams claiming victory against the top two.
Leaders, Defence Force, lost for the first time on Saturday after falling short 2-1 to a resilient Caledonia AIA side. Darron Niles (third and 87th) scored for Caledonia while Jaden Williams (62nd) replied for Defence Force.
On Sunday, last-placed W Connection shocked title contenders, San Juan Jabloteh, with a 3-0 at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. Getting their names on the scoresheet were Jerel Sandiford (15th), Ricardo Williams (78th) and Jarelle Sutherland (83rd).
Despite their surprise losses, Defence Force (15 points) and Jabloteh (12 points) remain ahead in the title race, occupying first and second place, respectively. Club Sando (10 points) climbed to third at the expense of Trendsetter Hawks (10 points) as they dropped to fourth on goal-difference. Fifth-placed Police also stand on 10 points with the same goal difference as Hawks, but they trail on goals scored (two goals less).
In Tobago, St Clair’s Coaching School ensured their stay at the summit with a 1-0 victory against FC Phoenix, with Adriel George on target in the 47th. Second-placed Youth Stars United kept the pressure on St Clair’s, mirroring their 1-0 result against Bethel United, with Enlil O'Brien (86th) getting the winner. Stokely Vale FC were on a bye.