AC Port of Spain produced a shock 4-3 win over Defence Force at the Arima Velodrome on Saturday, and Terminix La Horquetta Rangers moved five points clear at the top of the 10-team standings, on Match Day 12 of the Ascension Football Tournament.
On Friday, Rangers earned a hard-fought 2-1 win over Central Soccer World, in the second of back-to-back matches at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground, Arima.
Ataullah Guerra (31st minute) and Kadeem Corbin (60th) were the goal-getters for Rangers. Simon Joseph pulled one back for Central Soccer World, with a freekick in the 89th.
Rangers have tallied 32 points from 12 games, with Defence Force and Police both on 27, but Defence Force have a goal difference of plus 27, compared to Police’s plus 17.
Deportivo Point Fortin remain fourth with 24 points, followed by AC Port of Spain (15), Cunupia FC (14), Central Soccer World (13), Real West Fort United (11), Central FC (six) and Moruga FC (one).
Deportivo Point Fortin continued their fine form of late with a 2-0 triumph over Central FC. Isaiah Hudson (ninth) and Matheon Watson (90th) found the back of the net for Point Fortin.
On Saturday, in the first of back-to-back matches at the Arima Velodrome, Cunupia FC’s struggles continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Moruga FC. This result saw Moruga earning their first point, in their 12th attempt.
Police needed a second half stoppage-time winner from Elijah Belgrave to earn a 1-0 victory over Real West Fort United, at the Police Barracks in St James, on Sunday.
But Defence Force failed to bridge the gap between themselves and Rangers, as they fell to their first defeat in the tournament.
Jameel Neptune put AC Port of Spain in front after 19 minutes, as he got ahead of Defence Force’s goalkeeper Christopher Biggette and headed a cross from the left by playmaker Che Benny, into the back of the net.
However, Defence Force equalised eight minutes later, after winger Reon Moore met a corner from Jelani Felix and diverted the ball to striker Dwight Quintero, who finished from inside of the six-yard box.
Benny was at the heart of the AC Port of Spain attacks, and he played instrumental roles in a pair of goals, within the space of seven minutes.
In the 30th, Benny slipped a pass to a goal-bound Neptune, who guided his left-footed shot past an advancing Biggette.
In the 37th, Benny’s quickly-taken freekick found Shawndell Augustus who lobbed the Defence Force goalie with a right-footed effort.
Brent Sam reduced the deficit for Defence Force, on the stroke of half-time, with a freekick to the right of the wall and away from keeper Jadel Poon-Lewis.
Moore won a penalty in the 59th minute, when he was tackled by Poon-Lewis, with Sam sending the keeper the wrong way with his spot-kick.
With the scores locked at 3-3, Benny had a chance to restore AC Port of Spain’s advantage in the 74th, but his penalty was denied by Biggette.
However, Benny would have the final say in a pulsating contest two minutes later.
One of the most consistent performers in this year’s tournament, Benny collected a pass from substitute Duane Muckette, wrong-footed the pair of Kevon Goddard and Justin Garcia, and neatly placed his right-footed shot into the back of the net.