A Nathan Lewis strike helped Valtrin continue its Cinderella run in the bmobile National Super League Knock-Out with another upset, this time over former champions Joe Public in the semifinal at the Marvin Lee Stadium, yesterday.
The giant slayers won the match 1-0 and will now face 2009 runners-up T&TEC in the final on Sunday at a venue to be announced. The Valsayn team which is in its debut season, did not have a good first round in the league, finishing third from the bottom.
However, the team has made its presence felt in the knock-out, getting past Stokely Vale in the first round, before taking care of the water company in the quarterfinals. In a match which had to be switched to the Stadium in Macoya, the home team was all over the visitors, creating a number of chances, however, all went a begging.
Quincy Charles had one of the best chances in the first half with a left-footed shot from the top left of the box, but Jamal Jack was equal to the task in Valtrin’s goal. The second half started with more life, with Valtrin getting off a shot in the first minute.
However, “Public” responded at the other end and almost broke the deadlock but Jack went full stretch to get a hand to a shot from Julian Landeau before it was cleared by a defender.
The handful of Valtrin supporters kept urging their side on, and they got their reward in the 60th minute when Lewis found the net. Ricardo Alleyne ran down the left flank on a counter attack and crossed for Lewis in the box, who made no mistake, volleying past a helpless Jevon Bourne, who up to that point was a spectator.
The “Eastern Lions” tried hard for an equaliser but Valtrin held on for the win. Over at the Palo Seco Velodrome, T&TEC blanked St Francois Nationals 2-0 in the other semifinal.
After a goalless first half, Jamal Ayres sent the “Electricity Boys” ahead with a strike in the 57th minute. Brent Garcia then put on the final touches with a goal four minutes from regulation time, to send T&TEC to its second final in two years.
Meanwhile, Defence Force and Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC), claimed the fifth and sixth place spots for the FA Cup with 1-0 wins over 1976 Phoenix and WASA respectively. Kevin Pierre netted for Defence Force, while Jerome Charles netted for QPCC.
T&TEC 2 (Jamal Ayres 57th, Brent Garcia (pen) 86TH) vs St Francois Nationals 0
Valtrin 1 (Nathan Lewis 60th) vs bmobile Joe Public 0
5th & 6th place play-offs
Defence Force 1 (Kevin Pierre 18th) vs 1976 Phoenix 0
QPCC 1 (Jerome Charles 2nd) vs WASA 0