Digicel T&T Pro League trio, North East Stars, Central FC and T&TEC are all through to the last four of the 2012/2013 T&T Football Federation FA Trophy competition following victories in their quarterfinal matches on Wednesday night.
However, the eagerly anticipated encounter between two-time winner and current FA holders Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA and National Super League’s Grafton Stokely Vale failed to take place at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, due to a no-show of match officials.
The match has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, the same day of the semifinals at a venue to be determined.
Down at Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas, North East Stars rebounded from its first Pro League loss of the season, 1-0 to Caledonia on Saturday, with a 4-2 penalty-kicks victory over Central Football Association’s Cunupia FC following a 1-1 draw.
National under-20 striker Marcus Gomez of Arima North Secondary fired Stars ahead after only seven minutes but four minutes later Bobbington King drew Cunupia level after which both teams failed to find a winner in regulation time.
In the penalty kicks shoot-out, Stars goalkeeper Cleon John, came up big for his team with two saves to book a spot in the semis and a chance to add to their Toyota Classic triumph already this season.
At the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Central FC was made to fight for a 2-0 win over Secondary Schools Football League’s Shiva Boys’ Hindu College with Tyrone Charles and Quincy Charles (no relation) on target in the 78th and 88th minute, respectively.
In Wednesday’s other match, struggling Pro League outfit T&TEC also needed kicks from the penalty spot to beat Pt Fortin Civic Centre, winners of SFA Super League Premier Division and Executive Cup, 3-1 after a 1-1 draw.
National under-23 striker Marcus Joseph got the go-ahead goal for Civic Centre in the 36th minute but with five minutes left in the match at Mahaica Oval, Pt Fortin, former national youth team player Keeron Benito got the equaliser for the “Electricity Boys” before they prevailed 3-1 on penalties.
The semifinal draw takes place today at the T&TFF headquarters at 6, Ana Street, Woodbrook, from 2.30 pm.
Wednesday’s T&TFF FA round-of-16
Caledonia AIA vs Stokely Vale - postponed
Cunupia 1 (Bobbington King 11th) vs North East Stars 1 (Marcus Gomez 7th)
- Stars won 4-2 on penalty-kicks
Central FC 2 (Tyrone Charles 78th, Quincy Charles 88th) vs Shiva Boys 0
Pt Fortin CC 1 (Marcus Joseph 36th) vs T&TEC 1 (Keeron Benito 85th pen)
- T&TEC won 3-1 on penalty-kicks
Pro League sides into FA semis.
T&T Express Reports.
Digicel Pro League clubs, North East Stars, Central FC and T&TEC all advanced to the semi-final round of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation FA Trophy competition with victories on Wednesday.
However, the quarter-final game between Caledonia AIA and Stokely Vale was postponed because of lack of sufficient officials. The match will now be played next Wednesday at the same venue.
Despite that, the T&TFF will host the semi final draw today at the TTFF Office at 6 Ana Street, Port of Spain at 2:30 p.m.
In the matches played on Wednesday, Central FC had the easiest passage through to the final four with a 2-0 shutout of secondary school team Shiva Boys College. Central's goals came within the final 12 minutes of the match, first through Tyrone Charles (78th) then through Quincy Charles in the 88th as Shiva could not find potency in front of goal.
North East Stars and T&TEC were carried to penalty kicks to earn their semi-final places.
Marcus Gomez sent his Stars team ahead in the seventh minute but four minutes later Bobbington King found the equaliser for Cunupia. The match remained 1-1 at the end of regulation time before 'Stars' emerged with the win after a 4-2 penalty shootout in their favour.
At Mahaica, Pt Fortin CC seemed on their way to victory after Marcus Joseph gave them the go-ahead goal in the 36th minute. But four minutes from the end, Pt Fortin conceded a penalty to T&TEC and Keeron Benito converted.
T&TEC's good penalty form continued and they overcame Pt Fortin 3-1 in the battle of the spot kicks.
Caledonia AIA vs Stokely Vale - postponed
Cunupia 1 (Bobbington King 11th) North East Stars 1 (Marcus Gomez 7th)
- Stars won 4-2 on kicks from the penalty mark
Central FC 2 (Tyrone Charles 78th, Quincy Charles 88th) Shiva Boys 0
Pt Fortin CC 1 (Marcus Joseph 36th) T&TEC 1 (Keeron Benito 85th pen)
- T&TEC won 3-1 on kicks from the penalty mark
Referees abandon TTFF FA quarterfinals.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com).
An inexplicable no-show from match officials put local football into disrepute once more as Caribbean champions Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA and Super League club Stokely Vale were forced to abandon their TTFF FA Trophy quarterfinal fixture today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
On 6 November 2012, referees failed to turn out for a Pro League derby between defending champions DIRECTV W Connection and rookies Central FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
At the time, Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene told Wired868 that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) Referees Committee forgot to assign officials for the game.
Referees Committee president Krishna Kuairsingh, who is also a TTFF vice-president, could not be reached by phone and he did not respond to any messages.
Kuairsingh’s phone was switched off again today while Caledonia and Stokely Vale players fumed at the farcical turn of events.
FA tournament organiser Sharon O’Brien said the Referees Committee was notified of the fixtures for close to a month while it also received a reminder at the start of this week.
“The referees got the notice since before the New Year,” said O’Brien. “I don’t know the reason for no one turning up and I will have to find out before I say anything more.”
Match commissioner Wayne Cunningham was especially sympathetic towards the Stokely Vale team who travelled to Trinidad by ferry this morning.
“I just heard it was a miscommunication and the referees couldn’t come,” said Cunningham. “I tried to get North Zone referees to do the game but they couldn’t come in time as Stokely Vale had to catch a plane for 9 pm. It is a sad, sad case.
“I suppose we will have to hear from the Referees’ (Committee) now.”
Stokely Vale, an amateur team, travelled to Trinidad with 20 players and officials this morning who all took time off from work. They are due to leave tonight by plane.
If one includes ground transport and meals, the Tobagonians might have easily spent a combined $9,000 today. They will now request reimbursement from the TTFF.
But Stokely Vale coach James Campbell knows that the impact of the abandoned match goes beyond money.
“The last time we came to Trinidad, we only had a bare eleven (players),” said Campbell, “because it can be difficult for the guys to get time off from work.
“Today, we had a full squad to play Caledonia. So it is really disappointing that the game can’t go ahead.”
Stokely Vale is undefeated in regulation time after five meetings with Digicel Pro League teams this season. North East Stars needed penalties to eliminate the Tobago giant-killers in the Toyota Classic Cup while Stokely Vale edged Caledonia in a shoot-out at the Classic quarterfinals and already whipped Police, Defence Force and St Ann’s Rangers.
Today should have been a revenge match for the “Eastern Stallions” against the Super League upstarts.
Stokely Vale striker Rundell Winchester and defender Omar Charles were snapped up by Central FC after the team’s impressive Cup run. Perhaps their teammates hoped to use today’s knock out contest to also secure Pro League contracts before the transfer window closes on January 15.
There is no chance of that now thanks to Kuairsingh and his troops.