ANTON PIERRE of the Defence Force powered home a free-kick from atop the penalty box four minutes from the end of the match to knot up a dull FA Trophy quarter-final at one-all against Vibe CT 105 W. Connection on Friday at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
And although 30 minutes of extra-time failed to produce any more goals, the ensuing penalty shootout finally brought an excitement to a game that failed to fire.
Defence Force goalkeeper Cleon John brought off two saves from the spot kicks, stopping normally sure-footed Brazilians Williams De Oliviera and Jose Luis Seabra, as the Defence Force won 3-2 on penalty kicks.
After upsetting W. Connection, Defence Force meet Defence Force North, another Army team, at 6 p.m. today in the first encounter in a semi-final double-header at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh contest the second semi-final at 8 p.m. against defending FA Trophy champions National Quarries North East Stars, who won the tournament the last time it was played in 2003.
After winning the 2005 T&T Pro League title, the FCB Cup, the Toyota Classic and finishing second in the T&T Pro Bowl, W. Connection went into Friday's match looking for their fourth title. But after a long season, the Savonetta-based team looked jaded and neither team was able to create much scoring opportunities.
Finally, in the 70th minute, W. Connection opened their account through Nigerian substitute Stanley Iyiaka, who forced in the rebound when a shot from Connection's Brazilian midfielder Gefferson Goulart bounced off the body of Defence Force keeper John.
Most fans must have been relieved to see a semingly early end to the 80-minute knockout match. But then, Pierre came up with his "bomb", which keeper Jan Michael Williams got a hand to, but could not keep out of the W. Connection goal.
Likewise, in the penalty shootout, Defence Force also came from behind to win. Anton Pierre and Akeil Pierre missed their first two spot-kicks and Earl Jean, the W.Connection captain, also missed when his opening kick came off the underside of the Defence Force crossbar.
But, Connection took the lead when Andre Toussaint tucked away the fourth spot-kick of the match.
However, while the Army put away their final three kicks, W. Connection had two saved and only Goulart was able to convert.