Striker Randolph Jerome held his nerve to beat goalkeeper Brian James after Starworld Strikers won a penalty in the second half to take home the First Citizens Cup third place and $20,000 in cash.
Starworld Strikers surprised the powerful CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh with a 1-0 win in the third place play off of the 2006 First Citizens Cup down at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
Coach Terry Fenwick fielded a somewhat youthful team, leaving the regular captain Kerry Baptiste, Nigel Daniel, Keyeno Thomas and first choice goalkeeper Durance Williams on the bench. World Cup players Aurtis Whitley and Cyd Gray along with speedy striker Kerry Noray and the League’s top scorer Anthony Wolfe all were left out of Fenwick’s team list.
Jabloteh created better shooting opportunities in the early period of play with players like Jason Marcano, Lester Peltier, and Akiel Guevara all putting their efforts well wide of the post not bothering goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
It was the much composed Starworld Strikers that had the first and only shot on target in the first half. Andre Charles who branded the captain’s armband in this match collected a pass in the Jabloteh half and freely made his way to the top of the penalty area, before he fired at goal in the 11th minute – second choice keeper Brian James did well to push it out for a corner.
Both teams took to the dressing rooms goalless after Starworld looked to have the better of ball possession and stringing some great passes in midfield.
The ‘San Juan Kings’ came close after the interval when in the 46th minute Lester Peltier did well to get behind a Terry Elwin cross but headed over bar.
Starworld then had two easy chances messed up by striker Nigel Hart in the 49th and 55th minutes. The first was when Jabloteh’s Marcano made a bad back pass that went to Hart standing free in the penalty area and tapped a low ball to keeper James. Hart had a softer tap at goal on his second shot in a few minutes after when he was sent through with only the keeper to beat.
The San Fernando based team continued to look aggressive when in the 59th minute substitute Jason Charles saw his 20yard effort flash across the cross bar.
They continued their attack in the 60th minute when defender Dexter Franklyn sent one of his powerful throws in the penalty area and referee Goolcharan didn’t hesitate in blowing his whistle for an infringement on one of the Starworld players and pointed at the penalty spot.
It took some time for protesting Jabloteh players to clear the spot and allow the penalty to be taken.
Randolph Jerome stepped to the task in the 62nd minute and powerfully placed the ball just inside the low part of the upright beating an outstretched goalkeeper James and giving Starworld the 1-0 lead.
With Terry Fenwick whistling and shouting orders across the field, Jabloteh tried desperately hard to get an equalizer.
Jabloteh’s substitute Peter Prosper came close in the 70th minute when he headed over bar from a Jason Marcano’s cross.
Fenwick’s men then had their only shot on target in the 86th minute from a free kick at the edge of the penalty area but keeper Marvin Phillip did well palming Nigel Daniel’s blast and then holding on to it.
When the final whistle was blown the Starworld players jumped and celebrated with their fans with the deserving win.
Starworld Strikers Jamal Ayres was voted player of the match after making outstanding runs on the flanks and his satisfactory contribution in defence.
Starworld Strikers – Marvin Phillip (gk), Andre Charles (capt), Dexter Franklyn, Marlon Stoute, Ghmyo Harper, Jamal Ayres, O.Stanley Iyiaka (Jason Charles 57th), Errol Charles, Lindsie Sherwood, Randolph Jerome, Nigel Hart (Derron Matthews 75th).
Coach – Michael Maurice
San Juan Jabloteh – Brian James (gk), Ronald Primus (capt), Glenton Wolfe (Nigel Daniel 30th), Karlon Murray, Akiel Guevara (Peter Prosper 68th), Lester Peltier, Wendell Joseph, Michael Alexis, Jason Marcano, Marcelle Francois, Terry Elwin (Michael Brown 62nd).
Coach – Terry Fenwick
Match Referee – Jaggernath Goolcharan
STARWORLD STRIKERS v SAN JUAN JABLOTEH
1 GOALS 0
4 YELLOW CARDS 1
0 RED CARDS 0
2 SHOTS ON TARGET 1
17 FOULS 19
5 CORNERS 5
0 OFFSIDES 3