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Former Trinidad and Tobago youth player Dwight Quintero arrived off the bench to score twice on his Defence Force FC debut to complete a 7-2 romp over MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers in the first game of Monday’s First Citizens Cup 2018 double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium.

The win improved coach Marvin Gordon’s Tetron Boys’ grip at the top of Immortelle Group with six points after two games, three points ahead of Central FC (3 points, 1 game) who they face next Friday.

Club Sando (1 game) and San Juan Jabloteh (2 games) are with one point each after a keenly contested but 0-0 stalemate the second game of Monday’s double-header.

The top two teams at the end of group play advances to the semi-finals on 13 July. The final will be contested on 20 July.

Jabari Mayers had cancelled out a Dylon King goal to level the bottom-positioned Rangers (0 points, 2 games) in the first half, but not even a wonderful second-half Saleem Henry finish was enough to avoid the Adrian Romain coached-side a heavy defeat on a cold wet night in Couva.

Justin Garcia, Brent Sam, Devorn Jorsling, and Reon Moore, who ended with a goal and three assists, all hit the back of the Rangers net in the second half before substitute Quintero, a 24-year-old ex-Central, W Connection and North East Stars forward, ensured a comfortable win with a double separated by Henry’s goal.

It was the sort of performance Gordon had anticipated of his bolstered squad, with the exception of allowing two goals at the back.

“I’m looking forward to more goals [against Rangers] than tonight [against Jabloteh],” Gordon had said after his Tetron Boys trashed the San Juan club 4-0 on 10 June. “I took a look at them (Rangers) (…) and I don’t think they have much to offer. I think we should get some more goals against Rangers.”

King took his tally to three goals in the tournament by making up for two early wasted chances when he curled a right-footer beyond Rangers goalkeeper Cleon John on 20 minutes to give Defence Force a 1-0 lead after skipping a challenge from defender Renaldo Alexander, one of five changes made by Romain from his starting line-up in their 2-0 loss to Central on 10 June.

But attacking midfielder King was blanked on another two scoring chances by some brilliant goalkeeping from John before Mayers levelled Rangers 1-1 seven minutes from the half, beating goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke after a giveaway at the back by defender Justin Garcia.

King spilled yet another chance a minute into the second half, putting a low Sam cross overbar with John at his mercy and at a time he should have had at least a hat-trick to his name before being replaced by veteran playmaker Jerwyn Balthazar.

Justin Garcia, though, had redeemed himself on 52 minutes by heading a right side Jorsling corner past John at the near post to break the floodgates wide open by putting the three-time First Citizens Cup winners back in front 2-1.

Four minutes later Sam, too, redeemed himself at the end of a move involving Balthazar, Jorsling and Moore to cushion the Tetron Boys 3-1 with a left footed blast moments after dragging a shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Jorsling then made it 4-1 when he flung himself to direct a short feed from Moore past John in the 59th minute before being replaced by Quintero, who less than a minute on and on his first touch, made it 6-1 in the 63rd minute off another assist from Moore who had scored his team’s fifth goal a minute earlier.

Defence Force’s excitement of four goals in a space of 11 minutes saw a lapse in concentration at the back and Rangers utility player Henry punished the opportunity with a low drive past Clarke to reduce the deficit 2-6 at the end of a quick move by Isiah Mc Lean in the 65th minute.

But Quintero, who five years ago on Oct. 18, 2013 equalised against Defence Force in the final of the First Citizens Cup and Central FC went on celebrate their maiden trophy, would get to his double on the other end to complete a 7-2 rout when he flicked a wonderfully-worked Sam cross into the back of the Rangers net with seven minutes left.

Defence Force will resume play on Friday against Central in the first game of another double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium from 6:30pm before Police FC and W Connection battle each other in a top-of-the-table Abercrombie Group clash from 8:30pm.

First Citizens Cup Results

Defence Force FC 7 (Dylon King 20’, Justin Garcia 52’, Brent Sam 56’, Devorn Jorsling 59’, Reon Moore 62’, Dwight Quintero 63’, 83’) v St. Ann’s Rangers 2 (Jabari Mayers 38’, Saleem Henry 65’), at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Club Sando 0 v San Juan Jabloteh 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium.

Immortelle Group

Rank Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Defence Force FC 2 2 0 0 11 2 9 6
2 Central FC 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
3 Club Sando 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
4 San Juan Jabloteh 2 0 1 1 0 4 -4 1
5 MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers 2 0 0 2 2 9 -7 0

Abercrombie Group

Rank Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 W Connection 2 2 0 0 5 2 3 6
2 Police FC 1 1 0 0 5 1 4 3
3 Point Fortin Civic 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3
4 Morvant Caledonia United 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
5 North East Stars 2 0 0 2 1 7 -6 0

Game 1

Defence Force FC: 25.Sheldon Clarke (GK); 3.Jamali Garcia, 4.Dave Long, 8.Brent Sam, 9.Devorn Jorsling (Capt.) (11.Dwight Quintero 63rd minute), 10.Hashim Arcia, 12.Jemel Sebro, 18.Reon Moore, 21.Aklie Edwards (7.Jelani Felix 66th minute), 26.Justin Garcia, 45.Dylon King (99.Jerwyn Balthazar 55th minute).

Unused substitutes: 1.Andre Marchan (GK); 6.Rodell Elcock, 15.Shaquille Bertrand, 16.Kellon Serrette.

Coach: Marvin Gordon

St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Cleon John (GK) (Capt.); 3.Andel Brown, 6.Saleem Henry, 9.Keon Peters (13.Tyrell Cameron 84th minute), 10.Kristian Meloney (8.Shem Alexander 50th minute), 14.Jabari Mayers, 15.Renaldo Alexander (11.Gerald Meloney 67th minute), 16.Maliq Gumbs, 24.Ethan Bonaparte, 26.Isiah McLean, 29.Holan Joseph.

Unused substitutes: 22.Jabari St. Hillaire (GK), 12.Kwame Hazel, 21.Jerome Cyrus, 23.Jeremiah Vidale.

Coach: Adrian Romain

Referee: Rashby McPhie

Game 2

Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK); 5.Trevin Latapy, 6.Kemuel Rivers, 7.Akeem Humphrey, 8.Kevon Piper (12.Michael Basdeo 68th minute), 9.Quinn Rodney (4.Shawndell Augustus 90th minute), 10.Keron Cornwall (11.Russell Alfred 74th minute), 13.Shakiyl Phillip, 16.Micah Lansiquot, 23.Nicholas Thomas, 27.Jayson Joseph (Capt.).

Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK); 14.Kadeem Gittens, 18.Aaron Kennedy, 40.Dillon Yearwood.

Coach: Angus Eve

San Juan Jabloteh: 1.Christopher Biggette (GK) (30.Shemel Louison 41st minute); 4.Nical Stephens, 5.Raymond Alleyne, 8.Xae-Pierre De Fou, 10.Jomoul Francois (14.Tyrese Bailey 60th minute), 13.Kristoff John, 16.Jamal Spencer, 17.Sean Bonval, 18.Jevon Morris (Capt) (6.Josiah Baird 77th minute), 19.Shane Sandy, 20.Kareem Baptiste.

Unused substitutes: 7.Elijah Manners, 12.Keron Bethelmy, 15.Dellon Jagessar, 24.Kareem Eastman.

Coach: Keith Jeffrey

Referee: Keilon Bacchus