Club Sando came from behind to stun two-time former champions Central FC 2-1 to take lead of Immortelle Group in the first match of a 2018 First Citizens Cup Match Day Four double-header on Tuesday night at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Point Fortin Civic in the second game of the entertaining double hammered North East Stars 4-1 to climb two spots into second on Abercrombie Group where the Reynold Carrington coached-side joins Police FC and W Connection on 6 points with one round of matches left.
Justin Sadoo and Shaquille John cushioned Civic before the break and substitute Nion Lammy and Nathaniel Garcia, with a scorching free kick from 30 yards out, completed the comfortable victory in the second half after teenager Rivaldo Coryat netted his first top-flight goal from the penalty spot for North East Stars.
The top two teams from each group will advance into the semi-finals on July 13 with Abercrombie winners facing Immortelle runners-up and vice versa. The final is carded for July 20.
Tuesday night’s entertainment began with Rhondel Gibson putting Central ahead on the half-hour mark, but Kevon Piper levelled the Angus Eve coached-Sando with his second goal of the tournament coming seconds into the second half before Michael Basdeo snatched the Oranges’ winner with seven minutes from the end of regular time.
“When you think of the type of players we were playing against [tonight] and probably a whole national team staff, I’m very proud of the guys,” said Eve after the win. “They really fought.”
Eve said the Couva Sharks coached by Trinidad and Tobago senior team assistant coach Stern John were outplayed by Sando’s tactical changes in the second half and it showed in the result.
The win lifted Sando top of Immortelle Group with 7 points with Defence Force FC and Central in second and third respectively on 6 points, while San Juan Jabloteh and MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers are below with one and zero point respectively.
Rangers, despite being unable to progress, have 30 minutes of action left and a 2-0 cushion over Jabloteh scheduled for July 10 along with a crucial clash between Police FC and Morvant Caledonia United after torrential rainfall last Sunday forced match officials to suspend play at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
But first Jabloteh must face Central on Friday from 6pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in a must-win situation for both sides before Defence Force and Sando lock horns in their final group clash from 8pm at the same venue.
“[For now] we (Sando) have a final basically to play against Defence Force,” added Eve.
Russell Alfred forced his way into Sando’s starting line-up following a match-winning performance—a goal and an assist—off the bench two Sunday’s ago against Rangers in a 2-0 result and twice got close to putting his name on the scoresheet against Central in the opening twenty-five minutes.
But it was the Couva Sharks that took a 1-0 lead on 30 minutes—with virtually their only attempt of the half—when defender Gibson sent a shot beyond goalkeeper Kelvin Henry and into the back of the net.
Piper however levelled Sando 1-1 eighteen seconds into the second half, beating goalkeeper Marvin Phillip from close range after Quinn Rodney, who replaced Alfred at the break, pulled back a pass to the diminutive forward.
Basdeo would later celebrate the eventual winner in the 83rd minute when he found the top right corner of Phillip’s net against a side that had fielded three former Sando players: Akim Armstrong, Tyrone Charles and T&T national defender Jared London.
Later on, another T&T national, Nathaniel Garcia, sealed an important win for Civic who must complete their group play against Police FC from 4pm on Saturday at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
It was the fourth time on the night goalkeeper Javon Sample had to fetch the ball out of his net on a night it could have been five had substitute Jared Bennett not been denied by the post, as the Zoran Vranes coached-North East Stars suffered a fifth straight loss in all competitions this term.
Sadoo put Civic ahead after 20 minutes with his second goal of the competition when he rolled a shot into the far bottom corner of Sample’s net after being allowed free passage on goal by North East’s defence.
Sample, who had denied Hughtun Hector, Akeem Redhead and Akinola Gregory early on and kept out another Sadoo attempt in the second half, made a heroic save in the 27th minute to keep out a powerful Ronell Paul header, but North East ‘keeper was beaten at full stretch by a 30-yard strike from Shaquille John who cushioned Civic 2-0 five minutes from the half.
Coryat, who joined North East from Jabloteh where he served through the youth ranks, sliced the deficit from the penalty spot in the 68th minute by wrong-siding goalkeeper Miles Goodman after a handball was ruled against veteran utility player Bevon Bass.
But substitute Lammy restored Civic’s two-goal cushion by hitting beyond a hapless Sample on a second bite in the 83rd minute before Garcia (N) ended the 4-1 win in spectacular fashion.
Club Sando 2 (Kevon Piper 46’, Michael Basdeo 83’) v Central FC 1 (Rhondel Gibson 30’), at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Point Fortin Civic 4 (Justin Sadoo 20’, Shaquille John 40’, Nion Lammy 83’, Nathaniel Garcia 87’) v North East Stars 1 (Rivaldo Coryat 68’ pen.), 8:30pm at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK); 5.Trevin Latapy, 6.Kemuel Rivers, 8.Kevon Piper, 10.Keron Cornwall, 11.Russell Alfred (19.Quinn Rodney 46th minute), 12.Michael Basdeo, 13.Shakiyl Phillip (4.Shawndell Augustus 72nd minute), 18.Aaron Kennedy (7.Akeem Humphrey 46th minute), 23.Nicholas Thomas, 27.Jayson Joseph (Capt.).
Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK); 21.Derron John, 39.Renaldo Mc Intosh, 40.Isa Bramble.
Coach: Angus Eve
Central FC: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 5.Dwight Pope, 8.Akim Armstrong, 9.Tyrone Charles (15.Kaydion Gabriel 79th minute), 10.Keron Cummings (24.Duane Muckette 71st minute), 12.Taryk Sampson, 13.Rhondel Gibson, 17.Anthony Wolfe, 18.Densill Theobald (Capt.), 22.Jameel Neptune. 27.Anthony Charles (19.Jared London 56th minute)
Unused substitutes: 29.Kerry Baptiste.
Coach: Stern John
Referee: Crystal Sobers
Point Fortin Civic: 22.Miles Goodman (GK); 7.Hughtun Hector (Capt.), 11.Akeem Redhead (6.Judah Garcia 77th minute), 14.Shaquille John, 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 20.Bevon Bass, 21.Ronell Paul, 24.Akinola Gregory (9.Jared Bennett 71th minute), 27.Darnell Hospedales, 32.Jerren Jackie (30.Nion Lammy 58th minute), 33.Justin Sadoo.
Unused substitutes: 1.Jasse Aguillerra (GK); 8.Jamal John, 17.Kestwin Goolie, 25.Shaquille Dublin.
Coach: Reynold Carrington
North East Stars: 21.Javon Sample (GK); 2.Jabari Brathwaite (19.Kerdell Sween 17th minute), 3.Raheim Jawahir (16.Daniel La Croix 59th minute), 4.Sean Bateau (Capt.), 7.Hayden Tinto, 10.Rivaldo Coryat, 11.Kyle Bartholomew, 17.Shaqkeem Joseph (15.Lashawn Roberts 46th minute), 18.Josiah Daniel, 32.Keithen Carter, 24.Rakim Cabie.
Unused substitutes: 1.Glenroy Samuel (GK); 5.Sowande Preito, 20.Jaydon Prowel, 23.Sherwyn Williams.
Coach: Zoran Vranes
Referee: Keilon Bacchus
Rank Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Club Sando 3 2 1 0 4 1 3 7
2 Defence Force FC 3 2 0 1 12 4 8 6
3 Central FC 3 2 0 1 5 3 2 6
4 San Juan Jabloteh 2 0 1 1 0 4 -4 1
5 MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers 3 0 0 3 2 11 -9 0
Rank Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Police FC 2 2 0 0 6 1 5 6
2 Point Fortin Civic 3 2 0 1 8 5 3 6
3 W Connection 3 2 0 1 5 3 2 6
4 Morvant Caledonia United 2 1 0 1 3 2 1 3
5 North East Stars 4 0 0 4 2 13 -11 0
(Friday 6 July 2018)
Central FC v San Juan Jabloteh, 6pm at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Defence Force FC v Club Sando, 8pm at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Saturday 7 July 2018)
Police FC v Point Fortin Civic, 4pm at Ato Boldon Stadium;
W Connection vs Morvant Caledonia United, 6pm at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Rescheduled Match Day 4 of 5 fixtures
(Tuesday 10 July 2018)
San Juan Jabloteh 0 v MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers 2 (Saleem Henry 40’ pen., Allister Bernard 42’), (30 minutes left to play) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Morvant Caledonia United v Police FC, at Hasely Crawford Stadium