13 May 2012
- Written by Ian Prescott (T&T Express)
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Defence Force will be hoping third time is the charm, after setting up their third cup final with Caledonia AIA on Friday.
The Army/Coast Guard outfit earned the chance to avenge losses in the FA Trophy final in March and last month's Lucozade Sport Goal Shield decider, both at the hands of Caledonia, when the teams meet again in the final of the $100,000 Digicel Pro Bowl.
Former Army striker Devorn Jorsling was the player that broke Defence Force hearts with the lone goal in the FA Trophy finale, while in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, Caledonia triumphed 3-1.
Defence Force and Caledonia reached the Pro Bowl final by taking care of the last two South teams in the competition. Caledonia
AIA are now in line to win their fourth trophy this season after picking up the FA Trophy, First Citizens Cup and Goal Shield. But they had to fight hard against 2011-2012 Pro League champions W Connection, and could not break a 0-0 deadlock at the end of in regulation time.
The semi-final was eventually decided by kicks from the penalty mark, as Caledonia prevailed 5-3 from the spot.
The second semi-final also looked to be headed for a draw until two late goals gave Defence Force a 2-0 victory over Pro League runners-up T&TEC.
The "Electricity Boys" excelled in their first season of professional football, which could also be their last given a recent decision by T&TEC management to stop funding their professional football and cricket teams as a cost-cutting measure.
On Friday, assistant-coach Desmond Bailey took charge of T&TEC and they also looked to be heading for a goalless draw before Defence Force scored twice within four minutes. Central defender Curtis Gonzales broke the stalemate.
His goal came from a corner kick, which saw the ball cleared out towards Gonzales, whose shot to goal found the back of the net in the 79th minute.
Midfielder Kerry Edwards then overlapped to telling effect to get the insurance item. Picking up a straight pass from veteran left-back Michael Edwards, Edwards (K) eluded left-back Jay-Son Joseph, then using teammate Ross Russell Jr as a decoy, snuck the ball in at the near post past goalie Marvin Phillip and defender Akeem Adams.
Kerry Edwards almost got another goal later on when again taking a pass from Michael Edwards in the box and forcing Marvin Phillip to turn away a low shot.