T&T Pro League
12 Dec 2008
- Written by Ian Prescott (T&T Express)
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Tobago's Angostura 1976 Phoenix put up a fight before their giant-killing days in the 2008 Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation FA Trophy competition came to an end on Wednesday night when the semi-professional club went down 3-0 to First Citizens Cup champions W Connection at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.Phoenix are contemplating entering the T&T Pro League in 2009, but W Connection made them look as if still in need of some work. The Tobago team, who are among the top four in the bmobile National Super League, were responsible for dispatching defending FA champs Joe Public during the last round, but failed to hold off the top pro team over 90 minutes at the quarter-final stage.
Phoenix had two of the three good chances that came in the first half but still trailed Connection 1-0 through a 44th minute goal from Brazilian striker Igor Santos. And although competitive in the second half, they were eventually worn down and St Kitts-Nevis midfielder George Issac secured a semi-final spot for W Connection with two goals in the final ten minutes.
Early on, a pattern looked set from the fifth minute when Brazilian Ronaldo Viana swung a dangerous corner in with his right foot but missed both friend and foe as it flew dangerously across the face of the goal. From then, W Connection were on the attack and the Tobagonians were holding on for dear life.
But after surviving the early onslaught, Phoenix had the two best scoring chances in the first half, both coming via counter-attacks. First, Shelton Wiliams had a free run on goal from the halfway stage, but was foiled when Kittian defensive midfielder Gerrard Williams put in a late, saving tackle in the W Connection penalty box.
And central midfielder Kevin Keith went even closer for Phoenix four minutes later, when cutting across the top of the area and unleashing a powerful shot, which forced a spectacular tip from Murilo Da Costa, W Connection's reserve keeper.
However, W Connection made their overall territorial advantage count just before the first half ended when striker Santos ended a sweet combination of short passes with a low shot to the left corner which left goalie Jeffrey Delpeche planted to the spot.
For much of the second half, W Connection pressed for further goals without really terrorising the Phoenix defenders. Colombian utility player Christian Viveros got a good shot and just cleared the keeper's fingertips, while Issac also came close. But, it was not until the final ten minutes that they finally broke down Phoenix when Issac scored twice within three minutes to put the game to bed.
First, a keeper's fumble from Kerron Smith's shot allowed Issac a second look when the rebound came his way. He netted with a low shot in the 82nd and, three minutes later, Issac also got off an angled, low shot which went off the keeper's body and sneaked in at the first post.
Although Phoenix put up a gallant effort, there was no doubt who were the better team at the end.
FA TROPHY SEMI-FINAL DRAW:
To be played Monday December 15
5 p.m.-W Connection v WASA FC, Marvin Lee Stadium
7 p.m.-Caledonia AIA v Defence Force, Marvin Lee Stadium
WEDNESDAY'S FA TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS:
W Connection 3 Angostura Phoenix 0
Defence Force 2 San Juan Jabloteh 1
WASA 5 Copious Suns 2
Caledonia AIA 4 St Ann's Rangers 1