Jonathan Frias netted an 82nd minute winner as W Connection advanced to tomorrow’s final of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) FA Trophy competition after a deserved 1-0 result over United Petrotrin in yesterday’s semi-final contest at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
The final was pushed back to December 16 but, hours before yesterday’s match, was rescheduled to the original December 9 date.
But Connection, the 2008 runners-up, and winners in 1999, 2000 and 2002, all under current coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier, took care of a lacklustre Petrotrin squad, and they will await the winner of yesterday’s other “semi” between reigning champs Caledonia AIA and the in-form Joe Public.
Half-time substitute Jose Luiz Seabra, on the right flank, swung in a cross over the Petrotrin defence and Frias, on the left, calmly slotted his left-footed effort past the left of goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel.
Petrotrin’s left-back Akeem Adams tested Connection’s goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams with a low left-footed freekick, in the 27th minute, which the goalie managed to smother on the touch-line.
Seven minutes later, Adams’ national Under-20 team-mate, striker Jamal Clarence, stole the ball from Connection’s Andrei Pacheco and played in Brazilian forward Luis Lima.
But Lima could not connect with his back-heel and the ball went across the face of the goal. American forward Jose Carlos Diaz could have broken the deadlock for Connection, in the 38th, as he got a through ball from Hughtun Hector but had his left-footer denied by Samuel, another Trinidad and Tobago U-20 representative.
The Petrotrin goalie was again called into action in the 57th, as he produced a fine save to his right from a low Frias effort, while Hector tested Samuel with a long-range blast shortly afterwards.
Hector and Seabra had efforts from distance, Seabra’s own forcing an alert save from Samuel, while Frias duly gave Connection the lead ten minutes later.
Petrotrin finally shook off their negative posture right after the kick-off, as substitute Arnold Dwarika’s blast from 35 metres was tipped overbar by Williams, but that was as good as it got for the Marcos Tinoco-coached outfit – an assembly of veteran “stars” who failed to win any silverware this season.
United Petrotrin: Glenroy Samuel (Yellow); Cyd Gray (Yellow), Makan Hislop (capt), Akeem Adams (Yellow), Nigel Daniel; Ghymo Harper (Yellow), Simeon Augustus (Arnold Dwarika 77th), Gary Glasgow, Kennedy Hinkson; Jamal Clarence (Yellow), Luis Lima (Yellow).
W Connection: Jan Michael Williams; Elijah Joseph (capt), Eder Gilmar Arias (Yellow), Joevin Jones, Nickcolson Thomas; Gerard Williams (Yellow), Clyde Leon, Andrei Pacheco (Jose Luiz Seabra 46th), Hughtun Hector; Jose Carlos Diaz (Matthew Bartholomew 46th), Jonathan Frias.
Joe Public ousts defending FA champs Caledonia.
By: Randi Bando (ttproleague).
Goals by Micah Lewis, Kerry Baptiste and substitute Devon Leacock gave Bmobile Joe Public a 3-1 comeback victory over defending FA Trophy champions Caledonia AIA on Monday night at the Marvin Lee Stadium in the semifinals.
Joe Public are now against W Connection on Wednesday night from 7pm at the Marvin Lee Stadium in the Final of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation national tournament.
Connection earned their Final spot thanks to a late strike by Jonathan Frias for a 1-0 win against United Petrotrin in the first semifinal played at the Macoya venue.
And in the second semifinal Caledonia were in front 1-0 by the 29th minute when goalscoring wingback Kareem Joseph nicked a shot into Alejandro Figueroa's far netting after a one-two with Ryan Stewart on a counter attack by the Jamal Shabaaz coached side, however an advantage they failed to maintain.
Caledonia’s Akim Armstrong had the best opening effort on goal, testing Figueroa from above the area in the 16th minute but the Colombian was positioned perfectly to wrap the effort.
Moments later, defender Nuru Abdallah Muhammed had to later clear a Hayden Tinto shot out of the goal mouth as Joe Public warned what was too come.
But it was Caledonia that would take a 1-0 advantage when Kareem Joseph nicked a shot past goalkeeper Figueroa on the counterattack in the 29th minute after a neat exchange of passes between Stewart.
However Joe Public levelled the scores 1-1 three minutes later when Kerry Baptiste turned between two defenders and raced into the area to make an early cross which slipped past everyone before Micah Lewis came rushing in behind to blast past Graham.
Two minutes later Batptiste himself had a shot on goal, but Graham was well placed to gather the effort.
Caledonia were really close to returning the advantage before the break when Charles Pollard headed a cross towards the inside bottom corner of the upright, however Figueroa provided a brilliant reflex save to deny the Guyanese.
Joe Public then took a 2-1 advantage from the penalty spot in the 57th minute through Kerry Baptiste.
A minute earlier Micah Lewis was adjudged to have been fouled by Graham when the referee pointed to the spot. Joe Public then took the advantage when captain and leading goalscorer Kerry Baptiste notched his 47th club goal this season, beating the Jamaican on the left for a 2-1 advantage.
Baptiste was denied his second three minutes later when he tried a cheeky chip on goalkeeper Graham who had to glove it away for a corner.
Caledonia pressed in hopes of an equalizer and despite the brilliance of Akim Armstrong, substitute Kendall Velox and company, the Morvant/Laventille squad was restricted by some hearty defending by Seon Powers and the Joe Public defence.
Joe Public then put the match totally out of Caledonia’s reach in injury time when substitute Devon Leacock—a minute after coming off the bench—slammed in the Lions’ third goal for a 3-1 victory.
Afer an exchange of passes between Baptiste and substitute Conrod Smtih, the later played Leacock in on the left and the Tobagonian made no mistake shooting past Graham.
Joe Public and Caledonia will meet again on Friday in the Final of the 2009 Digicel Pro Bowl. But first the Eastern Lions will have to focus on Wednesday’s FA Trophy Final against three-time winners W Connection.
Joe Public 3-1 Caledonia AIA
Micah Lewis 33', Kerry Baptiste 57' (pen), Devon Leacock 90'+ ; Kareem Joseph 29'
Joe Public—Alejandro Figueroa, Kerry Baptiste (capt.), Carlyle Mitchell, Seon Power, Keion Goodridge, Kareem Young, Jean Luc Rochford, Yu Hoshide (Devon Leacock 90th), Trent Noel, Micah Lewis (Conrad Smith 79th), Hayden Tinto.
Caledonia AIA—Kevin Graham, Charles Pollard (capt.), Stephan David, Keyon Edwards, Kareem Joseph (Yellow), Walter Moore, Marcos Ambrose (Sherron Joseph 63rd), Akim Armstrong, Ryan Stewart (Abdallah Phillips 68th), Nuru Abdallah Muhammed, Kerry Daniel (Kendall Velox 79th).