Former Soca Warriors striker Stern John, T&T’s all-time leading goalscorer, was among the scorers as Friends (VFI) held off San Juan San Juan 3-2 in their Santa Cruz Super Cup Football League Group C opener at the Brian Lara Recreation Ground, Sam Boucaud, Lower Santa Cruz, on Wednesday.
Hans Pierre and Kaydien Gabriel were also on target for the star-studded VFI line-up while Marvin Joseph and Alvin Beharry got a goal each for San Juan San Juan.
A day earlier, Back Street sounded a warning to all competitors for the $20,000 top prize with a 6-1 hammering of Savannah Boys led by a hat-trick from Jean-Luc Rochford.
Kerry Daniel, Anton Joseph and C Armstrong added one each for Back Street—runners-up last year—while Reynard Celestin netted the consolation item for Savannah Boys in their Group B encounter.
On Sunday when the tournament hosted by the Santa Cruz Football Organisation kicked off, there was a victory for home-town club, Santa Cruz Touring Team, 3-2 over newcomer COSTATT.
Hernan Charles, Ronald O’Brien and former St Lucian international Earl Jean fired in a goal each for the winners while J Williams and M Hope netted for COSTATT.
In Sunday’s other match, North Coast United and Valencia battled to a 2-2 draw. This year’s league comprises 20 teams divided into four groups of five for a round-robin series at the end of which the top two will qualify to the knockout stage.
The runner-up of this year’s tournament will get $10,000, third $5,000 and fourth, $3,000. Last year Police won the title beating Back Street in the final.
Pool A: North Coast United, Valencia, Police, La Pastora, Church of Nazarene FC.
Pool B: COSTATT, Santa Cruz Touring Team, Savannah Boys, Back Street, Carenage
Pool C: San Juan San Juan, Friends (V.F.I), Beckles Environmental, Real Pipiol, 13 Posse
Pool D: Pt Cumana, Chelsea Havanah, Cantaro United, Peace Makers, Sam Boucaud.
Santa Cruz Results:
Santa Cruz Touring Team 3 (Hernan Charles, Ronald O’Brien, Earl Jean) vs COSTATT 2 (J Williams, M Hope)
North Coast 2 (Damian Williams, Elwin Hernandez) vs Valencia 2 (Kendes Garcia 2)
Back Street 6 (Jean-Luc Rochford 3, Kerry Daniel, Anton Joseph, C Armstrong) vs Savannah Boys 1 (Reynard Celestine)
Friends (VFI) 3 (Stern John, Hans Pierre, Kaydien Gabriel) vs San Juan San Juan 2 (Marvin Joseph, Alvin Beharry)