Striker Shahdon Winchester scored a first half double in the space of three minutes to pull W Connection back and later complete a 4-2 win over rivals Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh in the second clash of a 2011 Toyota Classic semi-final double header at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Friday night to secure a spot in the Final.
Jabloteh jumped ahead with a 1-0 score in the 14th minute when defender Jamal Jack headed past the goal-line after the Connection defense failed to properly clear after a shot by Luke Gullick in a play started by Elton John’s set piece.
Goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams made a good attempt but only managed to pull the ball out just as in entered the goal.
W Connection’s Hashim Arcia was unleashed towards goal with only goalkeeper Cleon John to beat with a through ball by Shahdon Winchester in the 32nd minute, however the forward was denied by the legs of the Jabloteh goalie.
But in the 37th minute Winchester took charge with a well taken first time strike from inside the area beating John to level the scores 1-1.
Winchester who initially slipped in approach to Kenuel Rivers whipped cross, showed good athleticism to pounce on the ball with a the first-time blast after some poor defending by Jabloteh.
Winchester then wrapped up his early double in the 40th minute giving his side a 2-1 advantage when Jabloteh again failed to defend on a crossball, this time from the right by Matthew Bartholomew. Winchester was with the simple task of finishing inside the near upright which he did comfortably.
Connection made it 3-1 by the 45th minute with Winchester heavily involved after being held up by defender Karlon Murray, fed onrushing Arcia who hammered a shot beating the gloves of Cleon John.
The match was well out of Jabloteh’s reach by the 58th minute when wingback Kern Cupid converted a penalty into the roof of the net giving goalkeeper John little chance and enjoying a 4-1 score-line.
Connection won the penalty a minute earlier when Rivers freekick from the left skidded off the wet surface and onto the outstretched arm of defender Jamal Jack—who ironically gave away the initial free-kick.
Coach Stuart Charles Fevrier spared no mercy introducing Winchester’s T&T Olympic squad teammate Jerrel Britto in the 63rd minute, replacing Arcia.
As the match progressed, two atrocious penalty decisions were called and a few over-bar strikes.
Jabloteh substitute Jason Marcano quietly returning back to fitness was over-bar in the 64th minute and Willis Plaza in the 74th minute, separated by Connection’s Rennie Britto who fired over with goalkeeper John at his mercy.
Jabloteh were awarded a penalty in the 76th minute by referee Michael Ragoonath who dished out a yellow card in the process to Winchester for a suspected handball inside the area which video replays revealed opposite to the referee’s decision.
Nevertheless Elijah Manners stepped up and converted powerfully past goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams reducing the deficit 4-2 by the 77th minute.
Ragoonath signaled another penalty in the 81st minute after Manners went down inside the area to the amusement of spectators again questioning the officiating.
But Manners who stepped up again for the kick from the spot was measured by a fully sprawled Williams pushing the effort wide.
In the end Connection moves on to the Final of the 2011 Toyota Classic against semi-final one winner T&TEC FC from 8pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Friday 09 December.
T&TEC defeated St. Ann’s Rangers 2-1 in the earlier semi-final at the Marabella venue with goals by defender Kern Peters and Kerlon Ferguson while Errol McFarlane Jr. pulled a goal back for Rangers.
W Connection—Jan Michael Williams (capt.), Elijah Joseph, Kemuel Rivers, Rennie Britto, Matthew Bartholomew, Gerrard Williams, Kern Cupid, Hashim Arcia (Jerrel Britto 63rd), Andre Quashie (Jomal Williams 72nd), Mekeil Williams, Shahdon Wiinchester.
Coach—Stuart Charles Fevrier.
San Juan Jabloteh—Cleon John (capt.), Karlon Murray, Elijah Manners, Marvin Oliver, Luke Gullick (Jason Marcano 49th), Willis Plaza, Kennedy Hinkson, Hector Sam (Andrew Smith 75th), Jamal Jack (Yellow Card), Sheldon Bateau.
T&TEC edge Rangers 2-1 to reach Toyota Final.
T&TEC secured its second Final of the season on Friday night with a hard-fought 2-1 win over St. Ann’s Rangers at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in the first of a 2011 Toyota Classic semi-final double header at the south venue.
Defender Kern Peters registered an early item and striker Kerlon Ferguson the second following the break giving the 2011 defeated First Citizens Cup Finalist a good cushion to hold off a strong second half by Rangers.
T&TEC advanced into the Final of the Toyota Classic which will be played at the same Marabella venue from 8pm against second semi-final winner W Connection in an all-south clash on Friday 09 December.
Connection secured its place in the Final with a 4-2 win over archrivals Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh.
In the first semi-final Rangers were on the defensive in the opening moments with Ferguson and Jamal Ayres testing goalkeeper Shane Mattis.
T&TEC then took the advantage in the 14th minute when Peters headed brilliantly past Mattis off defensive midfielder Javed Mohammed’s well weighted cross against Rangers.
One minute later Rangers’ Errol McFarlane, who pulled a goal back in the 58th minute, had a header opportunity on a well placed Shaquille Nesbitte right side cross—however the front-man headed directly at ‘on debut’ goalkeeper Marvin Phillip under little pressure.
Rangers’ goalie was later forced to make a fine save against Andrei Pacheco in the 39th minute pushing the effort behind for a corner.
But six minutes after the break Ferguson doubled T&TEC’s advantage when he buried a low shot past Mattis from just inside the area for a 2-0 score.
McFarlane who had a deflected shot wide of T&TEC’s goal just before the break, finally found the back of the net in the 58th minute, pulling a goal back for a 2-1 score when he slid in to direct wingback Elijah Belgrave pass inside the area past goalkeeper Phillip.
On the hour mark Ferguson headed wide of the Rangers post after he was picked out by Aubrey David’s long cross, and in the 63rd minute Ayres headed across the face of goal on Sylvester Teesdale’s cross.
Ferguson was wide of the target again in the 70th minute after twisting away from his marker and hitting wide of the upright.
And three minutes later goalkeeper Phillip pulled off a point blank save against McFarlane as Rangers fought back.
Rangers didn’t quit its late resurgence and two minutes from regulation time Devon Modeste hooked an effort wide of the T&TEC near post after a good buildup.
And in the final minute of four minutes added on time, T&TEC substitute defender Akeem Adams tested goalkeeper Mattis from 30 yards out to close off the first of the semi-final double header.
T&TEC FC 2—1 St. Ann’s Rangers
Kern Peters 14’, Kerlon Ferguson 51’ ; Errol McFarlane Jr. 58’
W Connection 4—2 San Juan Jabloteh
Shahdon Winchester 37’, 40’, Hashim Arcia 45’, Kern Cupid 57’ ; Jamal Jack 14’, Elijah Manners 72’ (pen)
T&TEC FC—Marvin Phillip, Kern Peters (capt.), Anthony Noriega, Aubrey David, Javed Mohammed (Yellow Card) (Kelvin Modeste 67th), Eustace Darius (Akeem Adams 75th), Corneal Thomas, Sylvester Teesdale, Andrei Pacheco, Jamal Ayres (Keeron Benito 81st), Kerlon Ferguson.
St. Ann’s Rangers—Shane Mattis, Errol McFarlane Jr. (capt.) (Theon James 82nd), Kareem Moses, Clevon McFee (Nicholas Valentine 67th), Trent Noel, Elijah Belgrave, Jaime Ruiz James (Kaashif Thomas 62nd), Devon Modeste, Mikhail Awai.
Stuart Charles praises W Connection players.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (Newsday).
Coach of W Connection, Stuart Charles commended his players on their 4-2 win over San Juan Jabloteh in the semi-final of the Toyota Classic at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella on Friday night.
Charles was pleased with the manner in which his team played and is looking forward to the final against TTEC on December 9 at the same venue. TTEC booked their place in the finals with a 2-1 win overs St Ann’s Rangers 2-1 in the other semi-final.
“This is a very important win for the players and the club. It’s our first final for the season and this provides us with a great opportunity to get back to our winning ways,” said Charles yesterday.
The W Connection coach explained that the match was keenly contested and hailed his younger players for rising to the occasion.
“It was not an easy match at all. I must credit the players individually, especially the younger ones for their good performance on the day. They played persistently and were not deterred when Jabloteh opened the scoring in the early minutes.
They (Jabloteh) had the lead in the first 10-15 minutes, but the youngsters held their guard and put their heads together, and simply came away with the victory,” Charles explained.
He commended the Jabloteh players for a well-fought match and admitted that they played the better football in the early stages.
“Jabloteh scored first and they played more aggressively. They have the more experienced players due to our young team. But we showed them that our young squad can step up to the challenge, when faced with it.
We scored three great goals and the Connection players must be commended for the stalwart achievements against such a big team,” Charles continued.
He divulged that all attention will now be directed towards the final against TTEC.
“We have some quality time to prepare for the match and we intend to do just that. We have very persistent players and we have to put in the necessary preparations for the Toyota Classic final.
TTEC has a great squad this year and we know they won’t go down that easily,” the coach added.