...Caledonia escape 3-2 against Santa Rosa
Pro League leaders Caledonia AIA escaped narrowly, but fellow Pro League clubs Police, St Ann's Rangers and Central FC were all knocked out by lower level teams on Friday's opening night of action in the Toyota Classic.
The Classic is a unique competition, which brings together eight professional clubs, with another eight teams from the semi-pro Super League in a knockout competition.
On Friday, Police faced the indignity of a 5-0 hammering against 2012 Super League knockout champions Stokely Vale at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, while Super League leaders WASA Football Club got a last-minute winner to beat St Ann's Rangers 2-1 in the late match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Devon Modeste put Rangers ahead from the penalty spot in the 41st minute. But Terrence Smith levelled for WASA in the 77th minute, before substitute Glen Walker won the match with a 90th minute header.
At the tournament's launch, Central FC manager Norris Ferguson boasted they were already looking past West Stars. The latter are now looking past them after the Nigel Grosvenor-coached Stars won 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw with Central at the Ato Boldon Stadium. Pro League T&TEC also escaped with a 4-3 penalty kicks win after a 1-1 draw with Super Leaguers Joe Public.
Meanwhile, Caribbean Champions Caledonia AIA faced some uncomfortable final moments before getting past Keith Look Loy's First Santa Rosa FC by a 3-2 margin.
For much of the match, Caledonia looked unextended and comfortable, as Santa Rosa contained the opponents rather than try and win the match. Exciting Guyanese teenager Trayon Bobb put Caledonia AIA ahead in the 27th minute when he put a rebound past Santa Rosa goalkeeper Andrew Durant. But Caledonia were guilty of playing with their food.
After looking like prey for most of the match, Santa Rosa bit back. Their first real attacking threat drew them level in the 61st when Ian Alleyne beat goalie Glenroy Samuel from the centre of the penalty area. Vurlon Mills hit another chance for Santa Rosa straight at keeper Samuel.
Caledonia responded with a double change, bringing on Abdullah Phillips and scoring midfielder Keyon Edwards. Two minutes after coming on, Phillips shot onto the foot of the far upright from the centre of the penalty area. He was then brought down after picking up the rebound.
Playmaker Densill Theobald converted the penalty in the 75th to give Caledonia a 2-1 lead. They then made another change, bringing on striker Odelle Armstrong, who represented Defence Force some seven years ago. Armstrong made another instant impact, netting a hard, low shot from inside the penalty box. It was his first touch.
Down by a 3-1 margin, Santa Rosa looked more dangerous than at any time in the match. Both goalscorer Alleyne and Mills wasted good chances, before national under-23 captain and playmaker Duane Muckette netted a 90th minute bullet to spare his side blushes.
TOYOTA CLASSIC RESULTS:
Caledonia AIA 3 (Trayon Bobb 27', Densill Theobald Penalty - 75th, Odelle Armstrong 87') vs Santa Rosa FC 2 (Ian Alleyne 61, Dwayne Muckette 90')
WASA 2 (Terrence Smith 77', Glen Walker 90') vs St Ann's Rangers 1 (Devon Modeste 41')
W Connection 5 (Shahdon Winchester 3, Joevin Jones 26' & 89', Jerrel Britto 31' & 63') vs Defence Force (Super League) 0
North East Stars 2 (Elijah Manners 17', Kaydion Gabriel 83') vs Siparia Spurs 0
Joe Public 1 (Brent Antoine 30') vs T&TEC 1 (Glen Sutton 55')
T&TEC won 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark
West Side Starz 1 (Troy Thompson 16') vs Central FC 1 (Ladule Losarah 14').
West Side Starz won 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark.
Defence Force 4 (Jerwyn Balthazar 3', Corey Rivers 31', Devorn Jorsling 39', 54') vs 1976 Tobago Phoenix 0
Stokely Vale 5 (Rondell Winchester (9' & 75', own goal - Atiba Peters 36', Tyrone Manning 49', Rohan Seabro 55') vs Police FC 0
Stars outshine Spurs; Caledonia outlasts Santa Rosa; and T&TEC survives penalty shootout against Joe Public in Toyota Classic prelims.
A pair of goals by Devorn Jorsling and one each from Jerwyn Balthazar and Corey Rivers landed Defence Force a comfortable 4-0 over Tobago Phoenix at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago.
But it was less than comfortable for fellow Pro League clubs North East Stars, Caledonia AIA and T&TEC FC in the early Toyota Classic preliminary round matches on Friday.
North East Stars defeated Siparia Spurs 2-0 at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium however Head Coach Angus Eve could easily label it a difficult feat despite Elijah Manners' 17th minute item and substitute Kaydion Gabriel's item three minutes from time.
At the Ato Boldon Stadium eight positioned Digicel Pro League club T&TEC had to endure kicks from the penalty mark against second positioned Super League club Joe Public before pulling away 4-3 winners following a 1-1 draw.
Brent Antoine had Joe Public up by the 30th minute before Glen Sutton's 55th minute item leveled the scores.
Further north, Caledonia faced highly motivated 1st FC Santa Rosa at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in a 'David vs Goliath' match-up. But in this case 'Goliath' surfaced 3-2 winner with Trayon Bobb (27th minute), Densill Theobald (75th minute) from the penalty spot and Odelle Armstrong (87th minute) all netting for Caledonia.
While Ian Alleyne (61st minute) and Trinidad and Tobago U-20 player Duane Muckette (90th minute) scored for Santa Rosa.
Speaking about confidence stricken, Siparia Spurs goalie Michael Myers was full of it and was brilliant for his side despite going under against North East Stars.
Stars went ahead in the 17th minute when Elijah Manners directed a hard-worked Gary Glasgow pass past Myers at first post for a 1-0 advantage.
But Myers locked up the uprights till the break by making three shutouts against the Pro League club.
The giant-sized Spurs goalie flung himself well in the 38th minute to tip wide an effort from the angle by Glasgow, then showed that his reflexes were in tact by denying Johan Peltier two minutes from the break and also made a block-out on the rebound strike from Kerry Baptiste.
Myers showed his class in another department--from a penalty kick--by denying Baptiste in the 61st minute after Kevon Clement upended Peltier inside the area.
However the big man was left to dry in the 83rd minute by his defense which allowed Gabriel free land inside the left of the area after picking up a pass from Akeil Guevara and hitting low into the far netting for a 2-0 cushion.
That didn't put Myers fight to a close. The Spurs goalie held himself together a minute later to deny Peltier a second time on the night.
And two minutes from time Stars' attacker Baptiste easily rounded Myers on his way to goal but muffed at his goalscoring opportunity and allowed a defender to clear.
Spurs ended the match without midfielder Chris Collins who was shown his second yellow card and was ejected during injury time.
North East Stars - Adrian Foncette, Glenton Wolfe (capt.), Kareem Moses, Kevon Villaroel, Neil Mitchell (Akiel Guevara 53rd), Gary Glasgow (Kaydion Gabriel 59th), Keryn Navarro, Kerry Baptiste, Elijah Manners (Jeromie Williams 76th), Elton John, Johan Peltier.
Coach - Angus Eve.
Siparia Spurs - Michael Myers, Marlon Lewis (capt) (Keon Figaro 84th), Keyon Burns, Len Mejias (Jessie Edwards 63rd), Chris Collins (Yellow Card + Yellow Card = Red), Bramdon Neptune, Clint Tidd, Kevon Clement, Derron Matthews (Che Forbes 57th), Karim Gibson, Dwayne Edwards.
Coach - Felix Seales.
Defending champions DIRECTV W Connection marched into the quarter-final round of Toyota Classic by thumping Super League's Defence Force 5-0 at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium on Friday night.
An opening goal by Shahdon Winchester and a pair each from Joevin Jones and Jerrel Britto saw Connection through to face WASA FC--2-1 winners over St. Ann's Rangers--in the quarter-final round Tuesday 27 November.
Central FC and Police FC also suffered defeats against Super League opponents in Friday's preliminary round.
It was the first time in the tournament's eight-year history that more than one Super League club advanced out of the preliminary round. In 2010 Joe Public became the first and only club to advance out of the first round, and went on to reach the semi-final round.
This season however, the Eastern Lions suffered a 4-3 penalty defeat against T&TEC FC following a 1-1 draw.
West Side Starz and Central also played to a 1-1 draw at the Ato Boldon Stadium before the later finished on the wrong side of a 4-3 kicks from the penalty mark defeat. And across in Tobago, home side Stokely Vale stunned the visiting Police FC 5-0 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium.
Rondell Winchester grabbed a double (19th & 75th minutes), an own goal by Akiba Peters (36th minute), and one each from Tyrone Manning (49th minute) and Rohan Seabro (55th minute) did the damage against Police.
West Side Starz meets Pro League club Defence Force in the quarter-final round, Stokely Vale against Caledonia AIA and North East Stars against T&TEC in a Pro League tie.
While the clash to anticipate would be Connection against the Super League leaders WASA FC.
Connection made easy of Super League outfit Defence Force from the start.
The Stuart Charles Fevrier coached club opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when an early decision by Jones to find an unmarked Clyde Leon on the left, allowed the Trinidad and Tobago midfielder to feed a quick low cross to onrushing Winchester and the T&T U-23 forward made no mistake beating goalkeeper Keston Guy from close up.
The trio combined again in the 25th minute for Connection's second item.
Leon stretched a long pass to Winchester on the right, and the speedy forward found Jones who blasted past Guy from inside the area for the 2-0 cushion.
Connection then wowed the crowed in the 31st minute with a neat exchange of passes which included Hashim Arcia's heeled flick-on inside the area to Jerrel Britto who made no mistake beating goalkeeper Guy for a 3-0 score.
Britto later completed his double in the 61st minute by hammering Jones' low cross into the roof of the Army net putting the scores 4-0 after another excellent buildup.
And Jones wrapped up the scoring in style a minute from time for the healthy 5-0 victory.
W Connection (Pro) - Jan-Michael Williams (capt.), Elijah Joseph, Kern Cupid, Clyde Leon, Joevin Jones, Hashim Arcia (Andrei Pacheco 46th), Jerrel Britto (Neil Benjamin 73rd), Joel Leslie Russell, Shahdon Winchester (Rennie Britto 61st), Silvio Spann (Yellow Card), Kurt Frederick.
Coach - Stuart Charles Fevrier.
Defence Force (Super League) - Keston Guy (capt.), Kevon Blackman, Brandon Joseph, Tevon Lee, Jamal Goodridge, Brandon Fountain, Dave Long (Christopher Young 24th), Akil Nichols (Samuel Delice 24th), Kellon Serrette, Levi Serries (Jamal Lucas 58th), Kareem Charles.
Coach - Kelshall Alexander.