Defence Force booked the sixth and final spot in the Big Six tournament after a 3-1 victory over Tobago United in their re-scheduled Digicel Pro League Round Two Match Day Eleven fixture yesterday at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Arima.
The Army/Coast Guard men advanced to the Big Six at the expense of United Petrotrin, who suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat to Caledonia AIA in their tussle at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
With the results, Defence Force ended on 32 points, two more than Petrotrin, who joined FC South End, St Ann’s Rangers, Tobago and Police out of the league competition. On an outfield which was noticeably uneven, Defence Force struggled to overcome a Tobago team who only had a complement of 11 players (midfielder Jamal Spencer arrived at the venue after 20 minutes of play), no substitutes and two members of their technical staff , coach Peter Granville and manager Shawn Roachford.
Midfielder Kerry Joseph gave Defence Force a third minute lead while his teammate, striker Devon Jorsling could have widened the advantage in the 18th, as he was picked out, at the edge of the penalty area by Joseph but his left-footed effort crashed against a post.
That error proved costly as veteran Guyana striker Collie Hercules tied up the scores in the 25th.
After an array of missed chances, Defence Force eventually got their second goal in the 73rd courtesy of Carter. A minute later, the tiring Tobago defence was again caught unawares, as Jorsling collected a ball from sub Balondemu Julius but was fouled by a defender and referee Rashby McPhie awarded the penalty which Jorsling calmly thundered to the top left-hand corner.
At Couva, national midfielder Keon Daniel gave Caledonia a 2-0 lead scoring in the 7th and 14th minutes before Petrotrin stormed back to even the scores, with a 22nd minute penalty by evergreen Arnold Dwarika and a 50th minute strike from Brazilian forward Luis Lima. But Keyon Edwards netted the winner in the 65th minute.
P W D L F A Pts
Joe Public 20 12 5 3 50 24 41
Caledonia AIA 20 13 1 6 49 30 40
San Juan Jabloteh 20 11 6 3 29 16 39
W Connection 20 9 7 4 36 17 34
Ma Pau 20 10 4 6 31 21 34
Defence Force 20 9 5 6 36 26 32
United Petrotrin 20 7 9 4 32 21 30
FC South End 20 4 4 12 15 36 16
St Ann’s Rangers 20 4 3 13 22 46 15
Tobago United 20 2 7 11 17 32 13
Police 20 2 3 15 16 64 9
Caledonia finishes second in regular season
By Kevin Sunich (T&T Guardian)
Caledonia AIA ended the Digicel Pro League regular season on a good note with a win over United Petrotrin, which moved the Morvant/Laventille club into second, heading into the Big Six competition. Caledonia rebounded from its 3-2 defeat to the Defence Force in the First Citizens Cup to secure a 3-2 win over the “Oilmen” in their match at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva last evening. Keon Daniel who missed a penalty in Friday night’s defeat, opened the scoring in the seventh minute, before completing a double in the 14th to give Caledonia a 2-0 advantage.
Petrotrin, however, reduced the lead, as Arnold Dwarika scored from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute. AIA ended the half with the advantage, however, five minutes into the second half, the “Oilmen” levelled as Luis Andre Lima found the net. The tide then headed Caledonia’s way once again, as Keyon Edwards netted in the 65th, the eventual match winner to give “Cali” the win, and no doubt a confidence booster for the Big Six. On the other hand Petrotrin which went into this match in sixth place, and needed a win to make the Big Six ahead of the Defence Force, could now kiss that goodbye, as the army/coastguard unit won its match against Tobago United.
The soldiers, who are on a roll after ousting Caledonia in the First Citizens Cup, came away with a 3-1 win at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, to finish sixth in the regular season and claim the final Big Six spot.
Kerry Joseph opened the scoring in the third minute to give the Defence Force a 1-0 advantage, which its held until the 25th minute when Guyanese international Collie Hercules netted for Tobago. The match was levelled 1-1 until the 74th minute when Kevon Carter gave his side a 2-1 lead, before Devon Jorsling put the icing on the cake with a strike, two minutes later.
Defence Force 3 (Kerry Joseph 3rd, Kevon Carter 74th, Devon Jorsling 76th) vs Tobago 1 (Collie Hercules 25th).
Caledonia 3 (Keon Daniel 7th, 14th, Keyon Edwards 65th) vs Petrotrin 2 (Arnold Dwarika (pen) 22nd, Luis Andre Lima 50th).