Willis Plaza scored on either side of the break and also had an assist to lead Central FC to a 5-0 crushing of Police FC on Sunday in their 2014-2015 Digicel Pro League Round Two Match Day Four fixture at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
The convincing win kept Central in command of the league race, near the midway point, with 9-2-1, 29 points, while boasting five consecutive wins in an eight-match unbeaten streak.
Six points adrift, in second, are reigning champions DIRECTV W Connection (7-2-2, 23 points), while former league winners Defence Force (6-2-3, 20 points) and North East Stars (6-2-4, 20 points) occupy third and fourth positions respectively.
Plaza opened the scoring in the 9th minute with a neat flick to send Sean de Silva’s corner kick into goalkeeper Adrian Foncette’s far netting for a 1-0 lead against the side that defeated the “Couva Sharks” 3-2 in Round One last November.
The 27-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international then made it 2-0 in the 51st minute with a half volley to beat Foncette after controlling De Silva’s clever pass from inside the box. Plaza, who only received his clearance to re-join Central during the January transfer window, took his scoring tally to five league goals in as many matches.
Plaza then became provider in the 56th minute as the Zoran Vranes-coached Central grabbed a 3-0 advantage when the double-goal-scorer’s pass to Ataullah Guerra allowed his T&T international teammate to unleash a low left footed stringer to beat the Police FC goalie.
The goal took Guerra's tally of league goals to eight (8), one more than Kerry Baptiste (San Juan Jabloteh), Richard Roy (Defence Force) and Pernell Schultz (Caledonia AIA), to lead the scorers' list.
Foncette, who looked on as a Guerra effort flew inches wide in the 3rd minute and made a save in the 36th minute to deny Kaydion Gabriel following a neat exchange in the box with De Silva, was lucky again in the 68th minute when a low diving header by Plaza, sent Uriah Bentick’s cross inches wide.
However the fifth positioned Police (3-5-4, 14 points), who only managed one strike on target in the 21st minute when a 23-yard set piece strike from Elijah Belgrave forced goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams into a save, conceded two more goals, in the 80th minute and in stoppage time.
Another De Silva pass, this time splitting the Police defence, to find substitute Rundell Winchester and the Tobagonian forward unleashed a left footed blast into the roof of Foncette’s net for a 4-0 score with ten minutes of regulation time left.
Then in the 2nd minute of stoppage time Central completed the 5-0 rout with Marcano dispatching a low strike into the Police net while De Silva, donning the armband, celebrated his fourth assist on the night.
Central returns to action on Tuesday 03rd of February at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Round Two Match Day Five of the DPL against Defence Force from 8 pm following a 6 pm clash between Caledonia AIA and St. Ann's Rangers.
Also on Tuesday, Point Fortin Civic will host defending champions DIRECTV W Connection from 4 pm at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin, and at the Marvin Lee Stadium, North East Stars and Police FC will do battle from 6 pm.
Round Two Match Day Four Results
Police FC 0 vs Central FC 5 (Willis Plaza 9', 51, Ataullah Guerra 56', Rundell Winchester 80', Jason Marcano 90'+2)
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette ; 4.Karlon Murray, 6.Kenaz Williams, 9.Hector Sam (15.Jameel Perry 64th), 12.Micah Lewis (30.Marcus Chandool 46th), 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (1.Kareem Freitas 69th), 25.Noel Williams, 35.Kerry Frederick, 32.Kaaron Foster, 24.Jibri Mc David
Unused substitutes: 5.Anton Joseph, 8.Kurdell Braithwaite, 7.Makesi Lewis, 34.Keston Mata (GK)
Coach: Richard Hood
Central FC: 21.Jan-Michael Williams; 5.Akeem Benjamin, 45.Ataullah Guerra (99.Dwight Quintero 83rd), 12.Jamal Jack, 7.Jason Marcano, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 8.Sean de Silva, 33.Willis Plaza (77.Rundell Winchester 75th), 4.Uriah Bentick (24.Kevon Villaroel 81st), 2.Elton John, 17.Marcelle Francois
Unused substitutes: 11.Darren Mitchell, 1.Javon Sample (GK), 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 29.Upston Edwards
Coach: Zoran Vranes
Tuesday 03 February 2015
Point Fortin Civic vs W Connection—4 pm, Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin
Caledonia AIA vs St. Ann's Rangers—6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Defence Force vs Central FC—8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
North East Stars vs Police FC—6 pm, Marvin Lee Stadium