Defence Force celebrated victory number eight from their last nine matches in all competitions with a 3-1 win over rivals Morvant Caledonia United in their Round Two Match Day Five clash of the 2017 Pro League season on Saturday afternoon at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Akil Morris, Reon Moore and Shaquille Bertrand -- three faces still bidding to solidify their places among a rebuilding Army/Coast Guard combination -- were on target for coach Marvin Gordon’s side while veteran Morvant Caledonia player and captain, Kareem Joseph, snatched the lone item for the hosts from the penalty spot.
But Defence Force, although defeated just once in their last ten outings in all competitions, remain fourth on the standings with 21 points—one less than third-positioned Club Sando.
Sando will host fifth-positioned San Juan Jabloteh (17 points) from 3:30pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Sunday while simultaneously at the St. Augustine Secondary School Ground, bottom-placed MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers (9 points) will host last season’s three-peat Champions Central FC (13 points), who currently occupy seventh position, three points behind Morvant Caledonia.
Morvant Caledonia fell behind against Defence Force after just eight minutes when right winger Morris completed a wonderful team move by firing past goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel for his first league goal of the season.
Samuel, who denied Morris a second midway through the first half and was equal to a Devorn Jorsling free kick which was aimed at the keeper’s top left corner early in the second half, was beaten again on 66 minutes.
Defence Force left winger Moore rounded the Morvant Caledonia shot-stopper in the box before hitting into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead with his fifth league goal of the season.
But Joseph, wrong-sided Andre Marchan -- who had earlier denied him on a free kick -- from the spot three minutes later to slice the Morvant Caledonia deficit after referee Nicholai Nyron awarded a penalty for a Curtis Gonzales’ foul on substitute Kelsy Benjamin in the middle of the box.
Morvant Caledonia, however, could not avoid a second consecutive league defeat this week after Tuesday’s 3-2 loss against league North East Stars (33 points), who on Friday night, extended their lead at the summit to six points with a 1-0 win over second-placed W Connection last night in Arima.
Bertrand, who replaced Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder with sixteen minutes left, completed the Defence Force scoring in the third and final minute of stoppage-time with his first army goal after rounding Samuel and hitting past two Morvant Caledonia shirts for the 3-1 finish after failing on a similar opening eight minutes earlier.
Defence Force will next travel to Mahaica Oval against home team Point Fortin Civic from 6pm on Tuesday, before facing the southerners again three days later in the semi-final round of the First Citizens Cup on Friday.
Morvant Caledonia, who were led by assistant coach Abdallah Phillips in their last four games in all competitions in absence of regular head coach Jamaal Shabazz, will return to the Hasely Crawford Stadium main field from 3:30pm on Tuesday against Central FC.
Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Kareem Joseph 69’ pen.) vs Defence Force 3 (Akil Morris 8’, Reon Moore 66’, Shaquille Bertrand 90’+3), at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Glenroy Samuel (GK); 6.Taje Commissiong, 10.Sheldon Holder, 11.Quincy Ballah (29.Kelsy Benjamin 64th minute), 12.Kareem Joseph (Capt.) (23.Lester Joseph 78th minute), 14.Simeon Bailey, 15.Otev Lawrence, 17.Kerry Daniel, 20.Kareem Baptiste, 22.Joshua Alexander, 28.Renaldo Francois (9.Sedale Mc Lean 82nd minute).
Unused substitutes: 31.De Journ Charles (GK); 5.Joshua Sylvester, 13.Rufuson Pierre Louis, 18.Maestro Mensah.
Coach: Abdallah Phillips
Defence Force FC: 1.Andre Marchan (GK); 3.Jamali Garcia, 5.Jerome Mc Intyre, 9.Devorn Jorsling (32.Jameel Cooper 88th minute), 10.Hashim Arcia (15.Shaquille Bertrand 74th minute), 13.Marvin Jones, 17.Curtis Gonzales, 18.Reon Moore, 37.Cassim Keller (20.Levi Serries 64th minute), 39.Akil Morris, 99.Jerwyn Balthazar.
Unused substitutes: 25.Sheldon Clarke (GK); 2.Glynn Franklyn, 12.Jemel Sebro, 16.Kellon Serrette.
Coach: Marvin Gordon
Referee: Nicholai Nyron
(Sunday 29 October 2017)
Club Sando vs San Juan Jabloteh, 3:30pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Central FC, 3:30pm, St. Augustine Secondary School Ground.
(Tuesday 31 October 2017)
Police FC vs Club Sando, 3:30pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium (Training Field);
Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia United, 3:30pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium (Main Field);
North East Stars vs St. Ann’s Rangers, 4pm, Arima Velodrome;
San Juan Jabloteh vs W Connection, 5pm, Barataria Oval;
Point Fortin Civic vs Defence Force, 6pm, Mahaica Oval.