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Sat, Aug

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Shall we dance?: Ma Pau defender Trevin Caesar (left) and W Connection's Dominican Republic striker Jonathan Fana Frias seem to be enjoying a football embrace here. Ma Pau won this First Citizens Cup match 3-1 on Friday night at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, booting out the defending champions in the process. -Photo: Dave Persad.Friday was a bad night for South teams, and so two East sides--San Juan Jabloteh and Joe Public--will now contest the First Citizens Cup semi-finals on September 25 against North outfits Defence Force and Ma Pau.

Five-time defending champions W Connection made their fastest-ever exit from the competition when they were beaten 3-1 at the quarter-final stage by Ma Pau at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium on Friday night. Winners in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, Connection limped out the 2009 competition after conceding two late goals from Rennie Britto (77nd) and Anthony Wolfe (90th) against Ma Pau.

St Vincent and the Grenadines striker Shandell Samuel had the young Ma Pau side ahead in just the 16th minute before the defending champions pulled level at 1-1 through midfielder Hughtun Hector in the 51st. At that point, W Connection would have been expected to take charge, but instead it was the young Ma Pau team who found goals.

Following Connection out of the competition were another southern side, United Petrotrin, who lost 2-1 to Jabloteh. Jason Marcano's brace (45th & 60th)) had Jabloteh cruising before Colombian Louis Lima got a 90th minute consolation for Petrotrin.

At the Marvin Lee Stadium, Caledonia AIA midfielder Keon Daniel must have rued crashing his 66th minute penalty kick against the crossbar, after Defence Force rallied from two goals down to beat his team 3-2 when substitute Richard Roy got the winner in the 90th minute.

Elsewhere, Joe Public were the easiest winners, beating St Ann's Rangers 5-1 at the Marvin Lee Stadium MLS).

Rangers are struggling. But, they were expected to put up a better showing after going down fighting 5-3 against Joe Public two months ago. And on Friday night , they had enough clear chances to have escaped with a high-scoring draw at the MLS. But lack of confidence, poor finishing and a square, slow defence did not at all serve them well.

Joe Public were ahead in just the 16th minute when Hayden Tinto finished the job well after taking a short pass from striker Kerry Baptiste. And the latter got on the scoresheet soon after, when he finished off a cross from left-midfielder Gorean "Ratty" Highley in the 17th minute. Rangers made some inroads when Stephon Morris put the ball inside the far post to make it 2-1 in the 25th minute. Highley then met Tinto's cross with a delicate header in the 31st to guide the ball past the finger-tips of diving keeper Fortunato Valcourt to put Joe Public up 3-1 at the half. Then, Rangers began to squander chances.

Public keeper Alejandro Figueroa committed too early and was stranded on the ground when Chiston Thomas still passed the ball straight to the Colombian goalie. And before the match ended, Rangers' Josimar Belgrave also failed to finish off two chances with only Figueroa to beat.

Meanwhile, Tinto scored the goal of the match when he connected first time with a sweet volley from Michah Lewis' cross in the 59th to carry the score to 4-1. And after setting up Tinto mere seconds after coming on, Lewis also put in a low cross behind the defence and found Baptiste, who crisply hit a hard, low shot which burst straight through the net. Even as late as the 90th minute, Belgrave was picked out by a cross to the far post but did not even trouble the Joe Public keeper. That was the story of Rangers' night.

TEAMS

W Connection—Miguel Lloyd, Renato Periera (capt) (Yellow), Kern Cupid, Clyde Leon, Jonathan Frias, Romauld Aguillera, Nickcolson Thomas, Eder Gilmar Arias, Hughtun Hector, Andrei Pacheco (Christian Viveros 75th), Matthew Bartholomew (William Da Silva Oliveira 69th).
 
Ma Pau SC—Jefferson George, Lyndon Andrews (capt), Marc Leslie, Rennie Britto, Shandell Samuel (Yellow), Anthony Wolfe, Sayid Freitas, Kerry Noray (Aquil Selby 89th), Akeem Benjamin, Dwayne James (Yellow), Reshad Wint (Sean Cooper 83rd).

FIRST CITIZENS CUP QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS:

Ma Pau 3 (Shandell Samuel 16th; Rennie Britto 77nd; Anthony Wolfe 90th) v W Connection 1 (Hughtun Hector 51st).

San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Jason Marcano 45th & 60th) v United Petrotrin 1 (Luis Lima 0th).

Joe Public 5 (Hayden Tinto 10th & 59th; Kerry Baptiste 17th & 85th; Gorian Highley 31st) v St Ann's Rangers 1 (Stephon Morris - 25th).

Caledonia AIA 2 (Keyon Edwards 7th; Keon Daniel 20th-Pen) v Defence Force 3 (Kevon Carter 54th; Devon Jorsling 62th-Pen; Richard Roy 90th).