Defending Digicel Pro League champions Central FC moved within one point of current leaders Defence Force after a 3-0 win over Police FC on Friday night.
Striker Marcus Joseph scored twice in the Couva Sharks’ second half scoring spree in the second game of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium after Defence Force were held to a 0-0 stalemate at home to ninth-positioned Point Fortin Civic at the Mahaica Oval.
The result in Point Fortin put Defence Force at 32 points, while, with maximum points earned in Couva, Central, who ended with 10 men after a second yellow card sending off of captain Jamal Jack, took their tally to 31 points.
W Connection are third with 26 points and will travel to the Larry Gomes Stadium on Sunday against fourth-positioned North East Stars from 3:30 p.m.
Joseph, with the help of some luck, fired in a laser on 52 minutes to beat Police goalkeeper Keinol Paul for a 1-0 Central lead from 25 yards out.
Joseph, who was denied by Paul in the 38th minute and lifted another attempt overbar three minutes later, attempted to find Ataulla Guerra on the left, but the intercepted pass was back into the path of the Central forward who capitalised from distance.
A minute later Paul denied Joseph a second, putting a rebound effort behind for a corner after defender Dexter Alleyne had cleared off the line to keep out an overhead attempt by Jason Marcano.
But on 55 minutes Central grabbed a 2-0 cushion when Tobago-born winger Darren Mitchell fired past Paul from inside the area following a Guerra feed.
Police had matched Central in a keenly contested first half, but crumbled in the second and the third goal came in bizarre fashion.
Central goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams launched a free-kick from midway in his own half in the 67th minute and the ball, to some extent, skidded off the head of Joseph before entering the Police net for a 3-0 score and Joseph’s eight league goal this season.
It was the final blow for Police, slumping to their third consecutive loss, although maintaining fifth position with 21 points.
Central, though, lost defensive midfielder Jack to his second yellow card with ten minutes left following a dangerous tackle on Police forward Makesi Lewis.
In the earlier contest at the Couva venue, utility player Devon Modeste earned Club Sando a hard-fought 1-0 win over Morvant Caledonia United, quelling the visitors attempt of a third straight win.
Modeste netted on 65 minutes against his past employers for his fourth league goal this season, but it was the heroics of goalkeeper Kelvin Henry that really stood in Caledonia’s way.
Henry produced excellent saves to deny Kareem Joseph on either side of the half and Akim Armstrong on the hour mark, all after Caledonia’s Gregory President had clipped the crossbar with a headed attempt off a Joseph corner in the 26th minute, and four minutes later Joseph had sent a free-kick just wide of the bottom corner.
Caledonia, too, had their goalkeeper Marvin Phillip to praise for the least embarrassing score-line.
The Trinidad and Tobago goalie made a point blank save just four minutes into the game to put a Kevon “Showtime” Woodley attempt out for a corner, and in the 36th minute Phillip made back-to-back saves to deny Akeem Humphrey and Bradley Nestor, respectively.
In the end, Sando maintained seventh position with an improved 17 points, four points ahead of eight positioned Caledonia, and three points behind sixth positioned San Juan Jabloteh, who must tackle cellar-placed St. Ann’s Rangers from 3:30 p.m. at the Larry Gomes Stadium today (Saturday).
Morvant Caledonia United 0 vs Club Sando 1 (Devon Modeste 65’); at the Ato Boldon Stadium
Central FC 3 (Marcus Joseph 52’, 67’, Darren Mitchell 55’) vs Police FC 0; at the Ato Boldon Stadium
Point Fortin Civic 0 vs Defence Force 0; at Mahaica Oval
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Marvin Phillip; 3.Ronaldo Bailey, 4.Ordell Flemming, 7.Stephan David (22.Jameel Neptune 66th minute), 10.Sheldon Holder (20.Jamaal Harvey 83rd minute), 12.Kareem Joseph (Capt.), 15.Otev Lawrence, 16.Antonio Joseph, 17.Akim Armstrong, 24.Gregory President (5.Shawndell Augustus 75th minute), 28.Pernell Schultz
Unused substitutes: 11.Abdallah Phillips, 19.Nathaniel Brown, 23.Shaquille Edwards, 26.Triffon Brown
Coach: Jerry Moe
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry; 6.Kemuel Rivers, 7.Akeem Humphrey, 10.Kevon Neaves, 13.Kern Cupid, 15.Amrit Gildharry (12.Jack Weedon 77th minute), 17.Jared London, 18.Shane Hospidales (22.Corneal Thomas 40th minute), 16.Kevon Woodley, 24.Devon Modeste, 35.Bradley Nestor
Unused substitutes: 19.Ryan Frederick, 33.Alexei Julien (GK), 21.Kerron Mitchell, 26.Shaquille Holder
Coach: Anthony Streete
Match Referee: Kevin Smart
Central FC: 21.Jan Michael Williams; 4.Andre Ettienne, 5.Akeem Benjamin, 7.Jason Marcano (8.Sean De Silva 82nd minute), 11.Darren Mitchell (6.Kerry Baptiste 84th minute), 12.Jamal Jack (Capt.) (Y+Y=Red Card), 24.Kevon Villaroel, 45.Ataulla Guerra, 99.Marcus Joseph, 25.Elijah Manners, 26.Jem Gordon (14.Nicholas Dillon 76th minute)
Unused substitutes: 2.Elton John, 3.Keion Goodridge, 1.Javon Sample (GK), 30.Akel Clarke (GK)
Coach: Dale Saunders
Police FC: 22.Keinol Paul; 5.Anton Hutchinson, 19.Jibri Mc David, 7.Clevon Mc Fee (16.Keon Wilson 70th minute), 9.Makesi Lewis, 10.Kareem Freitas, 11.Kadeem Riley (13.Ricardo Peltier 62nd minute), 14.Kaaron Foster (8.Kurdell Brathwaite 60th minute), 17.Dexter Alleyne, 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (Capt.)
Unused substitutes: 1.Akeemo Williams (GK), 2.Jasimar Ashers, 3.Kadeem Boyce, 15.Dylon King
Coach: Richard Hood
Match referee: Gyasi Mc Donald