With the exception of defending champions W Connection, the prowess of Defence Force, San Juan Jabloteh and Caledonia AIA were beyond their Super League opponents when the 2014 Toyota Classic got on the way on Saturday with the preliminary round.
Devorn Jorsling bagged a hat-trick for Defence Force, netting in the 30th, 45th and 69th minutes, while teammates Kerry Joseph, Jemel Sebro and Darryl Trim added one each in the 53rd, 77th and 81st minutes respectively to send Palo Seco packing.
Defence Force's Super League outfit also felt the brunt of the Pro League, falling 3-0 against Caledonia, in the first match of a double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
And the scoreline could have been richer had Dominican forward Julian Wade put away just a couple of his chances, one of which he shockingly hit wide of an open net in the 16th minute.
Nathan Lewis, who was denied by the upright once on either half and even had a strike cleared off the line by Super League's Defence Force's Dwight Scott in the second period, broke the soldiers in the 32nd minute for a 1-0 advantage by blasting his strike past goalkeeper Dillon Prince.
It was not until the 76th minute that Caledonia got to its second item for a 2-0 cushion with Pernell Schultz, who earlier struck the crossbar, deservingly the scorer.
Substitute Kyle Adams then sealed the 3-0 win in the 82nd minute to send Caledonia through to the quarterfinals.
Simultaneously at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Caledonia's crosstown Pro League rivals and present Digicel Pro League leaders San Juan Jabloteh were also celebrating a Super League scalp in that of Tobago's 1976 FC Phoenix.
The Tobagonians trailed 1-0 from as early as the 17th minute when Simon Nedd scored an own goal by knocking in a Brendon Boucaud rebound which crashed off the crossbar.
Jabloteh followed-up with a first half double by Troy Moses, netting in the 31st and 40th minutes, for a comfortable 3-0 lead before the break.
In the 60th minute Jabloteh failed to improve the advantage when it seemed that the San Juan club’s Tobagonian forward Andell Noray felt a bit of sympathy for his former club when he struck the crossbar from the penalty spot.
But teammate Johan Peltier showed to mercy by making it 4-0 on the 69th minute to complete the scoring.
The Pro League, however, had one loss on the night, after 2005, 2011 and 2013 Toyota Classic winners W Connection fell 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark against Super League leaders WASA FC following a 1-1 draw.
Trinidad and Tobago's all-time national team top scorer and 2006 World Cup forward Stern John, a 74th minute substitute for WASA, grabbed the glory when he scored the winning kick against a side that really booted themselves out of the tournament.
Connection's Hashim Arcia sent his kick on the third onto the crossbar and on the fourth teammate Neil Benjamin Jr. skied his hit over bar as the finishing problem that marred the Pro League team’s regulation time performance continued.
Connection had taken an early 1-0 lead in the 7th minute of play when right full-back Alvin Jones smashed in a right-footer past a fully spread goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel.
But despite dominating on chances Connection failed to find the back of the net again after ninety minutes plus stoppage time and had only themselves to blame.
Jones got close to a second in the 37th minute when his powerful free kick took a deflection to fly inches wide of Samuel's goal.
And before that teammates Tremain Shayn Paul and Akeem Garcia were also just wide of the target.
Connection also lost the advantage early inside the second period when former Trinidad and Tobago international Gary Glasgow pulled WASA level, 1-1, in the 49th minute with a delicate finish from the top of the six yard area.
Three minutes later WASA thought they had the lead when Mario Kissoon found the back of the net on a second bite from close up.
However referee Neal Brizan disallowed the goal and awarded Connection a free-kick, ruling that goalkeeper Julani Archibald was fouled in the process.
Kissoon was later replaced by Stern John with just sixteen minutes left and on his first involvement, seconds onto the pitch, the former Major League Soccer (MLS) star and England-based forward had an attempt at goal, hitting just wide from distance. But that was it for his involvement until stepping up for the winning hit on kicks from the penalty spot.
As for the Stuart Charles-Fevrier coached-Connection, sporting a new kit – arguably the best looking uniforms ever to be worn in Trinidad - failed to execute on the night..
Paul troubled the back support of the netting in the 67th minute when his effort from distance flew inches wide of the target.
Substitute Jerrel Britto also sent an effort inches wide of the target in the 81st minute and four minutes later Samuel was forced into a low save to deny Paul.
But the most disappointing misses came in stoppage time when substitute forward Keon Boucher struck high over bar from close up after Samuel blocked out a stinger of a free-kick by Jones, and then at the death Britto also spilled over bar with the goal at his mercy after making contact to a low cross from the right by Jones. In the end Connection paid the price of exit.
The preliminary round will continue on Sunday 23 November when St. Ann’s Rangers travel to the Mahaica Oval against Point Fortin Civic from 3 pm in the only Pro League tie of the round, while Police FC will welcome last season’s semi-finalists Guaya United of the Super League from 4 pm at the St. James Barracks.
Due to unforeseen conditions at the Ato Boldon Stadium following heavy rainfall, last Friday’s preliminary round clashes between recently crowned First Citizens Cup champions Central FC against Super League outfit and Toyota Classic debutants La Horquetta SA; and last season’s defeated finalists Club Sando against former winners North East Stars will be contested next weekend.
Toyota Classic 2014 Saturday’s Preliminary Round
San Juan Jabloteh 4 (Simon Nedd own goal 17', Troy Moses 31', 40') vs 1976 FC Phoenix 0
Petrotrin Palo Seco 0 vs Defence Force (Pro League) 6 (Devorn Jorsling 30', 45'+, 69', Kerry Joseph 53', Jemel Sebro 77', Darryl Trim 81')
Caledonia AIA 3 (Nathan Lewis 32', Pernell Schultz 76', Kyle Adams 82') vs Defence Force (Super League) 0
WASA FC 1 (Gary Glasgow 49') vs W Connection 1 (Alvin Jones 7')
Pt Fortin Civic 3 (Marcus Joseph 37', Andre Toussaint 58', Andrei Pacheco 62') vs St Ann’s Rangers 0
Kicks from the penalty mark
W Connection 3 WASA FC 4
Alvin Jones (scored) Gary Glasgow (scored)
Mekeil Williams (scored) Dorean Daniel (scored)
Hashim Arcia (crossbar) Glen Walker (over bar)
Neil Benjamin Jr. (over bar) Ethan Robinson (Scored)
Gerard Williams (scored) Stern John (scored)
Caledonia AIA: 33. Zane Coker, 21. Densill Theobald, 2. Taylor Benjamin, 8. Keron Bethelmy, 10. Hayden Tinto (4. Conrad Smith 71st), 12. Kareem Joseph, 13. Julian Wade (15. Franz Husbands 71st) (31. Kyle Adams 77th), 16. Pierre Hitner, 22. Jameel Neptune, 27. Nathan Lewis, 28. Pernell Schultz
Unused substitutes: 1. Shemel Louison (GK), 9. Keyon Edwards, 14. Keon Russell, 31. Kyle Adams, 32. Kyle Bartholomew
Assistant Coach: Jerry Moe
Defence Force (Super League): 27. Dillon Prince, 8. Christopher Durity (C), 4. Keron Bruno (Ronald St Louis 67th), 6. Kevon Blackman, 9. Michael Edwards,14. Dwight Scott, 15. Tevin Eve (26. Khalid Crichlow 83rd), 16. Dexter Thornhill, 19. Javon Neptune, 20. Brandon Fountain (Jamil Bailey 66th), 22. Jamaal Goodridge
Unused substitutes: 40. Justice Morris (GK), 3. Jamal Maughn, 28. Christian Baptiste, 47. Aaron Lester
Coach: Kelshall Alexander
WASA FC: 34. Glenroy Samuel, 2. Damien Pompey (21. Dominic Hutchinson 72nd), 5. Akil Harley, 8. Kevon Henry, 15. Cleveland Cambridge, 20. Dillon Peterson (18. Dorian Daniel 80th), 22. Justin Garcia, 23. Gary Glasgow, 26. Glen Walker, 28. Ethan Robinson, 6. Mario Kissoon (25. Stern John 74th)
Unused substitutes: 1. Michael Woods (GK), 9. Kareem Freitas, 10. Jahham Hernandez, 18. Dorian Daniel, 19. Duran Felician
Coach: Marvin Faustin
W Connection: 18. Julani Archibald, 3. Gerard Williams (C), 2. Kurt Frederick, 5. Mekeil Williams, 10. Yefer Steven Lozano (Jerrel Britto 64th), 11. Tremain Shayn Paul, 14. Hashim Arcia, 26. Maurice Ford, 29. Akeem Garcia (23. Keon Boucher 68th), 39. Alvin Jones, 65. Neil Benjamin Jr.
Unused substitutes: 12. Jerrel Britto, 13. Devaughn Elliot, Anselm Jackson, 19. Leslie Joel Russell, 22. Aquelius Sylvester (GK), 23. Keon Boucher, 36. Triston Hodge
Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier.