It's over now. Giantkillers Joe Public (Super League) made a definite impact but their terrific Toyota Classic run was ended by DirecTV North East Stars on Friday night.
Having knocked out two T&T Pro League teams on the way to the semi-finals, the "Super Leaguer" met a mountain too high to climb when they were comfortably defeated 3-1 by Stars in the opening match of the Classic semis at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Arima
Stars are having their best season in years and have now reached three cup finals. Already winners of the Lucozade Goal Shield, they lost the FA Trophy final by a 1-0 margin to San Juan Jabloteh, and will now play "Casino Boys" Ma Pau in Friday's Toyota Classic final at Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya .
The Casino Boys participated in a terrific second semi-final in which they knocked out FA Trophy champions Jabloteh 5-4 on penalty kicks.
Michael McComie-trained Ma Pau showed real grit, rallying from two goals down to level at 2-2 by the end of 90 minutes.
Jabloteh, coached by Englishman Terry Fenwick, were leading through goals from Hector Sam (7th) and Ataullah Guerra (56th) when Ma Pau began to fight back.
Veteran Sam had headed Jabloteh in front after meeting Jason Marcano's corner kick. Jabloteh dominated midfield and were further ahead in the 56th when Guerra powerfully put away a square pass.
Later, energetic Jabloteh missed further chances and paid the price.
Former Jabloteh right back Cyd Gray began their demise in the 60th when his speculative cross eluded everyone including keeper Cleon John and hit the inside of the far post. And substitute striker Shane Calderon brought Ma Pau level at 2-2 when getting to Rennie Britto's cross and blasting his shot past John.
Former Trinidad and Tobago goalie Clayton Ince then showed he still has the agility, even at age 38, when he made consecutive saves from Jabloteh's Marvin Oliver and Johan Peltier during the penalty shootout.
Earlier on the night, Joe Public were not embarrassed but for the entire second session never looked like pulling level after trailing the "Grande Stars" 2-1 at the halfway stage.
The first Super League team to reach the last four in the six-year history of the Toyota Classic, Joe Public were seeking to go all the way. But Stars were deservedly ahead in the 20th minute when Jamaican striker Sean Frazer steered home Anthony Wolfe's cross.
Midfielder Tyrone Charles had the young Eastern Lions level at 1-1 in the 25th by touching the ball to the far corner past goalie Michael Woods.
Stars went into the second half leading 2-1 after striker Wolfe converted a penalty kick in the 42nd minute. Referee Lee Davis adjudged that Wolfe had been fouled in the penalty area, although Joe Public argued the striker had dived.
Afterwards the Eastern Lions never looked likely to pull level. Stars held territorial advantage and came close to scoring again when central defender Charles Pollard planted a powerful, downward header from a corner kick, but the ball hit the turf and bounced over the crossbar.
North East Stars finally took the game away from Joe Public's reach when striker Gary Glasgow made the score 3-1 by guiding Wolfe's long throw to the far corner.
It was the 77th minute when Glasgow scored from around the six-yard box, but even with some time to go, Joe Public never looked a further threat.
2011 Toyota Classic Semi-Final Results:
North East Stars 3 (Sean Fraser 20, Anthony Wolfe 42-Pen, Gary Glasgow 77) v Joe Public (Super League) 1 (Tyrone Charles 25th).
San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Hector Sam 7, Ataullah Guerra 56) v Ma Pau SC 2 (Cyd Gray 60, Shane Calderon 78).
After Penalties: Ma Pau 5 (Rennie Britto, Coneal Thomas, Shandel Samuel, Kerry Noray, Aquil Selby) v San Juan Jabloteh 4 (Elijah Manners, Mikhil Awai, Jason Marcano, Christan Thomas).
Ma Pau snatches Toyota Final spot against Jabloteh.
It boiled down to kicks from the penalty spot after a thrilling 2-2 affair between San Juan Jabloteh and Ma Pau SC in the second semi-final of the 2010-2011 Toyota Classic at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Friday night.
And in the end, it was the Woodbrook based Ma Pau that advanced into the Final with a 5-4 penalty win thanks to two late saves from goalkeeper Clayton Ince who also saved his side from the spot in the quarterfinal round against Caledonia AIA.
Ince denied Marvin Oliver and Johan Peltier in consecutive saves for a comeback victory after Oliver had a chance to win it for the San Juan club.
Ma Pau advanced to meet DIRECTV North East Stars in the Final on Friday 25 February at the Marvin Lee Stadium from 8pm. The Sangre Grande club defeated Joe Public’s Super League outfit 3-1 in the first semi-final at the Malabar venue.
In the second clash fans were at the edge of their seats for the entire match applauding what was later described as the “final of the tournament”.
Jabloteh took a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute of play when Jason Marcano’s corner from the left looped over the Ma Pau defence, even the gloves of Ince to find a free Hector Sam, and the former England based forward made no mistake heading into the net.
The Terry Fenwick coached Jabloteh suffered a knock in defence when teenaged centreback Sheldon Bateau picked up an injury to his right ankle in the 16th minute after making a desperate blockout on Shandel Samuel.
Bateau struggled to continue and was replaced by Joel Leslie Russell a couple minutes later, however Jabloteh continued to dominate proceedings with domination in the middle of the park with Marvin Oliver and Ataullah Geurra in fine form.
In the 56th minute Guerra doubled Jabloteh’s 2-0 when he was gifted with a square pass inside the area and took his time to place a powerful shot into the net which was barely guarded after the Ma Pau defence was left in disarray by the buildup.
The San Juan club continued to look the better, but too many openings were squandered and later allowed a comeback by the Michael McComie coached Ma Pau and eventually the game.
Former Jabloteh player Cyd Gray reduced the deficit 2-1 in the 60th minute when he whipped in a low ball from the left which defeated the legs of everyone and slipped into the far upright.
Ma Pau then leveled the scores 2-2 in the 78th minute when substitute Shane Calderon met Rennie Britto's cross from the right which defeated at the far post and knocked a shot under goalkeeper John.
The match took a terrible twist to the end with a number of crunching tackles and a number of yellow cards distributed by referee Neil Brizan.
Stars dump Public to reach Toyota Final
DIRECTV North East Stars reached a third knockout Final this season when they defeated Joe Public’s Super League outfit 3-1 on Friday night at the Larry Gomes Stadium in the semi-final round of the 2010-2011 Toyota Classic.
The Shurland David coached Sangre Grande Pro League club which won the 2010 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and were defeated finalist in the FA Trophy booked its third Final with an opening goal by Jamaican forward Sean Fraser and further goals by Anthony Wolfe—who infleuenced all three goals—and Gary Glasgow.
The Stars will meet Ma Pau SC in the Final on Friday 25 February at the Marvin Lee Stadium from 8pm. Ma Pau defeated San Juan Jabloteh 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the second semi-final at the Malabar venue.
But for North East Stars, making Friday’s Final began with a 20th minute item from Fraser who made an athletic stretch to direct Anthony Wolfe's powerful cross from the right past goalkeeper Dwane Baird for a 1-0 advantage.
The Stars suffered a hiccup five minutes later when Joe Public equalized 1-1 through Tyrone Charles who's flicked effort from the right which started from a quick attack on the right left goalkeeper Michael Woods beaten at his far netting.
However the ‘Grande Boys’ were back in front 2-1 in the 42nd minute Wolfe converted comfortably past Baird from the penalty spot after winning the spot-kick himself.
Referee Lee Davis blew his while and pointed to the spot after Wolfe went down inside the area to the disgust of Joe Public captain Jamel Lewis and fellow defender Dominic Hutchinson who protested in vein that it was a dive by the North East forward.
Wolfe was involved again in the 65th minute this time making one of his long throw-ins which Charles Pollard headed down towards goal, however goalkeeper Baird pulled off a great reflex save to keep the attempt out.
North East Stars then put the match out of reach, comforting themselves 3-1 in the 77th minute in a play that started from another Wolfe long throw-in which was flicked on by Kevaughn Connell before Gary Glasgow headed in goal with the Joe Public defence left beaten.
It was the end of the road for Joe Public’s surprise run in the Toyota Classic reaching the semi-final stage—the furthest a Super League club reached since the competition began back in 2005.
As for North East Stars, their journey which began with a 1-0 win against T&TEC in the Round of 16 followed by a 2-1 win over Defence Force in the quarterfinals and Friday's 3-1 win over Joe Public, a chance of lifting a second trophy is one week away.
San Juan Jabloteh—Cleon John, Marvin Oliver (capt), Christan Thomas, Anton Hutchinson, Jason Marcano, Kennedy Hinkson, Hector Sam, Sheldon Bateau (Joel Leslie Russell 20th), Hector Sam (Elijah Manners 67th), Mikhil Awai (Yellow), Ataullah Guerra (Yellow), Jamal Jack (Yellow).
Ma Pau SC—Clayton Ince, Lyndon Andrews (capt) (Yellow), Cyd Gray (Yellow), Seon Power (Trevin Caesar 65th), Leslie Fitzpatrick (Shane Calderon 65th), Dwane James (Elton John 84th), Rennie Britto, Coneal Thomas, Shandel Samuel, Kerry Noray, Aquil Selby.
Joe Public (Super League)—Dwane Baird, Jamel Lewis (capt), Andre Phillip, Dominic Hutchinson, Robby Sookhai, Dorion Robinson, Keston Henry (Julien Landeau 55th), Tyrone Charles, Devon King (Yellow) (Othieno Charles 72nd), Donavon Derrick (Quincy Charles 80th), Keston Jordan.
North East Stars—Michael Woods, Charles Pollard (capt), Keryn Navarro, Akeil Guevara, Anthony Wolfe, Sean Fraser, Gary Glasgow (Yellow) (Randolph Jerome 83rd), Carey Harris, Glenton Wolfe (Kevaughn Connell 50th), Kendall Velox (Kaydion Gabriel 66th), Jeromie Williams.