San Juan Jabloteh were left with their heads in their hands a second time in a row, letting it all slip at the death against visiting Club Sando at the Barataria Oval on Saturday.
Sando meanwhile, celebrated their third straight win with a 2-1 come-from-behind result to move two spots up into third but level on 10 points with Jabloteh and three points adrift of leaders W Connection and North East Stars.
Jabloteh had taken the lead through well-executed strike from an unlikely source, Jevon Morris, but Akim Armstrong quickly levelled the visitors in the first half.
It was not until deep into stoppage time, however, that substitute Nical Stephens stood out the visiting hero after his cross-cum-shot was spilled into the net by Jabloteh goalie Javon Sample to send Sando owner Edison “Eddie” Dean into wild celebrations.
Both sides had cancelled out each other for long periods with the exception of a couple half chances falling to Jabloteh forward Julio Noel and former San Juan Kings winger Tyrone Charles and Armstrong with ambitious attempts on the other end.
The duo though, combined on 38 minutes to level Sando when Armstrong headed past Sample off a right side Charles corner.
Jabloteh had three minutes earlier taken the lead when Morris, from the right of the area, sent a powerful drive past goalkeeper Kelvin Henry and into the far bottom corner of the Sando net following a move involving captain Damian Williams and Vurlon Mills.
Jabloteh head coach Keith Jeffrey, looking for the lead again, replaced Aaquil Campbell, Julio Noel and Jesus Perez with Jairo Lombardo, Kadeem Hutchinson and Kennedy Hinkson, all in the second half.
Lombardo, a Panamanian winger, had the best effort for Jabloteh when his 30-yard left footed strike flashed inches away from Henry’s top corner with fifteen minutes left.
Sando though, would snatch the victory in the third and final minute of stoppage time through the ambition of Stephens.
Angus Eve had replaced Kevon Piper with the Vincentian utility player with stoppage time left and it proved a masterstroke for the Sando coach, who made earlier changes with Adan Noel and Keyon Edwards replacing Armstrong and Keron Cornwall and three times earlier should have had the go-ahead goal.
Edwards failed to make contact to Adan’s low feed across the goalmouth in the 82nd minute, and sixty seconds later the latter saw his strike from the right brilliantly matched by a fully-stretched Sample. Edwards later returned the favour but Adan headed wide at the goalmouth.
Nevertheless, Sando celebrated a third straight win, while Defence Force and Morvant Caledonia United remain winless in five, with their latest a goalless draw down at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Saturday.
The Pro League will break next weekend, on the request of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), to allow for the national team’s preparation for a July 26 international friendly against Ecuador in Guayaquil.
Pro League action will, however, resume on the weekend of July 28-29.
Defence Force 0 vs Morvant Caledonia United 0, Larry Gomes Stadium;
San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Jevon Morris 35’) vs Club Sando 2 (Akim Armstrong 38’, Nical Stephens 90’+3), at Barataria Oval.
San Juan Jabloteh: 1.Javon Sample (GK), 3.Josiah Trimmingham, 6.Akeem Benjamin, 11.Damian Williams (Capt.), 12.Kion Joseph, 13.Julio Noel (22.Kadeem Hutchinson 79th minute), 15.Jesus Perez (23.Kennedy Hinkson 80th minute), 17.Vurlon Mills, 18.Jevon Morris, 20.Aaquil Campbell (16.Jairo Lombardo 67th minute), 27.Nathan Lewis.
Unused substitutes: 5.Shakiyl Phillip, 21.Domique Douglas, 30.Shemel Louison.
Coach: Keith Jeffrey
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK), 6.Kemuel Rivers, 8.Kevon Piper (5.Nical Stephens 89th minute), 10.Keron Cornwall (15.Keyon Edwards 67th minute), 11.Akim Armstrong (35.Adan Noel 80th minute), 13.Tyrone Charles, 16.Leslie Joel Russell, 17.Jared London (Capt.), 18.Trevin Latapy, 23.Nicholas Thomas, 27.Jay-son Joseph.
Unused substitutes: 4.Rondell Payne, 9.Akeem Redhead, 12.Michael Basdeo, 33.Enrique Changiah (GK).
Coach: Angus Eve
Referee: Keilon Bacchus