Club Sando produced their biggest Pro League win margin of the season on Sunday, beating San Juan Jabloteh 5-0 to move within two points of second-positioned W Connection with just four games left.
North East Stars leads the ladder with 33 points—six points clear of Connection (27 points), while Sando (25 points), the Angus Eve coached side ambitious of CONCACAF status, are hoping for a top-two PL finish which secures CONCACAF Champions League qualifying spots.
Akim Armstrong and Keron Cornwall celebrated their fifth and fourth league goals of the current campaign to cushion Sando before the break thanks to Michael Basdeo who frolicked with a goal and two assists before late substitutes Akeem Redhead and Adan Noel completed the comprehensive win.
The Oranges join Central FC, 5-0 winners over Point Fortin Civic on Jun. 23, for the second biggest league win margin of the season after North East Stars, who whipped the three-time defending PL champions, Central, 6-0 on Sep. 22.
Central’s miserable run this season continued on Sunday, needing a Sean De Silva equaliser three minutes into stoppage-time to hold bottom-placed MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers to a 2-2 draw at St. Augustine Secondary School Ground.
Defender Aaquil Selby had levelled the hosts in the 55th minute from the penalty for his first league since joining Rangers from Jabloteh in mid-season before teammate and forward Xae-Pierre De Fou made it 2-1 on 82 minutes—all after Jason Marcano had given the seventh-positioned Couva Sharks the lead on 10 minutes.
Central, who, like Jabloteh have pointed to financial struggles for on-field performances this season, have won just two matches in their last 15 games in all competitions.
Jabloteh, who last Tuesday’s defeated Rangers 2-0 for their first win in five league fixtures, fell behind against Sando after just twelve minutes.
Armstrong casually rolled the ball into the back of Javon Sample’s net after meeting a defence-splitting Basdeo pass and rounding the Jabloteh ‘keeper in the box.
Basdeo produced another delightful feed to put Cornwall through on goal behind defender Jevon Morris, and Cornwall, who like Armstrong were still fresh from scoring in a 4-2 league win over Civic last Tuesday, completed the move with a simple finish past Sample for a 2-0 lead.
Sando were close to improving the lead on three separate occasions with Trevin Latapy and Armstrong hitting just wide, and the upright denying Keyon Edwards.
Sample, who had thwarted a Jayson Joseph attempt early in the second period, produced a top drawer save ten minutes into the second half to match a swerving right-footed cracker from Basdeo.
Basdeo attempted a third assist in the 66 minute as Sando continued to look the better of the two sides, but Edwards was a fraction too late on the winger’s low cross from the left and unable to put the ball on target.
Basdeo finally had his name on the scoresheet for his second league goal of the season from point-blank range in the 73rd minute to put the score at 3-0. Basdeo was picked out free by Cornwall’s low cross from the right to score on an exposed Jabloteh net, redeeming himself after hitting overbar on a similar opportunity two minutes after Sando’s opening item on another cross from Cornwall.
Sando, though, were far from finished. Two more goals before the final whistle followed to complete the 5-0 win.
Redhead, who replaced Basdeo with three minutes regular time left, celebrated his first league goal for Sando with a power left-footed strike past Sample in the 90th minute at the end of a counterattack through another substitute, Noel, who had replaced Armstrong in the 74th minute.
Noel then wrapped up the scoring in the third minute of stoppage-time, firing past the Jabloteh goalie from inside the right of the box after hitting wide on a similar opportunity moments earlier.
Sando will next face Police FC from 3:30pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training field on Tuesday in search of three more league points and a booster ahead of Friday’s clash against seven-time First Citizens Cup champions W Connection in the 2017 semi-finals.
Connection, meanwhile, must visit Jabloteh on Tuesday from 5pm at Barataria Oval.
Club Sando 5 (Akim Armstrong 12’, Keron Cornwall 20’, Michael Basdeo 73’, Akeem Redhead 90’, Adan Noel 90’+3) vs San Juan Jabloteh 0, at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
St. Ann’s Rangers 2 (Aaquil Selby 52’ pen., Xae-Pierre De Fou 82’) vs Central FC 2 (Jason Marcano 10’, Sean De Silva 90’+3), at St. Augustine Secondary School Ground.
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK); 5.Nical Stephens, 6.Kemuel Rivers, 10.Keron Cornwall, 11.Akim Armstrong (35.Adan Noel 74th minute), 12.Michael Basdeo (9.Akeem Redhead 87th minute), 15.Keyon Edwards (23.Nicholas Thomas 81st minute), 17.Jarod London, 18.Trevin Latapy (Yellow Card), 27.Jay-son Joseph, 38.Josiah Trimmingham.
Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK); 8.Kevon Piper, 13.Tyrone Charles, 16.Leslie Joel Russell.
Coach: Angus Eve
San Juan Jabloteh: 1.Javon Sample (GK); 3.DeJon Waldropt, 4.Nkosi David, 7.Elijah Manners (Capt.), 15.Jesus Perez, 16.Jairo Lombardo, 17.Sean Bonval (25.Shakiyl Phillip 46th minute), 18.Jevon Morris, 19.Shawndel Augustus (12.Keron Bethelmy 59th minute), 22.Kadeem Hutchinson, 27.Nathan Lewis (23.Kennedy Hinkson 46th minute).
Unused substitutes: 30.Shemel Louison (GK); 13.Julio Noel, 21.Domique Douglas, 11.Damian Williams.
Coach: Keith Jeffrey