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Defence Force FC Brent Sam (L) holds off Athletic Club PoS' Michel Poon Angeron during the Concacaf Caribbean Cup at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Thursday, September 28th 2023 in Port of Spain. The match ended 1-1. PHOTO: Daniel Prentice

SECOND-HALF substitute Brent Sam gave Defence Force a late equaliser against AC Port of Spain in Group A of the Concacaf Caribbean Cup at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Thursday.

Defence Force were hoping for a win to move into the top two in the group, but they had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Michel Poon-Angeron gave AC the lead before Brent Sam levelled the match.

Army had a couple of opportunities to take the lead early on, but it was AC showing more quality going forward.

In the 17th minute, a free kick by Tyrone Charles just outside the 18-yard box was blocked by the wall and a follow-up effort by the same player was shut down again.

Charles was at the centre of many of AC's attacks on goal, but it was Liam Burns who got the crowd on their feet. Burns flicked the ball past a defender on the right flank, but his low shot was cleared.

Against the run of play, Defence Force's Jelani Felix got a shot on goal but it was comfortably saved by AC goal-keeper Jadel Poon-Lewis.

In the 33rd minute, Army's Reon Moore showed speed and skill on the left flank but his low cross into the box was cleared. The first half ended goalless.

The second half started lively with both teams playing at a frenetic rate. As the half progressed Defence Force started to control possession. In the 60th minute, Justin Sadoo's shot just inside the box was brilliantly saved by Poon-Lewis. Minutes later, AC's Jameel Neptune had one of the best chances of the match, but his close-range effort from a tight angle was struck over the crossbar.

In the 77th minute, AC took the lead through an unlikely source. Poon-Angeron got behind the defence and slotted home a shot near the penalty spot after receiving a through ball.

As expected, Defence Force went in search of the equaliser with substitutes Hashim Arcia and prolific goalscorer Sam proving a handful.

Poon-Lewis was called on to make a couple of spectacular saves to deny Arcia.

In stoppage time, Sam's low shot from just outside the box beat a diving Poon-Lewis as the match ended 1-1.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday