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It took about a minute to unravel all the early hard work that Couva Players United had done in their Sportworld National Super League match on Wednesday.

But after losing a three-goal lead and seeing their game fall to shreds, Couva Players started a remarkable recovery in the final ten minutes to win a 5-3 thriller over Superstar Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Afterwards, members of the Couva squad were boasting how their little team brought down the "big team" from St Ann's.

Two early goals from former St Benedict's College star St Nicholas Benjamin (14th & 20th) after a tenth minute opener from Eduardo Guadagnucci had the Couva team cruising at 3-0 after the first half hour.

And striker Quami Knights just missed adding a fourth in the 37th minute when turning Benjamin's pass wide of the far post.

At that stage, Rangers were being carved apart at the centre and even club owner Richard Fakoory must have been concerned.

Rangers fielded a team with a square defence that was soft down the middle and looked in danger of conceding every time the Central team attacked.

At the same time, Don Morris, their proven central defender, started in midfied, before drifting ineffectively into the forward line later on.

But just when they looked in danger of being overwhelmed, they got a life line when Couva goalkeeper Richard Grell gave away a penalty for a foul on Rangers striker Akudu Goodridge.

Rangers captain Colin Robert blasted in the spot kick to put his team closer at 3-1 in the 43rd minute. And seconds later Robert picked up a pass on the right of the Couva penalty area and rocked a hard shot into the net to make the score 3-2 in favour of Couva.

A minute later, lanky Morris met a crossball before diminutive keeper Grell and almost made it three goals for Rangers in as many minutes. Morris' header only just dropped wide of the Couva goalpost.

The tide had indeed turned in Rangers' favour and Couva's Benjamin was bickering with his teammates about their lack of effort.

Rangers began the second session by pinning Couva in their half.

Finally, their comeback was completed when a mix-up between Couva stopper Jason John and his goalkeeper allowed Josimar Belgrave to level the score at 3-3 in the 49th minute by tapping into an open net.

At that stage, Couva looked "well cooked", but Rangers made a meal of putting them away by missing a couple more chances.

The North team dominated most of the second half, until the last ten minutes when the combination of superior fitness and the introduction of striker Aaron Downing turned around the fortunes of Couva Players United.

Rangers simply ran out of steam and, against the run of play, Downing raced up the left and slipped the ball inside to Knights, who breached the centre of Rangers' defence, eluded goalkeeper Jason Bowen and scored in the 83rd minute. Two minutes later, Downing powered his way through the middle and again slipped the ball past the goalkeeper to complete the second remarkable comeback of the match.

Wednesday's National Super League Results:

Couva Players United 5 v Superstar Rangers 3
Crab Connection 1 (Marvin Oliver 45th) v Stokely Vale 0
Angostura Phoenix 2 v WASA 3
Police 2 v Caroni 2
M&M Harvard 3 v Media 21 FC 2


Jason Bowen (goalkeeper), Rafer Ross, Sayid De Freitas, Colin Roberts (captain) , Marc Borde, Todd Ryan, Josimar Belgrave, Kerwin Cooper, Don Morris, Akudu Goodridge, Claude Adams.

Vernon Bailey, Lorne Joseph, Marlon Bowen, Desmond James.

Miguel Grell (goalkeeper), Jason John, Steve Meijas, Keith A. Williams, Johnatan Marcelle, Kevin Adams (captain) . Quami Knoghts, George Parris, St. Nicholas Benjamin, Ryan Dipsingh, Eduardo Guadadnucci.

Aaron Downing, Clint Scott, Lyndon Bruno, Marlon Henry, Kirwyn Jackson.