A second half blitz and brace from substitute Ezekiel Kesar saw Tiger Tanks Club Sando open the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Shield football tournament with a 4-0 victory over Guadeloupe champions Solidarité Scolaire yesterday at Warner Park, St Kitts and Nevis. Club Sando got goals from Kesar (78th and 79th), Kadeem Corbin (51st) and Isaiah Thompson (87th).
Islands. “Sando” will be back in action tomorrow when they face SWA Sharks FC, from 7.45 p.m. at the St Kitts-Nevis Technical Centre, before ending the preliminary round next Tuesday against 2021-2022 Aruban champions SV Dakota, scheduled for a 5 p.m. kick-off at the Technical Centre.
Club Sando qualified for the Shield by virtue of finishing third in the 2023 Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League and are one of 16 Caribbean teams vying for two spots into the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Cup, a five-month tournament featuring ten teams, which will qualify the top three sides for the new and expanded 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Yesterday, Club Sando met a Solidarité-Scolaire side, which was very solid in the first half, and although having to defend, looked very composed, while threatening to strike mainly on the counter-attack. It was an entirely different second half, however. With most players in the local League out of contract, Club Sando used the opportunity to strengthen, by adding Terminix La Horquetta Rangers striker Kadeem Corbin and W Connection goalkeeper Denzel Smith to their lineup. However, a notable exception was Nathaniel ”Natty” James, the former Trinidad and Tobago national Under -20 striker, who finished as the TTPL’s top goal-scorer this season.
A very close first half of very few scoring chances, ended goalless. Real Gill went closest when his penetrative dribbling ended with several defenders at full stretch before they blocked a dangerous close-up shot near the goal mouth.
Striker Nicholas Dillon guided a looped shot onto the crossbar early in the second half, but just six minutes after the resumption, Corbin opened the scoring with a low shot across goal. Getting brave for really the first time, the team from Guadeloupe pushed forward in numbers and were clinically punished on the counter-attack.
Club Sando turned up the heat. Alvin Jones had a powerful shot scrambled off the goal-line and seconds later, Dillon turned and hit a powerful shot which was turned onto a post by the fully stretched goalkeeper. Dillon immediately asked and was taken off in the 63rd minute, having injured himself.
Dillon’s replacement Kesar was on the scoresheet within minutes of coming on. He swept in Gill’s pass following another counter-attack in the 68th minute. Sando took total control, creating chance after chance.
Gill almost had a third goal within seconds of the restart, defeating two defenders and the goalkeeper, but hitting his low shot into the side netting. Another substitute, Kevin Williams, held his head in disbelief, when at full stretch, a defender cleared his low shot off the line in the 71st minute.
Now in full meltdown, the French Caribbean club allowed Corbin a clear shot at goal which he wasted when blasting over the bar. Kesar was more efficient when getting a second goal for 3-0 in the 79th minute, and late substitute Thompson scooped in a low pass from close-up for the final goal in the 87th minute.
1.Denzil Smith (GK), 37.Josiah Trimmingham, 14.Josiah Cooper, 4.Shervohnez Hamilton, 16.Alvin Jones, 12.Michael Basdeo, 22.Luke Phillip, 8.Jabari Forbes, 13.Kadeem Corbin, 10.Real Gill, 13.Kadeem Corbin, 36.Nicholas Dillon. Subs: 25.Miles Goodman (GK), 29.Seon Thomas, 5.Ronald Charles, 6.Nicholas Thomas, 39.Kanye Francis, 17.Joshua Ragoo, 18.Ezekiel Kesar, 11.Kevon Williams, 33.Isaiah Thompson. Head coach: Cornell Glen (head coach), assistant-coach Abdullah Phillips.
SOURCE: T&T Express