Six-time winner of the First Citizens Cup, W Connection, boasts that they are the rightful owners of the title. While defending champion, Caledonia AIA, expressed that they won’t easily relinquish the crystal designed trophy.
However only one of the two teams would advance into the Final on Friday 5 October at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium against the winner between two-time former winner, Defence Force, and title starved St. Ann’s Rangers.
Defence Force takes on Rangers from 6pm in semi-final one at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, and in semi-final two, Connection—winner of the tournament in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008—and Caledonia will challenge each other from 8pm.
Connection which hosts Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara from 8pm on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions’ League, were made to work extra for a 3-1 penalty win over Police FC last Friday in the quarter-final round of the First Citizens Cup following a goalless draw at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium.
The Couva based club had the match to take around the 85th minute from the penalty spot after a handball call, but Clyde Leon was unable to beat Police goalkeeper Emmanuel Nurse.
“W Connection are no stranger to the first Citizens Cup and we have won this trophy time and time again,” boasted Connection’s Marketing Manager Renee John-Williams during the launch of the 2012 tournament last week.
“…and this year would be no different. We’ve won the competition six times and been in the Final nine times and that alone speaks for itself. We are coming very motivated to regain the title. Try your best, but we don’t go down very easily.”
Caledonia meantime, also in CCL action on Wednesday night against home team CD Marathon of Honduras, reached the First Citizens Cup semis with a comfortable 2-0 win over last season’s defeated finalist, T&TEC FC at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Keyon Edwards scored in the 5th minute and Sheldon Holder turned provider to goalscorer in the 9th minute to wrap-up the Morvant-Laventille club’s scoring against T&TEC.
“It was a problem to get back the trophy from the supporters, and you know the people of Morvant/Laventille,” said Caledonia AIA coach Jamaal Shabazz during the launch.
Shabazz guided Caledonia to the title last season defeating T&TEC FC 2-1 in the Final.
The always charismatic Caledonia coach joked, saying he even tried getting the assistance of the Minister of National Security and Port of Spain Mayor to retrieve the trophy from his supporters.
Finally he said, “I had to get two soldiers to go and get the trophy. So you see how tough it would be to part with the trophy. So we look forward to the semi-finals.”
While the Connection, Caledonia clash would definitely steal the focus of the semi-final round, the less popular St. Ann’s Rangers could be quietly sharpening for another upset of the tournament after defeating North East Stars 2-1 in the quarterfinal round at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Jason Marcano scored first, and after Stars’ forward Cornell Glen equalized in the second period, utility player Devon Modeste snatched the winner.
It’s surely the wish of Rangers to advance into a rare Final but certainly needs more than a genie’s lamp against the Defence Force attacking duo of Richard Roy and Devorn Jorsling.
Roy grabbed a double and Jorsling a late item, all in the second period, to hand the Ross Russell coached soldiers a 3-0 win over debutants Central FC in the quarterfinal round proving that they too are capable of taking to First Citizens Cup.
First Citizens Cup
Friday 28 September 2012
Defence Force vs St. Ann’s Rangers—6pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
W Connection vs Caledonia AIA—8pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium