Stunning first half goals by Hector Sam and Rundell Winchester paced Central FC to defeat rivals North East Stars 2-1 in the first quarterfinal match of the 2013 First Citizens Cup on Friday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Terry Fenwick coached-Central moves forward into the semi-final round on Friday 4 October against the winners of Saturday's highly anticipated quarterfinal meet between Point Fortin Civic and six-time winners DIRECTV W Connection from 3:30pm at the Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin.
On Monday the quarterfinal round continues with a double header at the Marvin Lee Stadium. St. Ann's Rangers, 5-4 penalty winners over Police FC following a 1-1 draw in the First Citizens Cup playoff on Friday night, will meet San Juan Jabloteh from 6pm at the Macoya venue and Defence Force against two-time defending champions Caledonia AIA from 8pm in a rematch of last season's final.
Police looked the better of the two sides in the opening moments and got the opening item in the 15th minute through a strike by captain and midfielder Todd Ryan.
Ryan was clinical in blasting past Rangers' goalie Terrence Lewis, for the 1-0 advantage, after a freekick by Trent Noel was rolled into the left of the area.
And two minutes later Ryan unleashed a left footed attempt which flew inches wide of the far upper corner.
But it was teammate Kareem Perry that had the first attempt of the match in the 6th minute striking just wide with a neat left footed effort to harass the side netting.
Kareem's brother, Jameel Perry had a chance to double the advantage on the hour mark after a break on the right, then shrugged off defender Caleb Sturge and wrong-footed defender Dwane James inside the area, but failed to find the back of the net.
Jameel's failure to find the target on that occasion gave coach Richard Hood no option but to continue with an immediate introduction of Elijah Belgrave for the position up front.
Rangers had a chance through Kennedy Isles to level the score in the 25 minutes inside the first half after showing good footwork against defenders Kemron Purcell and Anton Hutchinson, but after the ball ricocheted into his path around the six yard area, goalkeeper Adrian Foncette was excellent in thwarting the effort.
Rangers' Jemel Berot later unleashed a strike, in the 31st minute, from 20 yards to beat Foncette but denied by the upright.
But it was until the 63rd minute that winger Qian Grosvenor leveled the score 1-1.
Grosvenor welcomed a ball that fell to him on the left of the area and smashed it past Foncette.
Teammate and captain Clevon Mc Fee, who scored a hat-trick in a 6-5 giveaway loss last weekend against Jabloteh, drilled an effort wide in the 68th minute after a promising sequence of passes by Rangers.
Then in the 70th minute Ryan attempted to restore the "Lawmen's" advantage with a looping effort over goalkeeper Lewis, but defender James make an excellent clearance to keep the scores tied and later.
But there had to be a winner and on the final of Police's fifth kick from the penalty mark, veteran midfielder Trent Noel was denied by goalkeeper Lewis.
Conrad Smith, Kennedy Isles, Caleb Sturge, Kerron Cummings and Clevon Mc Fee were all on target for Rangers, while Todd Ryan, Kareem Perry, Elijah Belgrave and Anton Hutchinson found the back of the net for Police before Noel's shutout.
In the second match of the Friday double header, 35 year-old Sam, stunned the Stars in the 20th minute for a 1-0 Central advantage, when he blasted a right footer from 25 yards out, over goalkeeper Cleon John, the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar and bouncing into the net.
John was stunned again in the 32nd minute by a low Rundell Winchester strike from distance for a 2-0 Central cushion.
And in the final play of the half, John made a save against Darren Mitchell, in a play that the Tobagonian should have done much better near the six yard area after a combining with Jason Marcano.
The contest was a combative one, mirroring the personalities of Central's head coach Fenwick, and Stars' head coach Angus Eve, who once worked together as "teacher and student" at Jabloteh.
The second half was a bit scrappy, as Fenwick seemed comfortable in defending his 2-goal cushion, while Eve--backed by his noisy Sangre Grande supporters--pressed for goals.
It was not until the 87th minute that substitute Trevin Caesar pulled a goal back for the Stars, to reduce the deficit 1-2. However three minutes, plus three minutes of time added on wasn't enough for an equalizing North East Stars' item.
Police FC 1(4) - (5)1 St. Ann's Rangers
Todd Ryan 15' ; Qian Grosvenor 63'
Kicks from the penalty mark
St. Ann's Rangers 5 - 4 Police FC
Conrad Smith (scored) Todd Ryan (scored)
Kennedy Isles (scored) Kareem Perry (scored)
Caleb Sturge (scored) Elijah Belgrave (scored)
Kerron Cummings (scored) Anton Hutchinson (scored)
Clevon McFee (scored) Trent Noel (saved)
Police FC—18. Adrian Foncette, 21. Todd Ryan (C), 5. Anton Hutchinson, 2. Jasimar Ashers, 6. Kenaz Williams, 10. Trent Noel, 11. Kareem Perry, 1. Errol Charles, 15. Jameel Perry (20. Elijah Belgrave 60th), 39. Joel Kevin Lewis, 25. Kemron Purcell (8. Akiba Peters 36th).
Unused substitutes—31. Theon Browne (G), 27. Dwayne Salazar, 19. Christon Thomas, 40. Jabari Williams, 9. Keon Quow.
St. Ann's Rangers - 1. Terrence Lewis (G), 7. Clevon Mc Fee (C), 8. Joel Whiteman, 9. Conrad Smith, 13. Caleb Sturge, 14. Michael Yaw Darko (10. Kerron Cummings 46th), 16. Kennedy Isles (Yellow Card), 18. Jemel Berot (2. Marcus Roberts 75th), 19. Akim Ash (12. Tevin Gilkes 70th), 20. Qian Grosvenor, 23. Dwane James.
Unused substitutes - 22. Kern Caesar.
Coach - Gilbert Bateau.
Match Referee - Larry Lalchan.
Central FC 2 - 1 North East Stars
Hector Sam 20', Rundell Winchester 32' ; Trevin Caesar 87'
Central FC - 21. Jan Michael Williams, 7. Jason Marcan (C) (6. Toric Robinson 82nd), 2. Elton John, 3. Keion Goodridge, 10. Marvin Oliver, 11. Darren Mitchell, 12. Jamal Jack, 13. Johan Peltier (Yellow Card), 17. Rundell Winchester, 23. Hector Sam (15. Kaydion Gabriel 85th), 24. Akeem Benjamin.
Unused substitutes - 16. Javon Sample (G), 4. Omar Charles, 14. Darryl Trim, 19. Dwight Pope, 20. Akil DeFreitus.
Coach - Terry Fenwick.
North East Stars - 22. Cleon John (C), 2. Kareem Moses, 4. Keithy Simpson (20. Trevin Caesar 46th), 5. Aquil Selby, 6. Jeromie Williams (Yellow Card) (8. Micah Lewis 77th), 7. Elijah Manners (12. Jayson Joseph 46th), 11. Anthony Wolfe, 19. Glenton Wolfe, 24. Marcus Gomez, 23. Kennedy Hinkson, 25. Keryn Navarro.
Unused substitutes - 1. Stephan Berkeley (G), 9. Akiel Guevara, 17. Andres Cabrero Gomez, 18. Kaashif Thomas.
Coach - Angus Eve.
Match Referee - Keon Young.
Saturday 28 September 2013
Quarter Final Round
Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin
W Connection vs Point Fortin Civic—3:30pm
Monday 30 September 2013
Quarter Final Round
Marvin Lee Stadium
St. Ann's Rangers vs San Juan Jabloteh—6pm
Defence Force vs Caledonia AIA—8pm
Friday 4 October 2013
Semi Final Round
Friday 18 October 2013