Marvin Lee Stadium, MACOYA – Police FC and North East Stars became the latest teams to advance into the semi-final round of the 2014 First Citizens Cup after hard-fought wins over St. Ann’s Rangers and 10-man Caledonia AIA respectively on Saturday.
Police were gifted an early goal but needed a stoppage time Elijah Belgrave goal in their quarter-final clash to overcome a gutsy Rangers 2-1 before Sangre Grande based-North East Stars topped Caledonia 4-1 on kicks from the penalty spot following a keenly contested 1-1 draw.
The Angus Eve coached-Stars went ahead 1-0 in the 24th minute but surrendered the advantage before the break against a side lifted by a classy Densill Theobald performance.
A glancing header former Caledonia player Tyrone Charles off Kennedy Hinkson’s free-kick from the right had left goalkeeper Shemel Louison and the Morvant/Laventille side beaten.
But on the 44th minute a crack from distance by attacker Pernell Schultz took a wicked deflection to beat Stars goalie Cleon John for a 1-1 score-line before the break.
Caledonia head coach Jamaal Shabazz introduced Keyon Edwards on the restart for freshness in attack at the expense of Julian Wade but only got 11 minutes out of the forward.
A clearly shocked and dismayed Edwards, who had gone to ground following a pull by Stars’ defender Dwane James during an attack, was shown a direct red card for abusive language towards referee match referee Meville Wallace, who determined the Caledonia player’s fate.
Stars however failed to capitalise on the one-man advantage and were limited to an 84th minute curling Charles effort, as their best second half effort, which Louison dived to his left to keep out.
However Louison, Grenada’s national team goalie, failed to keep his side alive on kicks from the penalty spot and so did teammates Taylor Benjamin (hitting the post) and Kareem Joseph (high overbar) in Caledonia’s first and second kicks before Schultz netted on the third.
But after Keron Cummings, Charles, and Aquil Selby converted the Stars first three kicks it was down to Hinkson, and the energetic attacker made no mistake netting the winner to down Caledonia 4-1.
The Stars will next go up against two-time winners San Juan Jabloteh, 2-0 quarter-final winners over six-time winners W Connection, in the semi-final round on Friday 24 October while Police will meet defending champions Central FC, 3-2 penalty winners over Point Fortin Civic following a 1-1 draw, as all four teams chase a place in the Final on Friday 31 October towards the title and $100,000 winners’ prize.
Police grabbed the earliest goal of the 2014 First Citizens Cup to date for a 1-0 lead when captain and midfielder Todd Ryan’s penalty kick in the 3rd minute was unmatched by Rangers’ goalie Christopher Biggette.
A handball was called against Rangers captain Jelani Peters, after intercepting a Micah Lewis attempt, resulting in referee Keilon Bacchus pointing to the spot.
Ryan, a former Rangers player, was clinical against his past employers when he sent the ball out of Biggette’s reach from the spot.
However it was not until the 79th minute that Police had a great scoring opportunity but the attempt from inside the area by talented attacker Marcus Chandool was cleared off the line.
Rangers later leveled the score 1-1 with a superb right-footed strike from 24-yards out by substitute Kennedy Isles in the 81st minute which flew over goalkeeper Adrian Foncette and down into the back of the net.
But near the end of stoppage time another former Rangers player, Elijah Belgrave, popped up to powerfully head in a Chandool corner for a 2-1 Police win, ending a gutsy performance by the St. Ann’s club.
Biggette had made a save; putting behind a Joseph effort, but from the resulting corner there was little he could have done with the ball into the upper corner.
Four days before the semi-final round, the advancing teams will have the opportunity to sharpen their game in Round One Match Day Three of the Digicel Pro League on Tuesday 21 October.
At the Marvin Lee Stadium Jabloteh will take on Point Fortin Civic from 6 pm followed by Rangers against Police from 8 pm in a rematch of their First Citizens Cup quarter-final clash.
And simultaneously at the Ato Boldon Stadium defending league champions W Connection will commence its defense against North East Stars from 6 pm followed by Central against Caledonia.
First Citizens Cup 2014 Quarter Final Round Friday’s results
W Connection 0—2 San Juan Jabloteh
Newtown Sterling 14’, Adrian Reid 35’ (pen)
Central FC 1—1 Point Fortin Civic
Ataullah Guerra 42’ (pen) ; Andre Toussaint 2’
Kicks from the penalty spot
Point Fortin Civic 2 Central FC 3
Andre Toussaint (saved) Ataullah Guerra (scored)
Marcus Joseph (scored) Jean-Luc Rochford (saved)
Andre Ettienne (scored) Sean de Silva (overbar)
Matthew Bartholomew (saved) Akeem Benjamin (scored)
Weslie John (saved) Marvin Oliver (scored)
Police FC 2—1 St. Ann’s Rangers
Todd Ryan 3’ (pen), Elijah Belgrave 90’+ ; 81’
Caledonia AIA 1—1 North East Stars
Pernell Schultz 44’ ; Tyrone Charles 24’
Kicks from the penalty spot
North East Stars (4) Caledonia AIA (1)
Keron Cummings (scored) Taylor Benjamin (missed)
Tyrone Charles (scored) Kareem Joseph (missed)
Aquil Selby (scored) Pernell Schultz (scored)
Kennedy Hinkson (scored)
Police FC—18. Adrian Foncette, 4. Karlon Murray (Yellow Card), 8. Kurdell Brathwaite (Yellow Card), 12. Micah Lewis, 15. Jameel Perry (9. Hector Sam 65th), 19. Christon Thomas, 20. Elijah Belgrave, 21. Todd Ryan (C), 24. Jibri Mc David (29. Clevon Mc Fee 60th), 25. Noel Williams, 30. Marcus Chandool
Unused substitutes—2. Jasimar Ashers, 7. Brendon Christopher, 17. Dexter Alleyne, 34. Keston Mata (GK), 36. Tafari Williams
St. Ann’s Rangers—22. Christopher Biggette, 3. Al Davidson, 4. Jelani Peters (C) (Yellow Card), 5. Chad Clinton, 6. Shaquille Moses, 7. Trevin Latapy (8. Sedale Mc Lean 46th), 9. Keron Cornwall, 11. Josh Toussaint (Yellow Card), 17. Keron Alexander (28. Jared Bennett 72nd), 18. Emmanuel Joseph (10. Kennedy Isles 46th), 23. Craig Wilson
Unused substitutes—1. Junior Granger (GK), 14. Shabaka Mahluli, 19. Shomari Antoine, 24. Kasheem Webb
Match Referee—Keilon Bacchus
Caledonia AIA—1. Shemel Louison, 2. Taylor Benjamin (Yellow Card), 5. Cristoper Mejia, 8. Keron Bethelmy (4. Conrad Smith 82nd) (Yellow Card), 10. Hayden Tinto (27. Nathan Lewis 63rd), 12. Kareem Joseph, 13. Julian Wade (9. Keyon Edwards 46th) (Red Card 57th), 16. Pierre Hitner, 21. Densill Theobald (C), 22. Jameel Neptune, 28. Pernell Schultz
Unused substitutes—14. Keon Russell, 15. Franz Husbands, 32. Kyle Bartholomew, 33. Zane Coker
North East Stars—22. Cleon John (C), 3. Kareem Richardson, 5. Aquil Selby, 6. Jeromie Williams (Yellow Card) (42. Taryk Sampson 63rd), 9. Tyrone Charles, 10. Keron Cummings, 12. Jayson Joseph (35. Jordan Devonish 77th), 14. Dwane James, 23. Kennedy Hinkson, 25. Keryn Navarro, 44. Kion Joseph
Unused substitutes—1. Stefan Berkeley (GK), 8. Adrian Noel, 36. Anthony Diaz, 40. Jomoul Francois, 43. Reon Moore
Match Referee—Merville Wallace