First-half goals by Kareem Joseph and Jair Edwards lifted Morvant Caledonia United within a draw of progressing to the semi-finals of the 2018 First Citizens Cup after defeating holders and eight-time champions W Connection 2-1 in the second game of an Abercrombie Group double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium on Saturday.
Morvant Caledonia’s faith however lies in their own hands, as a loss against leaders Police FC in their rescheduled clash from 7pm on Tuesday at Hasely Crawford Stadium will introduce the tiebreaker to determine which team will advance against Immortelle Group winners Defence Force FC on July 13, with Connection tied on 6 points.
Point Fortin Civic are also on six points but Reynold Carrington’s side’s chances of progressing were dashed by a 3-0 defeat against Police in the first game of Saturday’s double-header in Couva. The result reduced Civic’s goal difference to 0, while Morvant Caledonia and Connection are ahead with +2 and +1 respectively.
Police, as it stands, with maximum nine points and a superior goal difference (+8), will progress as Abercrombie Group winners to face Immortelle Group runners-up Central FC in the semis.
Todd Ryan and Christian Thomas cushioned the Richard Hood-coached Police early in the first half before Kareem Freitas completed the third straight win with a late penalty.
Civic’s custodian Miles Goodman was left beaten by a deflected Ryan strike after just five minutes against the Lawmen.
Thomas then doubled the Police’s lead with his first top-flight goal for the Lawmen on 19 minutes after Goodman had made a clearance to his feet above the box.
Thomas, a wide attacker who joined from Malvern, was denied a second by the post as Police squandered further chances in the half.
Civic forward Nion Lammy was also denied by the upright seven minutes into the second half as his side gave everything in search of a comeback.
But Freitas, for his fourth goal of the tournament, put the match out of the Point Fortin club’s reach three minutes from the end when he hit down the middle from the spot to beat Goodman after referee Nicholai Nyron gave a penalty for handball in the box by Jamal John.
Moments earlier, Hughtun Hector had stepped up to the spot on the opposite end after Akinola Gregory was brought down in the area by Police defender Ryan O’Neil, but the former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder skied his attempt overbar with current national goalkeeper Adrian Foncette between the sticks for Police.
In the second game of the afternoon referee Cecile Hinds was also forced to award a penalty to either side, but it was some fine goalkeeping and possible man-of-the-match performance by Morvant Caledonia’s Terrence Lewis that stood out against his former club, Connection.
Joseph (K), Morvant Caledonia’s veteran utility player and captain, took advantage of his team’s chance from the spot when he fired sharply beyond Connection goalkeeper Julani Archibald for a 1-0 lead on 26 minutes after lightening-paced attacker Quincy Ballah was bundled to ground in the box by two defenders.
Edwards doubled Morvant Caledonia’s lead 2-0 two minutes from the break when he struck past Archibald from close up after a Ballah effort was kept out.
Morvant Caledonia with their fierce attacking could have gone in with at the half with an even bigger advantage had it not been for the intervention of Archibald who had done brilliantly to deny Sedale Mc Lean twice in the first half.
Connection however sliced the deficit six minutes into the second half through Marcus Joseph who entered play at the restart and had been denied by the post less than a minute on the pitch.
Lewis, who had denied Connection forward Adan Noel in the 40th minute, was unable to stop Joseph (M) from celebrating his fourth goal of the tournament with a powerful strike. But the Morvant Caledonia ‘keeper matched a penalty strike by Connection captain Gerard Williams four minutes later and preserved his team’s 2-1 result with a crucial save near the final whistle.
First Citizens Cup 2018 Results
Police FC 3 (Todd Ryan 5’, Christian Thomas 19’, Kareem Freitas 87’ pen.) v Point Fortin Civic 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium;
W Connection 1 (Marcus Joseph 51’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 2 (Kareem Joseph 26’ pen., Jair Edwards 43’), at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK) (Capt.); 3.Ryan O’Neil, 5.Kenaz Williams, 7.Kareem Perry (33.Kemron Purcell 59th minute), 8.Kurdell Brathwaite, 9.Jameel Perry (32.Keion Wilson 71st minute), 10.Kareem Freitas, 12.Nequan Caruth, 15.Christian Thomas, 21.Todd Ryan (25.Kaashif Thomas 65th minute), 29.Clevon Mc Fee.
Unused substitutes: 22.Theon Browne (GK); 4.Kadeem Boyce, 11.Micah Lewis, 36.Kadeem Riley.
Coach: Richard Hood
Point Fortin Civic: 22.Miles Goodman (GK); 7.Hughtun Hector (Capt.), 8.Jamal John, 11.Akeem Redhead (25.Shaquille Dublin 69th minute), 14.Shaquille John (24.Akinola Gregory 30th minute), 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 20.Bevon Bass, 21.Ronell Paul, 30.Nion Lammy, 33.Justin Sadoo, 99.Steven Joseph (9.Jared Bennett 84th minute).
Unused substitutes: 1.Jasse Aguillerra (GK); 5.Justin Cornwall, 15.Nideon Noel, 26.Jeremiah Kesar.
Coach: Reynold Carrington
Referee: Nicholai Nyron
W Connection: 18.Julani Archibald (GK), 2.Kurt Frederick, 3.Gerard Williams, 4.Maurice Ford, 6.Kevon Goddard (8.Jameel Antoine 69th minute), 9.Kadeem Corbin, 11.Adan Noel (99.Marcus Joseph 46th minute), 15.Otev Lawrence, 19.Briel Thomas, 20.Daniel Diaz, 23.Kennedy Hinkson.
Unused substitutes: 33.Jason Belfon (GK); 34.Cephas St. Rose.
Technical Director/Head Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK); 3.Richard Williams, 5.Joshua Sylvester, 9.Sedale Mc Lean (10.Sheldon Holder 84th minute), 11.Quincy Ballah (16.Travell Edwards 71st minute), 12.Kareem Joseph (Capt.), 15.Malik Mieres, 17.Kerry Daniel, 22.Joshua Alexander, 26.Jair Edwards (19.Ronaldo Francois 77th minute), 28.Jomokie Cassimy.
Unused substitutes: 30.Dejourn Charles (GK); 23.Osaze Springer, 25.Joshua Martin.
Coach: Jerry Moe
Referee: Cecile Hinds
Rank Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Defence Force FC 4 3 0 1 15 4 11 9
2 Central FC 4 3 0 1 7 4 3 9
3 Club Sando 4 2 1 1 4 4 0 7
4 San Juan Jabloteh 3 0 1 2 1 6 -5 1
5 MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers 3 0 0 3 2 11 -9 0
Rank Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Police FC 3 3 0 0 9 1 8 9
2 Morvant Caledonia United 3 2 0 1 5 3 2 6
3 W Connection 4 2 0 2 6 5 1 6
4 Point Fortin Civic 4 2 0 2 8 8 0 6
5 North East Stars 4 0 0 4 2 13 -11 0