Record eight-time winners, W Connection and two-time champions San Juan Jabloteh both registered 3-0 win in their respective opening group campaigns when the 2019 First Citizens Cup of the T&T Pro League which continued with two double-headers on Monday.
At the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, W Connection, winners of the last of their Cup titles in 2017, 3-1 over Defence Force, trounced Pt Fortin Civic 3-0 led by a goal each from national striker Shahdon Winchester (32nd), Mickaeel Gem Gordon (36th), and Neil Benjamin Jr (47th) to go top of the six-club round-robin Abercrombie Group, ahead of three-time winners Defence Force and Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, on goal-difference with all three clubs on three points each.
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers got the 50th-minute item from Jomoul Francois to beat Police FC, 1-0.
Down at the Diego Martin Sports Complex in Bagatelle, Diego Martin which hosted Friday's opening double-header, Jabloteh, who last won the competition in 2003 kicked off their tournament versus 1976 FC Phoenix with goals from national defender Carlyle Mitchell in the 37th, Under-20 national striker Jodel Brown in the 40th and Kadeem Hutchinson, in the 72nd.
The victory left Jabloteh as sole leaders of the Immortelle Group with three points after AC Port-of-Spain (formerly North East Stars), and Tiger Tanks Club Sando battled to a 1-1 draw in the night's second match.
John-Paul Rochford fired AC Port-of-Spain into a 72nd-minute lead, but Kemuel Rivers snatched an 89th-minute equaliser for Club Sando.
When the competition began on Friday, Cunupia FC got a 53rd-minute strike from Ajani Clarence to stun two-time winners Morvant Caledonia AIA 1-0 in their Immortelle Group curtain-raiser, and last year's beaten finalist Defence Force edged title-holders Central FC 1-0 courtesy a 25th-minute effort from Jameel Cooper in the Abercrombie group.
The tournament is being contested via a round-robin format with two groups of six teams each.
At the end of the round-robin phase, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-final in which the winners of that round will earn the right to contest the $75,000 winners' prize, while the runners-up with pocket $25,000.
Meanwhile, the league competition will officially kick-off the league after close to a year of inactivity on December 13, and will eventually be called the 'Ascension Pro League' as member clubs and the Board of Directors of the Pro League, have agreed to have Ascension sponsor it this year while discussions are still on-going with SportsMax and the T&T Football Association to join.
Pro League officials are also listening to the football association to have the Second Tier competition organised in time for the official start of the pro league on December 13.
San Juan Jabloteh 3 (Carlyle Mitchell 37th, Jodel Brown 40th, Kadeem Hutchinson 72nd) vs 1976 FC Tobago Phoenix 0
AC Port-of-Spain 1 (John-Paul Rochford 72nd) vs Tiger Tanks Club Sando 1 (Kemuel Rivers 89th pen)
W Connection 3 (Shahdon Winchester 32nd, Mickaeel Gem Gordon 36th, Neil Benjamin 47th.) vs Pt Fortin Civic 0
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 1 (Jomoul Francois 50th) vs Police FC 0
Latest Group Standings
1. W Connection*1*1*0*0*3*0*3
2. Defence Force*1*1*0*0*1*0*3
3. L.H Rangers*1*1*0*0*1*0*3
4. Central FC*1*0*0*1*0*1*0
5. Police FC*1*0*0*1*0*1*0
6. Pt Fortin Civic*1*0*0*1*0*3*0
1. San Juan Jabloteh*1*1*0*0*3*0*3
2. Cunupia FC*1*1*0*0*1*0*1
3. AC PoS*1*0*1*0*1*1*1
4. Club Sando*1*0*1*0*1*1*1
5. Morvant Caledonia*1*0*0*1*0*1*0
6. Tobago Phoenix*1*0*0*1*0*3*0