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Defence Force's Isaiah Leacock (right) celebrates with a teammate after scoring a goal against Central FC in a First Citizens Cup semifinal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Thursday, May 23rd 2024.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) and current TTPFL league champions Athletic Club of Port of Spain (AC PoS) will face off in a repeat of last year’s final when they renew their rivalry in the TTPFL First Citizens Cup Knockout Final.

In the first semi-final of a double-header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Thursday night, Isaiah Leacock scored a hat-trick to lead the Army to a 5-0 shutout over the hapless Central FC.

His goals were complemented by a goal each from national players Justin Garcia and Brent Sam.

The result meant the Defence Force, who defeated AC PoS 5-3 to lift the crown last year, would be back to defend their title.

Once again, they will square off against the “Capital Boyz” who easily overcame Prison Services FC 4-1, thanks mainly to a Duane Muckette hat-trick.

On Thursday, national midfielder Muckette was ubiquitous in the game in which Prisons showed glimpses of resilience before collapsing in the second half.

Captain Muckette and his squad set the foundation in the first half when dominating play and attempts at goal (shots 12-3). It was a defensive error by Wesley John that allowed Muckette to get his name on the scorecard in the 16th minute.

Withstanding an opening 15-minute barrage, John could not get his hand out of the way when the ball was played into the box from the right flank from AC PoS’ winger Jean-Paul Rochford.

Muckette stepped up to the penalty mark and duly converted. Muckette’s other goals would come through good service from winger Che Benny.

After AC PoS had strung together a series of passes to advance from the midfield, Benny chipped perfectly for Muckette to head home in the 36th.

Prisons were still in the game when Seon Thomas benefited from an accurate left flank cross to tap in past AC PoS custodian Marvin Phillip in the 39th minute and make it a 2-1 half-time score. But the “Capital Boyz” would assert themselves in the second half, Muckette registering his hat-trick in the 58th minute.

Again Benny was the provider, this time from right side, employing an in-curling left foot cross that picked out Muckette perfectly, for a well struck header.

AC POS’ Sedale McLean would get an insurance item in the 63rd minute after he and Muckette played several one-twos from midfield into the Prisons penalty area before McLean slammed past Prisons goalkeeper Aaron Enill.

TTPFL First Citizens Knockout Cup results:

Defence Force 5 (Isaiah Leacock 20’, 70’, 74’, Justin Garcia 51’, Brent Sam 86’pen.) vs Central Sports 0

AC POS 4 (Duane Muckette 16’pen., 36’, 58’, Sedale McLean 63’) vs Prison Services 1 (Seon Thomas 39’)

SOURCE: T&T Express