The Defence Force showed the value of sticking to strategy as they gained two late goals and an unlikely 2-0 win yesterday in their Trinidad and Tobago Pro League game against defending champions CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh yesterday.
For 84 minutes, as much through wasteful Jabloteh forays and extremely resilient defending by the Army/Coast Guard combination, the Defence Force coached by former Strike Squad standout Kerry Jamerson, remained committed to their plan of stout defensive play and quick counter-attacks.
The Defence Force backmen, with former national player Anton Pierre marshalling the troops adeptly, got a testing workout ahead of their FCB Cup final against Vibe CT W Connection tomorrow at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium.
Eventually, after absorbing unrelenting pressure from a very attack-minded Jabloteh side, substitute forward Odelle Armstrong netted twice from breaks to knock the wind out of the Bourg Mulatresse team and earn three points for his side.
Earlier in the game, Jabloteh had established their dominance with their quick passing game and high pressure play.
The loose balls always seemed to zero in on a Jabloteh player like a laser-guided missile and the deft touches of Aurtis Whitley and Nigel "Croc" Pierre gave Pierre (A) and company a lot of work to do.
But they withstood the Jabloteh forays with timely clearances and interceptions, getting the ball to safety so that they could reorganise or finding outlets so they could launch speedy counter-attacks.
That tactic frustrated Jabloteh's goal attempts for the duration of the match.
After a goalless first half, D/Force goalkeeper Cleon John unnerved them more with two saves from Travis Mulraine and Josh Johnson.
And when Armstrong caught them out first with a looping header over Jabloteh keeper Daurance Williams from a Kurt Williams right side cross, and then with his own skill at the end of regulation time, getting around Ian Gray with a nice touch before shooting low past Williams (D), the strategy had paid off.
Jabloteh-Kerry Baptiste, Vernon Bailey (Cyd Gray 45), Nigel Daniel (Josh Johnson87) Angus Eve, Ian Gray, Travis Mulraine, Trent Noel, Nigel Pierre, Ronald Primus, Daurance Williams, Aurtis Whitley (Kerry Noray)
D/Force-Kelshall `Alexander, Kurt Williams, Devon Jorsling (Odelle Armstrong 62), Christon Baptiste (Michael Edwards 64), Anton Joseph, Anton Pierre, Jerwyn Balthazar, Ronald St Louis, Kwesi Smith (Shelton Williams 77), Cleon John, Claude Adams.