Marvin Lee Stadium, MACOYA - Thirty-nine-year old veteran Marvin Oliver led the scoring with a first half double on Friday night as last season’s runners-up Central FC kicked off the 2014-2015 Digicel Pro League (DPL) championship with a 7-0 whipping of St. Ann's Rangers.
It was a night of two tales, as the second match of the DPL Round One Match Day One double header ended in a stalemate between Police FC and San Juan Jabloteh.
Police and Jabloteh both failed on numerous attempts to put the ball in the back of the net, but for Central it happened with ease, and even led Rangers – last season’s cellar-positioned finisher – 4-0 before the break.
Friday’s result became the highest scoring DPL match by Central, presently in its third season of existence, bettering a 6-0 win over Rangers last February under then head coach Terry Fenwick.
This time around under new head coach 64-year-old Serbian Zoran Vranes, Dwight Quintero was the first to find the back of the net in the 17th minute, giving the “Sharks” a 1-0 advantage.
The 20-year-old forward struck low past a hapless Rangers’ goalie Christopher Biggette after he was played in the middle of the area by midfielder Jason Marcano, who won a favourable bounce of the ball in contest with 6-foot-plus defender Julani Peters, following a deep Akeem Benjamin cross.
Then in the 24th minute Oliver, who carries the armband and leadership from the back, gave his side a 2-0 cushion.
Despite his age and being converted from creative midfielder – a skill he hadn’t lost touch of – to central defender this season, Oliver turned back the clock by showing his goal-scoring prowess.
Oliver, up for a corner, towered much younger jumps – that could qualify as his own kids – to head past Biggette off a well-placed Sean de Silva corner from the right.
De Silva, who later got on the score-sheet, was also involved in the third item when his splitting pass from the middle was picked up by Marcano, who slipped free from his challenger and executed a low strike past Biggette for a 3-0 score-line.
Oliver then completed his double in the 35th minute, heading in a deflected De Silva free kick for a more than comfortable 4-0 score-line before the break.
In the second half Vranes, a former Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 and Under-23 head coach and Senior Team assistant coach, introduced 19-year-old Nathaniel Garcia, replacing Quintero in the 66th minute.
And just under five minutes onto the pitch, the speedy attacker found the back of the net for a 5-0 score by taking over the line a Kaydion Gabriel attempt which was pushed into his path by Biggette.
Any attempts or optimism by new Rangers head coach, 44-year-old Jason Spence, of a comeback surely ended by that time, although his very young squad showed discipline and structure in the opening stages, and creative moments throughout the game.
De Silva, a former Rangers youth player, finally had a goal of his own in the 74th minute with a crack from the top of the area that left Biggette beaten on his right as Central celebrated a 6-0 score.
It was a miserable night for Biggette, who had denied De Silva from close up in the 10th minute and wrapped the midfielder’s free-kick just before the hour mark.
Rangers’ goal was threatened again in the 76th minute but the St. Ann’s football club was lucky to see Garcia’s effort flash wide of an exposed net after the Central substitute’s speed proved too much for defender Trevin Latapy and Biggette.
On the opposite end Central goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams was forced to retire from the game with a problem to his leg ten minutes before the end, and was replaced T&T Under-20 goalie Javon Sample, but that didn’t matter.
Gabriel made it 7-0 by the 82nd minute after getting behind the defence on the right and lifting shot from the angle to beat Biggette at near post.
Gabriel, sporting a bald-head instead of his signature short locks, even tried an audacious chip over Biggette four minutes from the end of regulation time but it sailed just over-bar.
In the end, the dominating score-line earned a solid start for Central in the 2014-2015 DPL, a season that includes joining rivals and reigning league champions W Connection in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship, which also serves as the qualifying tournament to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Connection, who edged Central 1-0 to win the Digicel Charity Shield a third consecutive time a week ago, sits out on the bye in Round One Match Day One, but will meet the Central, for the second time in two weeks, next weekend in Round One Match Day Two.
As for Police FC and San Juan Jabloteh, respective head coaches Richard Hood and Keith Jeffrey, should emphasize on finishing techniques in practice, based on Friday’s performances.
Three times in the first half striker-turned-midfielder Kerry Baptiste failed to find the back of the net for Jabloteh, with his best in the 13th minute that crashed off the base of the upright and out for a corner with goalkeeper Adrian Foncette at his mercy.
Fourteen minutes later, teammate and new Jabloteh signing, Tobagonian forward Andell Noray, who was denied by Foncette in the 89th minute, also failed to punish another Police mistake at the back.
But it was Police who dominated the missed chances with newcomer Hector Sam forcing a save from Jabloteh’s Jamaican goalie Shane Mattis in the 11th minute, following Jameel Perry’s earlier miss in the 5th minute.
Micah Lewis, another newcomer to Hood’s side, followed suit in the 54th minute, just missing the target against his former side.
But the worse happened later on when in the 63rd minute when Anton Hutchinson, at the back post, headed wide of a free net off Kaaron Foster’s right side corner, and in the 90th minute when Kenaz Williams dragged an effort wide in a good goal-scoring opportunity.
Noel Williams, who returned to Hood’s side following a loan stint with Caledonia last season, had an excellent attempt towards the low far corner but equal to it was Mattis, with a one-handed save.
Round One Match Day One continues on Saturday 27 September from 3.30 pm, with Point Fortin Civic hosting Caledonia AIA at the Mahaica Oval, and simultaneously at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, Japs North East Stars will face the Defence Force.
Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 Round One Match Day One Results
St. Ann’s Rangers 0—7 Central FC
Dwight Quintero 17', Marvin Oliver 24', 35', Jason Marcano 31', Nathaniel Garcia 70', Sean de Silva 74', Kaydion Gabriel 82'
Police FC 0—0 San Juan Jabloteh
Saturday 27 September 2014
Point Fortin Civic vs Caledonia AIA—3.30 pm, Mahaica Oval
North East Stars vs Defence Force—3.30 pm, Larry Gomes Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers: 22. Christopher Biggette, 4. Jelani Peters (C), 3. Al Davidson, 5. Chad Clinton (6. Shaquille Moses 73rd), 7. Trevin Latapy, 9. Keron Cornwall (21. Keon Peters 59th), 16. David Williams, 19. Shomari Antoine, 23. Craig Wilson, 27. Nathan Julien (8. Sedale Mc Lean 46th), 28. Jared Bennett.
Unused substitutes: 6. Shaquille Moses, 17. Keron Alexander, 20. Shem Alexander, 24. Hasheem Webb, 25. Jesse Peters (GK).
Coach: Jason Spence.
Central FC: 21. Jan-Michael Williams (1. Javon Sample 80th), 10. Marvin Oliver (C), 5. Akeem Benjamin, 14. Jean-Luc Rochford, 11. Darren Mitchell, 7. Jason Marcano, 15. Kaydion Gabriel, 17. Marcelle Francois, 9. Qian Grosvenor, 99. Dwight Quintero (19. Nathaniel Garcia 66th), 8. Sean de Silva.
Unused substitutes: 23. Denzil Daniel, 22. Samuel Delice, 13. Seon Thomas, 45. Ataullah Guerra, 27. Shaquille Williams, 3. Keion Goodridge.
Coach: Zoran Vranes.
Match Referee: Crystal Sobers.
Police FC: 18. Adrian Foncette, 5. Anton Hutchinson (Yellow Card), 6. Kenaz Williams, 4. Hector Sam (10. Aaron Downing 65th), 12. Micah Lewis, 16. Jameel Perry (21. Kerry Frederick 83rd), 19. Christon Foncette, 20. Elijah Belgrave (C), 8. Noel Williams (Yellow Card), 29. Clevon Mc Fee, 14. Kaaron Foster.
Unused substitutes: 1. Errol Charles, 17. Dexter Alleyne, 24. Jibri Mc David, 34. Keston Mata (GK), 36. Tafari Williams.
Coach: Richard Hood.
San Juan Jabloteh: 30. Shane Mattis, 10. Kerry Baptiste (C) (8. Sterling Newtown 55th), 11. Bryan Bayliss (2. Chike Sullivan 56th), 18. Jevon Morris, 12. Brendon Boucaud, 6. Dario Holmes, 24. Adrian Reid (Yellow Card), 7. Andell Noray, 17. Fabian Reid (14. Shaquille Bertrand 80th), 23. Brendon Figuera, 9. Johan Peltier.
Unused substitutes: 36. Raheem Belgrave (GK), 16. Nyron Jones, 19. Dillon Kirton, 15. Duran Dilworth.
Coach: Keith Jeffrey.
Match Referee: Keilon Bacchus.
Oliver doubles up as Central hits seventh heaven against Rangers
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)
Thirty-nine-year-old Central FC veteran Marvin Oliver rolled back the years this evening with a double on the opening day of the 2013/14 Digicel Pro League season as the “Couva Sharks” romped to a 7-0 trouncing of St Ann’s Rangers at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
The margin of victory bettered Central’s previous Pro League best score of 6-0, which also came against Rangers on 21 February 2014.
Not a bad way for the 64-year-old Yugoslavia-born Zoran Vranes to start his competitive coaching career with the Sharks after last weekend’s 1-0 loss to DIRECTV W Connection in the Digicel Charity Shield.
In the second game of the Macoya double header, Police FC and San Juan Jabloteh played to a goalless draw in a keenly tested affair that lacked an end product.
It meant that Central supporters were the ones with the bright smiles on Friday night as they considered what the new season might bring.
Central is run by managing director Brent Sancho but the club became synonymous with fiery English coach Terry Fenwick who steered the Sharks for the past year and a half before departing for CS Visé in the Belgium third division during the off season.
By all reports, life at Visé is anything but smooth these days.
Former Central attackers Willis Plaza and Rundell Winchester, who both joined Visé in July, were in the stands tonight and will seek a route back in the Pro League after going three months without pay in Belgium. Defenders Elton John and Kevon Villaroel have reportedly decided to tough it out in Europe with the hope of an upswing in fortunes there.
Whatever Fenwick’s own future prospects might be, Vranes wasted little time in getting to work on his own legacy.
Central playmaker Ataullah Guerra was not risked as he is recovering from a fever while midfielder Leston Paul was also unavailable through injury. But this was an evening to think about who did play as new acquisitions Jean-Luc Rochford, Marcelle Francois and Qian Grosvenor went straight into the starting line-up while midfielder Sean De Silva, who was barely used by Fenwick last season, got license to roam in Central’s 3-5-2 formation.
Central will get sterner tests than a typically inexperienced and youthful St Ann’s Rangers team, which was without Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 striker Kadeem Corbin.
But the concentration and tempo of the Sharks over the 90 minutes still deserved commendation. Rangers barely had a sniff.
Dwight Quintero opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a bullet into the roof of the net off a Jason Marcano cross inside the opposing penalty area.
De Silva, a former two-time World Youth Cup player, had a hand in the next three Central goals. Twice, Oliver, who played as a sweeper in a three-man defence, met De Silva’s set pieces with controlled, precise headed finishes while Marcano dribbled Trevin Latapy to drive home from the edge of the area as the Sharks led 4-0 at the break.
Trinidad and Tobago national head coach Stephen Hart voiced his frustration at 16-year-old winger Levi Garcia’s decision to represent Shiva Boys HC in the SSFL Premier Division rather than Central FC at Pro League level. It is a concern that Central shares.
But there was some consolation for the Sharks as Garcia’s 20-year-old brother, Nathaniel, came off the bench to mark his competitive Central debut with a goal within four minutes.
A minute had not elapsed when Garcia (N) had his first attempt at goal as he lunged at a Darren Mitchell cross but failed to divert his attempt on target. But, in the 69th minute, the versatile attacker got on the score sheet as he chested over the goal line after Rangers goalkeeper Christopher Biggette failed to hold on to a blast from Central winger Kaydion Gabriel.
And Garcia (N) nearly brought the house down with an encore in the 75th minute as he danced past three Rangers players, including the goalkeeper, but failed to complete the easy bit as he hit into the side netting.
De Silva and Gabriel rounded off the scoring though to cap an industrious team performance.
De Silva beat Biggette with a crisp low drive to his right from the edge of the area while Gabriel sent a screamer past the 18-year-old goalkeeper at his near post from an acute angle.
There was one moment of concern for Central as “Soca Warriors” goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams hobbled off the field with a slight hamstring strain in the 79th minute and was replaced by national under-20 substitute Javon Sample.
Still, as far as opening statements go, tonight’s outing would probably do nicely for Vranes and his hungry Sharks.
Central FC: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK) (1.Javon Sample (GK) 69); 5.Akeem Benjamin, 10.Marvin Oliver, 17.Marcelle Francois, 11.Darren Mitchell (27.Shaquille Williams 76), 14.Jean-Luc Rochford, 8.Sean De Silva, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 9.Qian Grosvenor, 7.Jason Marcano, 99.Dwight Quintero (19.Nathaniel Garcia 65).
Unused substitutes: 3.Keion Goodridge, 13.Seon Thomas, 23.Denzil Daniel, 45.Ataullah Guerra.
Coach: Zoran Vranes
St Ann’s Rangers: 22.Christopher Biggette (GK); 3.Al Davidson, 4.Jelani Peters (captain), 5.Chad Clinton (6.Shaquille Moses 73), 7.Trevin Latapy, 9.Keron Cornwall (21.Keon Peters 58), 16.David Williams, 19.Shomari Antoine, 23.Craig Wilson, 27.Nathan Julien (8.Sedale McLean 46), 28.Jared Bennett.
Unused substitutes: 25.Jesse Peters (GK), 17.Keron Alexander, 20.Shem Alexander, 24.Kasheem Webb.
Coach: Jason Spence
Referee: Crystal Sobers.
3 things Central learnt from their 7-0 domination of Rangers.
By Andre Sooklal (Central Release).
Central F.C. came out as victors with a 7-0 victory over St. Ann’s Rangers in their first Pro-League game of the 2014/15 season. Coming off of a disappointing 1-0 loss to W Connection last week, there was an aura of caution leading up to this game. However, this was quickly forgotten as Central F.C. put on a self-assured and dominant performance.
1) PERFECT RESPONSE
There was a significant improvement in the overall performance of the team in all aspects from the team that looked a bit disjointed in the previous week, as the team now looked more composed, confident and motivated. Simply addressing the score line in no way does the performance of the team justice. Rationally speaking, however, St. Ann’s Rangers’ form based on previous games was not at its greatest. With that being said, complacency was clearly not present in this team.
The ability to retain meaningful possession was one of the key features to the dominance of the “The Sharks”. An aspect which was clearly evident in relation to this was the physical conditioning of the players. The ability to maintain consistent, quality physical performance was definitely an obvious factor.
With the exception of the injury to Williams in goal, the team looked sharp physically which was a factor in their overall domination of possession and also the ability to regain possession. With multiple goal scorers and some very crowd pleasing finishes from Sean De Silva, Quintero, Marcano, Oliver, Gabriel and young Nathaniel Garcia, it showed that the attack is multi-dimensional and goal scoring is not the sole burden of the strikers.
Nathaniel Garcia’s performance was certainly an exciting and encouraging one. His hard work, ability to dribble and beat players, which is aided significantly by his low centre of gravity, without a doubt must have been pleasing for coach Vranes.
2) TACTICS BEGINNING TO SINK IN
Vranes’ use of the 3-5-2 formation saw veteran Marvin Oliver, along with Benjamin and Francois, flanked on both sides by Mitchell and Gabriel, who both showed tremendous composure both defensively and offensively.
Marvin Oliver, in showing his experience, not only commanded his backline but scored 2 goals. The communication and understanding between the players was very clear to see. Another notable aspect of the game was the very impressive passing range of the team and purposeful possession, which resulted in a large output of shooting opportunities. Penetration through the middle and the wings was very effective and the quality of the crosses improved significantly.
The midfield trio of De Silva, Marcano and Rochford were very impressive in ensuring the link from the defensive third of the pitch to the offensive third was efficient in its transition and combined well with the offensive runs of the marauding wing play from Mitchell and Gabriel on the left and right respectively.
Defensively, the team was very organised and often forced the opposition to resort to strikes from distance and the ability to regain possession quickly was effective. Collectively the team looked compact. St. Ann’s Rangers clearly set their system up with a crowded midfield in an attempt to stifle Central F.C.’s passing lanes and build up play, which only further underlines the quality performance by the team overall in this game.
3) THE FIGHT AGAINST COMPLACENCY
Vranes, when asked about the game, was quick to ensure that despite the victory and how pleasing it was, the team has areas that need to be worked on, quickly portraying the aura of a man who will not allow room for complacency. Even though it was only the first league game of the season, Central F.C. showed many positive signs with their performance.
The expectation to maintain high levels of consistency throughout the season will now be at an all time high. One thing can be said for sure is that the frowns from last week’s fixture were swiftly converted into smiles after this performance and with the quality of the goals scored definitely won over some new fans as a result.