Attacking midfielder Hashim Arcia had two goals and an opening assist on Friday night as defending Digicel Pro Bowl champions W Connection whipped North East Stars 4-0 to advance into the semi-final round of the 2015 edition against Caledonia AIA on May 15.
Caledonia, Pro Bowl champions in 2008, edged Point Fortin Civic 1-0 in quarter-final one at the Ato Boldon Stadium before W Connection, champions in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2014, exacted revenge over the side that defeated them 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the final of the 2015 TTFA FA Trophy on 29 March at the same venue.
Simultaneously at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Friday night, Police FC and Central FC both advanced out of the quarter-final round and will meet each other in the semi-final round on Friday15 May at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Police FC, last season’s 3-0 defeated Pro Bowl finalists, registered a 2-1 comeback win over 2005 and 2006 champions San Juan Jabloteh before recently crowned Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 champions, Central FC, edged 2012 Pro Bowl champions Defence Force 1-0.
Willis Plaza’s 60th minute goal separated Central from Defence Force while Police had to first equalise in the 27th minute through a strike from veteran captain Todd Ryan after Tyrone Charles had given this season’s Toyota Classic winners a 10th minute lead. The “Lawmen” then grabbed the winner in the 66th minute thanks to a Makesi Lewis strike.
In Couva, Caledonia’s 21-year-old Guyana international Trayon Bobb, free inside the box, executed a perfect header off a Jameel Neptune left side cross to beat goalkeeper Marvin Phillip in the 42nd minute for a goal that Civic, without ace forward Marcus Joseph and main defenders Andre Ettienne and Garyl Doldron through injuries, failed to recover from.
Similarly Connection took to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead at the break after holding off North East Stars, who had three early chances to take the lead themselves.
But it was forward Jerrel Britto’s blast into the far side of goalkeeper Cleon John 's netting in the 41st minute that gave coach Stuart Charles Fevrier’s side the much-needed advantage.
Arcia, who registered his double near the end, had controlled a long pass out of the back by defender Alvin Jones before letting off a perfectly struck through-ball to set Britto free behind the North East Stars defence.
W Connection goalkeeper Julani Archibald, who had made three saves in the first half to deny midfielder Keron Cummings twice and make-shift forward Kennedy Hinkson once, produced the save of the match in the 66th minute when he kept out another Cummings effort, which was executed with precision and aimed at the top corner.
But in the late stages of the encounter, North East Stars caved in defensively and were made to pay for their mistakes. However not all of their mistakes after a couple disappointing misses by Connection forward Shahdon Winchester in the 56th and 76th minutes with the goal and 'keeper John at his mercy.
Connection defender Mekeil Williams made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 79th minute after Britto, who was denied by the base of the upright four minutes earlier, was tripped in the box by defender Dwane James.
Then Arcia, Connection’s top performer on the night, bagged his double by netting in the 86th minute and second minute of stoppage time to bring to an end North East Stars’ 2014-2015 season, like Point Fortin Civic, San Juan Jabloteh and Defence Force.
The lanky attacking midfielder increased Connection’s lead to 3-0 by wrong-siding goalkeeper John to hit into the near netting after dispossessing defender Jesus Perez of the ball well outside the box.
Arcia then had the simple task of hitting past John from the top of the six-yard area for a 4-0 score after the Stars’ defence failed to cut off substitute Shannon Gomez low cross from the right.
Digicel Pro League 2015
Quarter Final Round results
Friday 8 May
Marvin Lee Stadium
Police FC 2 (Todd Ryan 27', Makesi Lewis 66') vs San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Tyrone Charles 10’
Defence Force 0 vs Central FC 1 (Willis Plaza 66')
Ato Boldon Stadium
Caledonia AIA 1 (Trayon Bobb 42') vs Point Fortin Civic 0
W Connection 4 (Jerrel Britto 41', Mekeil Williams 79' penalty, Hashim Arcia 86', 92'+2) vs North East Stars 0
Semi Final Round
Friday 15 May
Ato Boldon Stadium
Caledonia AIA vs W Connection—6 pm
Central FC vs Police FC—8 pm
Friday 29 May
Teams at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Friday 8 May
Caledonia AIA: 1.Shemel Louison (GK), 4.Conrod Smith, 9.Keyon Edwards, 12.Kareem Joseph, 16.Pierre Hitner, 18.Trayon Bobb, 22.Jameel Neptune, 26.Nicholas Mercano, 27.Nathan Lewis (23.Jamil Joseph), 28.Purnell Schultz (30.Domini Garnett 84th minute), 35.Israel Honore (29.Mickaeel Jem Gordon 28th minute)
Unused substitutes: 34.D'Eandre Villaroel (GK)
Coach: Jerry Moe
Point Fortin Civic: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 4.Weslie John, 6.Akeem Redhead (25.Kemo Hodge 75th minute), 7.Kelvin Modeste, 9.Matthew Bartholomew, 11.Andre Toussaint, 12.Glen Sutton, 15.Rondell Paul, 19.Andre Pacheco, 27.Bevon Bass (18.Trent Lougheed 57th minute), 99.Shackiel Henry
Unused substitutes: 2.Garyl Doldron, 8.Nickcolson Thomas, 13.Tevin Balfor, 20.Jamille Boatswain, 24.Miguel Payne (GK)
Coach: Leroy De Leon
Match Referee: Cecil Hinds
W Connection: 3.Gerard Williams, 5.Mekeil Williams, 8.Yhon Stiven Reyes Lopez (27.Shannon Gomez 68th minute), 9.Shahdon Winchester, 12.Jerrel Britto (11.Tremain Shayn Paul 81st minute), 14.Hashim Arcia, 18.Julani Archibald, 19.Leslie Joel Russell, 36.Triston Hodge, 39.Alvin Jones, 40.Jomal Williams (65.Neil Benjamin Jr. 68th minute)
Unused substitutes: 2.Kurt Frederick, 21.Maleik Carlos De Freitas-Gray, 22.Aquelius Sylvester (GK), 26.Maurice Ford
Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier
North East Stars: 5.Aquil Selby, 10.Keron Cummings, 12.Jayson Joseph, 14.Dwane James (35.Jordan Devonish 85th minute), 15.Glenton Wolfe (18.Kaashif Thomas 30th minute), 22.Cleon John (GK), 23.Kennedy Hinkson, 25.Keryn Navarro, 38.Jesus Perez, 41.Neveal Hackshaw (7.Kadeem Hutchinson 68th minute), 44.Keon Joseph
Unused substitutes: Stefan Berkeley (GK), 26.Zavion Navarro, 6.Jeromie Williams, 42.Taryk Sampson
Coach: Angus Eve
Match Referee: Rodphin Harris