Police FC were all guns blazing on Tuesday night when they qualified for the main draw (quarter-finals) of this season's Digicel Pro Bowl with a comprehensive 9-0 win over Point Fortin Civic at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Elijah Belgrave bagged a hat-trick while brothers Kareem and Jameel Perry got a double each during the lopsided affair that also saw Kadeem Riley, Dexter Alleyne and substitute Micah Lewis get on the scoresheet for the Lawmen in qualifier one at the Port-of-Spain venue.
Like Police and Civic, St. Ann's Rangers and Morvant Caledonia had to also contest the qualifying round of the Pro Bowl due to their bottom-four positions on the Digicel Pro League standings after last weekend's Round Two Match Day Eight.
Rangers, following a 0-0 stalemate in the second qualifier of the night, defeated 2008 Pro Bowl champions Morvant Caledonia 5-4 in sudden death of a penalty shootout to book their place in this season's quarter-final draw, which will determined during the official launch today (Wednesday).
Rangers’ goalkeeper Cleon John was in terrific form between the sticks for the St. Ann’s club with three saves in the shootout—denying Morvant Caledonia’s Keron Bethelmy and Jameel Neptune, then Kordell Samuel in sudden death.
Police however, were unstoppable from the first whistle and showed no mercy against the side that spent all season anchored at the bottom of the Pro League standings.
Coach Richard Hood's men were in front from as early as the second minute after Belgrave swooped in on a rebound to hit past goalkeeper Miles Goodman, who had kept out an initial attempt from Perry (K).
Belgrave, enjoying the night in an attacking role, made it 2-0 on 16 minutes after controlling a diagonal Perry (J) pass inside the box and firing low beyond a hapless Goodman.
The ok-built Belgrave, usually at centre-back for Police, missed out on a third on the half-hour mark when he struck high from the spot after Reigh Alexander had brought down Perry (K) inside the box.
But Belgrave completed his hat-trick ten minutes from time with a low left-footed drive past Goodman for the Lawmen's ninth goal following an enterprising solo move by substitute Christon Thomas, who unselfishly picked out his teammate in the middle of the area.
Belgrave was also instrumental in his side's third item to go into the break with a 3-0 lead after his pass in the 44th-minute set Perry (K) free to lob an onrushing Goodman from 18-yards out.
Police, positioned seventh on the DPL standings, ahead of, in descending order, Rangers, Morvant Caledonia and Civic, showed off their flair with six more goals in the second half.
Like early in the first half, Goodman conceded again on the rebound five minutes after the break when Riley smashed in a rebound from the edge of the six-yard area to put the score at 4-0 after the Civic goalie had blocked out an effort from Perry (K).
And, with a spectacular diving header in the area by Alleyne in the 57th-minute to meet a right side Belgrave free-kick, Police were 5-0.
Police, though, didn't take their feet off the gas even with their food at their mouths.
A minute after Alleyne's headed goal, Perry (J) was celebrating his first on the night. The lanky forward had controlled a Riley cross off his chest before volleying past Goodman from the middle of the area to make it 6-0.
Ten minutes later and Jameel's brother Kareem completed his double before quick goals by Micah Lewis and Belgrave in the 79th and 80th minutes made it 9-0.
The popular question among those present: What's the score now? And the final answer: 10-0, Police recording the highest scoring win in all competitions this season after Perry (J) completed his double in the second minute of stoppage-time.
Police returns to play on Friday in their final league game of the season against Morvant Caledonia from 8pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, following a 6pm kick-off between fifth-positioned Club Sando and Rangers.
The final slate of league matches will continue over the weekend with Point Fortin Civic hosting Defence Force from 5pm at the Mahaica Oval on Saturday, and simultaneously from 3:30pm on Sunday, for the crowning of this season’s DPL champions, leaders Central FC (44 points) are against third-positioned San Juan Jabloteh (29 points) at the Ato Boldon Stadium and second-placed W Connection (43 points) will take on fourth-positioned Ma Pau Stars (28 points) at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium.
Police FC 9 (Elijah Belgrave 2’, 16’, 80’ Kareem Perry 44’, 69’, Kadeem Riley 50’, Dexter Alleyne 57’, Jameel Perry 90’+2, Micah Lewis 79') vs Point Fortin Civic 0, at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
St. Ann’s Rangers 0 (5) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0 (4)
Rangers won the game 5-4 on kicks from the penalty spot, at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Kicks from the penalty spot
St. Ann’s Rangers 5 v Morvant Caledonia United 4
Jameel Antoine (scored) Kareem Joseph (scored)
Devon Modeste (overbar) Keron Bethelmy (saved)
Che Benny (crossbar) Akim Armstrong (scored)
Shakiyl Phillip (scored) Jameel Neptune (saved)
Kyle Bartholomew (scored) Dylon King (scored)
Sedale Mc Lean (scored) Seon Thomas (scored)
Kazim Donald (scored) Kordell Samuel (saved)
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK), 5.Anton Hutchinson, 6.Jibri Mc David, 7.Kareem Perry (19.Christon Thomas 75th minute), 12.Kadeem Riley (23.Micah Lewis 66th minute), 15.Jameel Perry, 17.Dexter Alleyne, 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (Capt.) (24.Keeron Benito 68th minute), 25.Kenaz Williams, 38.Nequan Caruth.
Unused substitutes: 3.Ryan O’Neil, 8.Kurdell Brathwaite, 13.Dillon Kirton, 22.Theon Browne (GK).
Coach: Richard Hood
Point Fortin Civic: 22.Miles Goodman (GK), 3.Kurfri Pierre (Yellow Card) (99.Tereek Joseph 78th minute), 7.Nickcolson Thomas, 8.Akeem Redhead, 9.Sylvester Teesdale, 11.Shaquille Dublin, 27.Darnell Hospidales, 28.Nion Lammy, 35.Reigh Alexander (23.Shaquille Stewart 46th minute), 38.Jamal John (13.Shevon Abraham 19th minute), 36.Chad Mark.
Unused substitutes: 40.Tevin Moore (GK), 4.Kerron Neptune, 6.Shane Garraway.
Coach: Dick Furlonge
Referee: Joel Cox
St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Cleon John (GK), 7.Sedale Mc Lean, 8.Jameel Antoine, 10.Devon Modeste (Capt.), 11.Kazim Donald, 14.Kyle Bartholomew, 27.Che Benny, 28.Shakiyl Phillip, 30.Lester Durham, 32.Marvin Lee, 33.Osaze Springer (Yellow Card).
Unused substitutes: 22.Christopher Biggette (GK), 16.Richard Williams, 29.Keshawn Hutchinson.
Coach: Anthony Streete
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 5.Seon Thomas, 6.Taje Commissiong, 9.Dylon King, 12.Kareem Joseph, 17.Akim Armstrong, 18.Maestro Mensah, 20.Jameel Neptune, 22.Jameel Neptune, 25.Jelani Felix (7.Kordell Samuel 56th minute), 29.Kelsey Benjamin (14.Keron Bethelmy 56th minute).
Unused substitutes: 11.Dominic Douglas, 15.Otev Lawrence, 23.Lester Joseph, 27.Dominic Jangoo, 30.Kern Caesar.
Coach: Rajesh Latchoo
Referee: CJ O’Brien