Sat, Feb

FC Phoenix's Mickaeel Jem Gordon, right, collects an award from Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe.

FC Phoenix moved to the top of the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League tier two, following a 2-0 victory over San Fernando Giants, at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella on Sunday.

It was the second straight 2-0 win for the Tobago team, after taking care of Police FC in their previous encounter. The unbeaten Phoenix have amassed eight points from four matches.

In a close contest, Jabbary Francis eventually broke the deadlock with a header, following a right-sided corner in the 81st minute. Mickaeel Jem Gordon doubled the advantage with a penalty two minutes before full-time to settle proceedings.

Commenting on the game, Phoenix coach Nigel De Souza said he is not getting carried away with their early fortunes. He said, “It was an evenly contested game. The second-half changes made the difference for us.

“It is a nice feeling to be at the top, but we are not getting ahead of ourselves; there are teams that have only played two matches and we will have to see how those results go.”

Phoenix drew their first two matches but have found their stride.

“Our first priority is to qualify for the big six,” De Souza said. “However, the team is settling nicely; they understand the formation and there is strong competition to make the team.

“The players are upbeat. We will just keep putting in the work and take things one game at a time.”

The other Tobago team in the league, Bethel SC, squandered a two-goal cushion against UTT FC at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet on Saturday, to settle for their fourth draw in as many matches.

Both teams were relying on patient build-up from defence in the early stages of the match.

The ploy proved costly for UTT in the 17th minute, as a Bethel attacker pinched a lazy effort to control the ball by a UTT defender, which resulted in a penalty converted by Kieon Melville.

UTT responded in the 41st minute, when a quick counter-attack resulted in an aerial pass from the right side eluded the Bethel goalkeeper, and Dacian John was in the right spot to convert from close range.

However, Bethel went into halftime with a 2-1 lead, as Akeilon Murphy was on the end of a through-ball which he converted from close range, following a clinical build-up from the left, on the stroke of the interval.

Two minutes after the resumption, Bethel extended their advantage when a left-sided corner was met by Jokiah Leacock, who had an uncontested header into the back of the net.

UTT kept probing and John's diagonal run into the Bethel penalty area, in the 81st, was not tracked, and he had a free header at the near post from a right-sided cross, which he buried.

Bethel seemed to be playing for the final whistle and UTT's Ricaldo Castellano punished them by eluding three Bethel defenders to finish clinically past the goalie and earn a share of the points.

Bethel players were left visible dejected, stuck in fifth position on four points.

In other weekend results, PDVM United defeated Guaya United 2-0; QPCC stayed perfect after two games, following a 2-0 win over Harlem Strikers, which elevated them to second position; Police jumped to third, after edging Matura Reunited 2-1.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday