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Defence Force FC pose for a team photo before facing Point Fortin Civic FC in a TTPFL Knockout Cup semifinal at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex on Tuesday, July 11th 2023.

DEFENCE Force stayed in contention to complete the double this season with a 3-2 win over Heritage Petroleum Point Fortin Civic in semi-final one of the TT Premier Football League Knock-out competition at Diego Martin Sporting Complex on Tuesday night.

The Army men won the league crown on the final matchday with a victory over AC Port of Spain last month and are now one win away from another title.

Defence Force opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a header. Defender Justin Garcia has a knack for scoring in important matches as he found the back of the net when he got on the end of a Justin Sadoo corner.

In the last round of the league competition against AC Port of Spain, Garcia scored a header which helped Army clinch the league title.

Shortly after Garcia's opener, Pt Fortin Civic striker Marcus Joseph had the chance to level the match from the penalty spot, but he could not convert.

In the 35th minute, Joseph made amends as he got a second chance to equalise from the penalty spot and he did not disappoint on this occasion.

Defence Force dominated possession in the closing minutes of the first half, but the teams remained locked at 1-1.

Defence Force had 57 per cent possession in the first half, but Pt Fortin had seven shots compared to Defence Force's four attempts.

Thirty seconds into the second half, Reon Moore put Defence Force up 2-1. After a cross from the right side was deflected twice the ball fell to Moore near the penalty spot and he slotted home.

Seconds later Garcia almost scored his second goal of the match, but this time in his own net. In attempting to make a clearance the ball sliced off his foot and struck the post. Defence Force goalkeeper Christopher Biggette in an attempt to clear the ball slammed into the post and injured himself which led to a long delay.

Point Fortin then went in search of the equaliser creating a few chances.

In the 60th minute, Moore attempted a curling shot from just outside the box but it did not trouble Civic goal-keeper Terrence Lewis

In the 63rd minute, prolific goalscorer Brent Sam made it 3-1 to Defence Force. Pt Fortin left Sam wide open on the far post who accepted the gift and converted the header.

Civic kept on fighting and in the 68th minute pulled a goal back when captain Hughton Hector controlled the ball with his thigh and in one motion turned and volleyed past Biggette eight yards from goal.

In the 78th minute, Defence Force had a chance to take a two-goal lead. Dwight Quintero and Kaihim Thomas combined well and the latter had a golden chance to score but could not find the back of the net and Lewis made the save.

Civic continued to attack the Defence Force goal in search of the equaliser. Substitute Ackeel Jacob got all his power behind a free kick and Biggette made a meal out of it as in attempting to hold the ball he could only push it onto the post. Defence Force survived as Civic could not score the rebound.

Despite eight minutes of stoppage time, Civic could not find the equaliser as Defence Force advanced.

The second semi-final between Police FC and Terminix La Horquetta Rangers ended after press time on Tuesday at the same venue.