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Defence Force's Rivaldo Coryat celebrates after scoring the game-winner against AC Port of Spain at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday, January 6th 2024.
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Police FC (17 points) defeated Morvant Caledonia 2-1 on Saturday night as they extended their unbeaten run in the T&T Premier Football League (TTPFL) to seven games, in a double header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo. The victory propelled Police to the top of the 11-team table.

Caledonia fired three more shots than Police in the match, but just one was on target. Police had four shots, with two of them shaking the net.

Police, who have bolstered their squad this season with a number of current and former T&T international players, took the lead in the 41st minute through a goal from former St Anthony's College standout Kwesi "Jep" Allen.

Allen completed a quick and decisive Police attack which needed less than five passes, in a move that started as a goal-kick and ended with the Caledonia goalie picking up the ball from his net.

Police midfielder Keron "Ball Best" Cummings showed great awareness to provide the assist to Allen, after receiving the ball in central midfield and flicking it over his head into the path of Allen, who caught the Caledonia central defender on the wrong side of his shoulder. Allen raced to goal and placed a low left-footer past the Caledonia goalkeeper as the defence closed in on him.

Playmaker Joevin Jones made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute after a gift by Caledonia. A sloppy back pass was intercepted by Police's Jabari Mitchell who crossed the ball for Jones, who controlled the ball with his chest before slotting it into the open net. Despite appeals by Caledonia for a handball, the goal stood.

Caledonia netted a consolation through a stoppage-time penalty from Azahrias Ali.

Man-of-the-Match Allen hailed the tough practice sessions by Police coach Wendell Joseph for their unbeaten run.

Joseph said, "Three points tonight is very important. That in itself puts pressure on the league leaders."

He said his veterans, particularly midfielder Khaleem Hyland, are digging deep to get the job done.

"Khaleem is not fit. Khaleem is not where he supposed to be, but his ability and his experiences will carry him a long way. Remember he played all over the world and captained T&T for a long period, so we were counting on that (experience) tonight."

Caledonia coach Jerry Moe was pleased with the collective effort but said individual lapses and lack of experience are costing them in matches. He said the team is creating chances but not scoring.

In the second game of the Hasely Crawford double-header, a stoppage-time goal from midfielder Rivaldo Coryat settled the contest as defending champions Defence Force (14 points) got a slender 1-0 win over last season's TTPFL runners-up AC PoS (15 points).

The "Capital Boys" came into the game on the back of a five-game winning streak as they had held a one-point advantage over Police. With the keenly contested encounter seemingly heading to a goalless draw as the allotted four minutes of stoppage-time elapsed, Coryat sent his teammates into a frenzy as he beat former Soca Warriors custodian Marvin Phillip in the sixth minute of additional time with a low left-footed shot from the edge of the area after an ill-advised defensive header from AC PoS right back Liam Burns.

Army's win consolidated third spot on the table, with AC PoS slipping to second. However, the win could give momentum to an Army team which started the campaign with inconsistent showings.

Defence Force have fond memories facing AC PoS, after beating them 2-1 on June 24, 2023, to leapfrog their opponents in the final game of the inaugural season to clinch the title.

Heritage Petroleum Point Fortin Civic (seven points) got their second win of the season as they edged Prisons FC by a 2-1 margin in a wild finish at the Mahaica Sporting Complex in Point Fortin. The game was deadlocked for most of the 90 minutes, but the hosts Civic took the lead in the 78th minute with a penalty from Isaiah Thompson. Prisons equalised through a goal from former Civic defender Weslie John in the 86th minute. However, flanker Ezekiel Kesar sealed the three points for Civic as he scored mere seconds after John's equaliser to break the hearts of the Prisons players.

Civic moved up to seventh spot, with Prisons (nine points) staying in sixth.

TTPFL standings

Teams*GP*W*L*D*GD*Pts

Miscellaneous Police*7*5*0*2*+12*17

AC Port of Spain*6*5*1*0*+13*15

Defence Force*7**4*1*2*+8*14

Tiger vTanks Club Sando*6*4*1*1*+6*13

Terminex La Horquetta Rangers*5*3*2*0*+3*9

Prison FC*7*3*4*0*-6*9

Heritage Petroleum Pt Fortin Civic*6*2*3*1*+1*7

Caledonia FC*6*2*4*0*-2*6

FC Eagles*6*1*3*2*-2*5

FC 1976 Phoenix*6*1*5*0*-11*3

Central FC*6*0*6*0*-22*0

SOURCE: T&T Newsday