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AC Port of Spain's Sedale McLean celebrates after scoring a brace in a 3-1 win over La Horquetta Rangers at La Horquetta Recreation Ground on Wednesday, March 6th 2024.

Athletic Club of Port of Spain gave themselves some breathing room at the top of the Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League Tier 1 standings following a 3-1 victory over Terminix La Horquetta Rangers at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground on Wednesday night.

AC PoS custodian Marvin Phillip made the difference in the end, making 11 saves to earn the Player of the Match award.

Rangers coach Dave Quamina said his players did their best but Phillip “was in the mood”.

“You saw the guys tried their best but the goalkeeper was excellent tonight and deserved that man of the match award. Our defence let us down tonight. On the other end Marvin had an excellent game,” Quamina said.

Meanwhile, AC PoS coach Walt Noriega said he was happy for the win and the lead at the top of the table.

“Definitely glad for the win because we know it is normally a struggle at this venue.

He (Philip) showed his brilliance and we are glad for his experience in the back and for guiding the defensive shape of the team,” Noriega added.

AC PoS opened the scoring with Sedale McClean holding off a defender at the top of the box before unleashing a right-footed shot past Rangers custodian Jabari Bryce in the 14th minute.

At the other end, Phillip made some crucial saves to preserve AC’s lead, denying a close-range effort from Isaiah Lee

He also kept out a long-range effort from Kadeem Corbin as the score stayed 1-0 at the end of the first half. In the second half, McClean pounced on an error at the back by Jesus Pires before squeezing the ball between Bryce and the near post from the narrowest of angles as AC Port of Spain doubled their advantage in the 50th minute.

Tyrone Charles gave Rangers a life-line eight minutes later, collecting a pass on his chest before smashing the ball into the top right corner beyond the reach of Phillip.

Substitute Jamal Charles was then brought down by Bryce resulting in a penalty kick which was expertly converted by Che Benny in the 74th minute to make it 3-1.

Phillip made a few more saves towards the end to make sure his team came out with full points. AC PoS move on to 29 points, five clear of second-placed Miscellaneous Police FC (24 points).

In another key game on Wednesday, defending champions Defence Force fell further behind in the title race after losing 1-0 against Prison Service FC.

TTPFL Tier 1 Results

Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 1 (Tyrone Charles 58th) vs Athletic Club Port of Spain 3 (Sedale McLean 14th, 50th, Che Benny (pen) 74th)

Eagles FC 1 (Michel Huguens 56th) vs Club San Do 1 (Shackiel Henry 9th)

Defence Force 0 vs Prison Service FC 1 (Ricardo Alleyne 4th)

Central FC 0 vs Heritage Petroleum Point Fortin Civic 6 (Ezekiel Kesar 6th, 27th, (pen) 76th, 80th, Mark Ramdeen 8th, Adica Ash 14th)

SOURCE: T&T Express