DEFENCE FORCE almost certainly shot themselves in the foot, but survived to keep a 2-2 draw with bottom-placed Tobago United in a T&T Pro League match yesterday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Already down a man after the dismissal of striker Devon Jorslyn for dangerous play midway through the first half, the Defence Force gave Tobago United a lifeline early in the second half from a defensive mix-up.
Tobago had looked firmly second best, even against just ten Army men, until miscommunication between central back Corey Edwards and keeper Ross Russell allowed Tobago striker Ashford Legerton to sneak between them and poach a 53rd minute equaliser.
Jerwyn Balthazar had shot the Defence Force ahead in the ninth minute, and even after losing Jorsling, Defence Force were still in control.
Pacey striker Kevon Carter almost carved out a second first half goal for Defence Force when rounding Tobago keeper Sheahn Warner on the right, laying on a pass to overlapping midfielder Ronald St Louis, then seeing his teammate "sky" the ball over the unguarded Tobago goal.
They would come to regret that miss when Edwards' lapse in judgement handed the Tobagonians their first equaliser (1-1).
Till then, Tobago had looked well on course for their eighth loss of the season, but had an equal share of the game once they pulled level.
That was until the 75th minute when Carter did what he had threatened to do all night, when beating keeper Warner to give his team a 2-1 lead.
The advantage seemed quite sufficient, as Defence Force missed a few more half chances. But just as the game seemed to be winding down, coach Kerry Jamerson galvanised all his troops into full defence, even calling back striker Carter into his team's half.
Tobago took advantage by pushing further forward and, at one point, all bar Tobago keeper Warner were in the Defence Force penalty area.
Finally, in the dying seconds, Deon Thomas dribbled through outstretched Defence Force legs and hit the ball into the net to give Tobago United a hard-fought point.
After holding Petrotrin United to a draw last time out, Tobago United have now picked up just their second point out of a possible 24 this season.
YESTERDAY'S T&T PRO LEAGUE MATCHES:
Defence Force 2 Tobago United 2
Jerwyn Baltazar - 9th Ashford Legerton - 53rd
Kevon Carter - 75th Deon Thomas - 90th
National Quarries North East Stars 1 Vibe CT 105 W. Connection 2