Reon Moore scored a goal in each as Defence Force came from behind to beat Central FC 2-1 to maintain their lead at the top of the 11-club T&T Pro League at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground, Phase II, La Horquetta on Tuesday, night.
Going into the match on the back of their first loss to Morvant Caledonia United, by a similar 2-1 margin on Saturday, the Army/Coast-Guard combination was desperate to get back to winning ways, with the quartet of third-placed Police FC, La Horquetta Rangers, defending champions W Connection and Pt Fortin Civic hot on their heels.
However, Central FC, beaten 2-0 by Rangers also on Saturday, also came out with intentions of pulling off the upset and took the lead inside the first two minutes thanks to former Finland-based striker Akim Armstrong.
That lead would last until the 22nd minute when Moore drew the "Teteron Men" level for both teams to go in 1-1 at the half-time interval.
With 12 minutes left in an evenly matched second-half, Moore would net the decisive item for Defence Force to pick up a sixth win in nine matches this season for 20 points, three ahead of reigning First Citizens Cup winners' Police FC.
At the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Christian Thomas also scored twice to lead Police FC to a 4-0 hammering of W Connection.
Thomas opened the scoring in the tenth minute and added his second in the 52nd, while Clevon Mc Fee (65th) and Jameel Perry (70th), also added second-half strikes to complete the dominant showing by coach Richard Hood's men.
In the second match at La Horquetta, the star-studded Rangers continued their free-scoring with a 5-1 trashing of Point Fortin Civic led by a double from Isaiah Lee.
Lee got things started for Rangers with goals in the third and seventh minutes followed by Aikim Andrews in the 14th minute for a 3-0 advantage.
Rangers did not let up their offensive onslaught in the first-half with Junior Assoon and Jamal Creighton, the league's joint-top scorer with six goals, adding to the tally in the 27th and 42nd minutes respectively for a 5-0 cushion at the interval.
The second half was much of an anti-climax for the home spectators as Rangers completely lost their way and failed to add to their 20 goals on the season before Daniel Diaz netted the 91st-minute consolation for Pt Fortin.
Down at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex, Diego Martin, AC Port-of-Spain added to the struggles of coach Angus Eve and Tiger Tanks Club Sando with a 1-0 triumph thanks to Kordell Samuel's 84th-minute winner in the opening contest.
And in the night's feature match, national youth team player and son of former 'Strike Squad' midfielder Marvin Faustin. Jaheim Faustin scored in the 78th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw for San Juan Jabloteh after Kevon "Showtime" Woodley's 50th go-ahead strike for cellar-placed Cunupia FC.
Defence Force beat Central FC 2-1 to stay on top standings.
By Sherdon Pierre (Newsday).
POLICE FC and Terminix La Horquetta Rangers had whipping victories but Defence Force's narrow 2-1 win against Central FC kept them three points clear on top the TT Pro League standings after round one, match day ten, on Tuesday.
Central FC's Akim Armstrong gave his team the best possible start by opening the scoring in the second minute of play at the La Horquetta Recreation Grounds. The table toppers, Defence Force equalised through Reon More twenty minutes later when he met Brent Sam's header-pass with a classy finish. On the stroke of halftime, Armstrong's bicycle-kick should have been his second goal but returning army goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke made a perfect close-range save to keep the scores leveled at the interval.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw until Moore grabbed his second goal and the eventual winner. The tricky striker cut in from the right wing and neatly finished past the diving goalie Jadel Poon-Lewis.
The visiting Point Fortin Civic team failed to cope with the speedy strikers of La Horquetta Rangers as well as their smaller than usual ground that is perfectly suited to their style of play. Returning from his one game suspension, forward Isaiah Lee greeted an inch-perfect cross with an unstoppable header in the third minute. Four minutes later, Lee got his second with a calmly-finished shot to beat Point Fortin's keeper Stephon Seepersad for the two-nil lead. There was no letting up as in-form attacker Aikim Andrews scored a well-composed goal to further extend the lead to 3-0. Rangers ‘Junior Assoon riffled home his team's fourth goal after a series of attempts on goal in the six-yard box.
Point Fortin's skipper Justin Sadoo tried to rally his troops by giving them some momentum with slick passes but his team-mates weren’t finishing in the business end. To make matters worse, his opposing skipper Jamal Creighton received a one-time pass from Lee and slapped it home far-post beating a helpless Seepersad for a handful of goals within 42minutes.
Despite being five-nil down, the Southerners had a spirited performance creating several chances but couldn't capitalise until substitute Daniel Diaz scored a beautifully chipped goal in the 91st minute to end the game 5-1 in favour of Rangers.
Police FC hammered W Connection four-nil, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, to stay in second place on 17 points, three points behind Defence Force and one point ahead of both Rangers and Morvant/ Caledonia United. Utility player Christian Thomas scored a brace in the (10th,52nd) while Clevon McFee scored in the 65th and Jameel Perry (70th).
AC Port of Spain recorded a late one-nil victory against Tiger Tanks Club Sando, who themselves wish they could have gathered some needed points. Kordell Samuel scored the lone goal in the 84th minute at their home ground, Diego Martin Sporting Complex. In the other match, at same venue, San Juan Jabloteh and Cunupia FC played to a 1-1 draw. Kevon "Showtime" Woodley open the scoring in the 50th minute but Jabloteh tied the game in minute 78 through 15-year-old national youth player Jaheim Faustin.
Tuesday's Full Results
(Tuesday 28 January)
Central FC 1 (Akim Armstrong 2) v Defence Force 2 (Reon Moore 22, 78), 6pm, La Horquetta Recreation Ground;
La Horquetta Rangers 5 (Isaiah Lee 3, 7, Aikim Andrews 14, Junior Assoon 27, Jamal Creighton 42) v Point Fortin Civic 1 (Daniel Diaz 90+1), 8pm, La Horquetta Recreation Ground;
AC Port of Spain 1 (Kordell Samuel 84) v Club Sando 0, 6pm, Diego Martin Sporting Complex;
San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Jaheim Faustin 78) v Cunupia FC 1 (Kevon Woodley 50), 8pm, Diego Martin Sporting Complex;
W Connection 0v Police FC 4 (Christian Thomas 10, 52, Clevon McFee 65, Jameel Perry 70), 6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.
1*Defence Force FC*9*6*2*1*14*9*5*20
3*Terminix La Horquetta Rangers*9*5*1*3*25*12*13*16
4*Morvant Caledonia United*9*4*4*1*11*7*4*16
6*Point Fortin Civic*8*3*3*2*12*12*0*12
7*San Juan Jabloteh*9*2*4*3*10*14*-4*10
8*AC Port of Spain*9*3*1*5*11*24*-13*10
10*Tiger Tanks Club Sando*9*1*3*5*7*13*-6*6
6 - Keion Wilson (Police FC), Kervile Jeremiah (Point Fortin Civic), Jamal Creighton (La Horquetta Rangers)
4 - Keron Cummings (La Horquetta Rangers), Rashad Hyacenth (AC PoS), Dimitrie Apai (W Connection), Isaiah Lee (La Horquetta Rangers),
3 - Shaqkeem Joseph (Club Sando), Sean Bonval (Central FC), Aaron Richards (Morvant Caledonia United), Kareem Freitas, Christian Thomas (Police FC)
(Friday 31 January)
W Connection v Club Sando, 6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
San Juan Jabloteh v Police FC, 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
La Horquetta Rangers v Cunupia FC, 7pm, La Horquetta Recreation Ground.
Point Fortin Civic v Defence Force, 7pm, Mahaica Oval.
(Sunday 2 February)
AC Port of Spain v Morvant Caledonia United, 3:30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;
Central FC - Bye.