Former national youth player Brent Sam scored early in each half as Defence Force whipped Police FC 4-1 to close in on a record 19th national league title when the 2019/2020 T&T Pro League continued on Sunday night.
Playing in the second match of a double-header on a very hot and humid evening at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, the Army/Coast Guard combination, which last won the Pro League crown in the 2012/2013 season their third in the competition's 20-year history went ahead as early as the third minute via Aaron Lester.
The Lawmen who have already claimed the First Citizens Cup so far this season hardly had time to try and recover from the early setback when Sam, the youngest brother of ex-England-based T&T striker Hector Sam made it 2-0 in the fourth minute.
Nine minutes before the half-time the rampant Defence Force line-up boasting their next generation of strikers as veteran Devorn Jorsling, the league's all-time leading scorer with 155-plus goals edges towards the end of his career, virtually put the match to rest when Dwight Quintero made it 3-0.
On the resumption, Police FC needed to score the next goal in the match if they harboured any hopes of mounting a come-back and Elijah Belgrave provided that hope by scoring in the 56th minute.
But, that joy was short-lived as within three minutes when Sam fired in his second on the night and Defence Force's fourth.
With the comfortable lead, Defence Force then coasted the rest of the half to push their points tally to 41 from 16 matches, nine more than second-placed Terminix La Horquetta Rangers who have to 32 points from 16 matches.
This after national winger Ross Russell Jr netted the 82nd-minute item to earn Rangers a 1-0 win over Tiger Tanks Club Sando at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar.
With four matches left each for the top two clubs, Defence Force needs only to win two of their matches to add to their title triumphs or for Rangers to falter in two matches as well.
In Sunday's first match at Couva, former St Anthony's College Secondary Schools Football League stand-outs, Central FC's Che Paul Benny (40th) and Cunupia FC's Xavier Rajpaul (54th), both scored from their penalty-spot in their team's 1-1 draw.
Saturday March 7
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Tyrel Emmanuel 41) v Morvant Caledonia United 0, 6pm, Mahaica Oval
Sunday March 8
Club Sando 0 v La Horquetta Rangers 1 (Ross Russell Jr, 82), 3:30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium
Central FC 1 (Ché Raul Benny 40-Pen) v Cunupia FC 1 (Xavier Rajpaul 54-Pen), 4pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Defence Force 4 (Aaron Lester 3, Brent Sam 4, 59, Dwight Quintero 36) v Police FC 1 (Elijah Belgrave 56), 6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Latest Team Standings
P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Defence Force FC 16 13 2 1 31 13 +18 41
2 La Horquetta Rangers 16 10 2 4 44 18 +26 32
3 Point Fortin Civic 16 7 4 5 21 22 -1 25
4 W Connection 15 7 3 5 25 20 +5 24
5 Morvant Caledonia United 16 6 6 4 20 19 +1 24
6 Police FC 17 6 5 6 29 22 +7 23
7 Club Sando 17 5 5 7 24 21 +3 20
8 San Juan Jabloteh 16 4 4 8 20 31 -11 16
9 Central FC 17 3 5 9 17 30 -13 14
10 AC Port of Spain 16 3 4 9 18 37 -19 13
11 Cunupia FC 16 2 6 8 14 30 -16 12
Tuesday March 10
AC Port of Spain v San Juan Jabloteh, 6pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Wednesday March 11
Central FC v Point Fortin Civic, 6pm, La Horquetta Recreational Ground
La Horquetta Rangers v Morvant Caledonia United, 8pm, La Horquetta Recreational Ground
W Connection v Cunupia FC, 6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Defence Force v Club Sando, 6pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium