N/E Stars hit eight past Siparia in Toyota Classic

Morvant-Caledonia steer Phoenix’s flight back to Tobago after 8-goal thriller and Santa Rosa edge Super League counterpart Defence Force to advance into quarters.

North East Stars forward Jomoul Francois (left) during a clash with Police FC last season. Francois scored a beaver-trick in Wednesday's 8-0 win over Super League opponents Siparia Spurs in the Round of 16 of the Toyota Classic 2015.

Issued on Thursday 5 November 2015

The Toyota Classic 2015 got off to an exciting start on Wednesday night with former champions North East Stars crushing Super League opponents Siparia Spurs 8-0 and Morvant Caledonia United outscoring 1976 FC Phoenix 5-3 at separate venues.

Former St. Anthony’s College forward Jomoul Francois scored his first professional beaver-trick for North East Stars. The 20-year-old midfielder netted in the 13th, 63rd, 64th and 75th minutes in the second match of a Marvin Lee Stadium double-header after FC Santa Rosa had edged Super League counterparts Defence Force 1-0 courtesy a 72nd minute Devon King item to advance into the quarter-final round.

Also scoring for North East Stars on either side of the half was current T&T Senior Team midfielder Keron Cummings, who ended with a double after finding the back of Siparia’s net in the 14th and 47th minutes.

Former T&T youth player Gorean Highley had opened the scoring for the Roland Clarke-coached North East Stars in the 9th minute of the match which also had Dillon Jaggasar on the scoresheet for the Sangre Grande-based Pro League outfit in the 71st minute.

Earlier at the Ato Boldon Stadium, it wasn’t as easy for Morvant Caledonia United (MCU) despite dominating the opening stages and having a three-goal lead within the first 22 minutes.

Phoenix made a surprising comeback to level the scores, before MCU finally ended the Tobagonians effort with two additional goals in the second half.

Eugine Kirwan handed MCU a 1-0 lead by the 3rd minute. The Antigua forward buried the ball past Phoenix goalkeeper Joel Sampson from inside the area following a left side move by Jameel Neptune which was initiated by midfielder Densill Theobald.

Akeem Roach then extended MCU’s lead 2-0 by the 12th minute. The 19-year-old former Defence Force attacker’s strike off Kareem Joseph’s effort which cannoned off the upright was too much for Sampson and a desperate attempted clearance on the line by defender Simon Nedd.

MCU veteran midfielder Theobald joined in on the fun by scoring in the bottom left corner of Sampson’s net for a 3-0 lead following a flowing move then feed by St. Kitts/Nevis international Kennedy Isles.

But Phoenix leveled the scores 3-3 after firing back with three uninterrupted goals—all from excellent plays—scored Stefano Wright in the 31st minute, Dominic Mc Dougall in in stoppage time of the first half and Lejandro Williams, the son of Phoenix’s coach Terry Williams, in the 53rd minute against T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillip in goal for MCU.

However as both sides heaped the chances in the second half, MCU made better use with Roach completing his double in the 67th minute with a solo effort to put his side back in front 4-1.

Four minutes earlier, MCU veteran fullback and captain Kareem Joseph struck the upright a second time on the night.

Phoenix also had frame involved three minutes from time, but it was a superb low save by Phillip that saw Williams’ free-kick clip the base of the upright before heading out for a corner.

MCU finally completed the 5-3 victory in stoppage time when Isles, who went close in the 47th and 60th minutes, made no mistake in hitting past Sampson off substitute Sheldon Holder’s pass.

Round of 16 action continues on the weekend, beginning with a double-header at the Mahaica Oval on Friday. Former champions W Connection will take on 2013 finalists Club Sando from 5:30 pm before home side Point Fortin Civic welcomes Central FC from 8 pm.

On Saturday St. Ann’s Rangers will meet Pro League counterpart Defence Force from 3 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium.

Then on Sunday, the Guayaguayare Recreation Ground will come alive when home side Guaya United welcomes Police FC from 3 pm, and simultaneously at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Super League side Marabella Family Crisis Centre will take on defending Toyota Classic champions San Juan Jabloteh.