Central and Connection set up Toyota Clásico after QF wins over Cale’ and N/E Stars

Central FC midfielder Ataulla Guerra (second from left) pictured last season with teammates (left to right) Darren Mitchell, Jason Marcano and Kevon Villaroel.

Monday 23 November 2015

Couva-rivals Central FC and W Connection will meet in the semi-final round of the Toyota Classic 2015 on November 29 after quarter-final wins over Morvant Caledonia United and 10-man North East Stars, respectively, on Sunday.

It will be the second Couva-Clásico within six days and fourth of the season as Central and Connection are also scheduled to meet on Tuesday from 8 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Round One Match Day Four of the 2015-16 Digicel Pro League.

Last evening Ataulla Guerra scored on either side of the break at the Ato Boldon Stadium to lift Central FC to a 2-1 win over his ex-employers, Morvant Caledonia United, in the first match of the final quarter-final double-header before Connection completed the semi-final matchups with a 3-0 win over North East Stars, who were reduced to 10 men early in the second half.

Central will take on Connection from 6 pm in Semi-Final Two on Sunday 29 November at the Hasely Crawford Stadium following a 4 pm kick-off between Defence Force and defending Toyota Classic champions San Juan Jabloteh in Semi-Final One.

On Saturday, Jabloteh whipped top Super League side Guaya United 5-0 after Defence Force edged another Super League side FC Santa Rosa 2-1 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium to secure an all-Pro League cast in the semi-finals.

Connection, who, like Central needed penalties to reach the quarter-finals, took a 1-0 lead into the break after Jomal Williams broke the offside trap to collect a Briel Thomas cross and fired into goalkeeper Shane Mattis’ far netting in the 44th minute after an evenly contested first half against North East Stars.

Talented W Connection midfielder Jomal Williams (right).

But things took a twist for the worst for North East Stars in the 53rd minute when central defender Glenton Wolfe was ejected following his second yellow card. Referee Rodphin Harris adjudged that Wolfe had struck Quintero in the face in the process of shielding the ball from the Connection forward.

Although down a player, the Roland Clarke-coached North East Stars – 8-0 winners over Super League outfit Siparia Spurs in the Round-of-16 – didn’t roll over. However their defence clearly missed the experience and defensive ability of Wolfe as Connection found the back of the net twice in the second period to complete the rout.

Andre Toussaint made it 2-0 for the three-time Toyota Classic champions, Connection, when he smashed a clever heeled pass from Neil Benjamin Jr. past Mattis.

Then on the 73rd minute Quintero, who was denied superbly by Mattis in the 18th minute, added the Savonetta Boys third with a simple tap in following an attack involving substitute Shahdon Winchester and opening goalscorer Jomal Williams for a 3-0 finish over the 2012 Toyota Classic champions.

North East Stars midfielder Keron Cummings (left) during the final of the FA Trophy last season against W Connection.

Stars, wielding the talent of Trinidad and Tobago international and former Connection player, Keron Cummings, and ex-T&T youth player, Duane Muckette, in midfield, mounted numerous attacks but came closest to an item two minutes inside the second period when T&T international Jesus Perez’s attempt glanced off the base of the upright.

In the earlier contest, another T&T talent, Guerra, who recently returned to action following a lengthy lay-off due to injury, handed Central FC a 1-0 lead over his ex-employers Morvant Caledonia United (MCU) in the 14th minute.

Guerra rounded goalkeeper Marvin Phillip inside the area in a one-on-one situation after a feed from Willis Plaza to score.

Plaza later wasted two close-up chances, and although he did well to create a number of openings, his side lost the advantage just before the half-time whistle.

MCU’s Guyana international, Sheldon Holder, who had an excellent diving headed goal cancelled out for offside, levelled the scores 1-1 in stoppage-time of the first half after he broke the offside trap to control a pass sent into the box and rifled his shot past goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams at the near post.

It was a deserving goal, especially after ‘keeper Phillip had risked it all to preserve his side’s lifeline. Phillip’s face had taken the full impact from a strike by Sean De Silva. Unlucky for the T&T shot-stopper, he needed the assistant of the medical staff again following the resulting corner after colliding with the upright when he pulled off a save to tip behind a Jason Marcano header.

Phillip was brilliant again, denying Plaza and substitute Marcus Joseph in the 62nd and 71st minutes, respectively. But even with his heroics, the MCU players failed to earn the club’s founding member and current technical director, Jamaal Shabazz, a win in celebration of his 52nd birthday.

Morvant Caledonia United technical director Jamaal Shabazz (left) and assistant coach Rajesh Latchoo share a light moment.

Guerra completed his double in the 78th minute for a 2-1 Central win when he struck a left-footed strike to beat Phillip following a corner swung in from the right by Marcano.

Substitute Marcus Joseph had a great opportunity to add to Central’s tally in stoppage-time by his attempt crashed off the base of the upright moments after a 30-yard Kareem Joseph free-kick on the other end clipped the top of goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams’ crossbar.

MCU will now shift their focus solely on the Digicel Pro League (DPL) when they host St. Ann’s Rangers from 6 pm on Thursday (Nov. 26) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Round One Match Day Four.

Two hours later (8 pm) at the same venue Police FC will tackle Jabloteh.

The DPL Round One Match Day Four action kicks off on Tuesday (Nov. 24) when Club Sando and Defence Force clash from 6 pm, followed by the W Connection versus Central FC Couva-Clásico.

Also on Tuesday, Point Fortin Civic will host North East Stars from 6 pm at the Mahaica Oval.

Toyota Classic 2015
Quarter Final Round results
Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium
Defence Force 2 (Jelani Felix 15’, Devorn Jorsling 78’) vs FC Santa Rosa 1 (Devon King 45’+1)
Guaya United 0 vs San Juan Jabloteh 5 (Jamal Gay 50’, Fabian Reid 60’, Jevon Morris 75’, Tyrone Charles 79’, 89’)

Sunday at the Ato Boldon Stadium
North East Stars 0 vs W Connection 3 (Jomal Williams 44’, Andre Toussaint 60’, Dwight Quintero 73’)
Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Sheldon Holder 45’+1) vs Central FC 2 (Ataulla Guerra 14’, 78’)

Semi-Final Round
Sunday 29 November
Hasely Crawford Stadium
San Juan Jabloteh vs Defence Force—4 pm
Central FC vs W Connection—6 pm

Sunday 6 December
Ato Boldon Stadium

Teams at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 3.Ranaldo Bailey, 4.Ordelle Flemming, 10.Sheldon Holder (24.Gregory President 82nd minute), 12.Kareem Joseph, 13.Kyle Bartholomew, 14.Kennedy Isles (29.Kareem Knights 87th minute), 18.Akeem Roach, 21.Densill Theobald, 22.Jameel Neptune (11.Abdallah Phillips 80th minute), 23.Shaquille Edwards

Unused substitutes: 2.Shomari Antoine, 5.Daniel Whyte, 20.Jamaal Harvey, 30.Anthony Whyte (GK)

Coach: Jerry Moe

Central FC: 4.Andre Ettienne, 7.Jason Marcano (19.Nathaniel Garcia 83rd minute), 8.Sean De Silva (11.Darren Mitchell 79th minute), 10.Marvin Oliver (99.Marcus Joseph 63rd minute), 12.Jamal Jack, 17.Marcelle Francois, 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK) (Capt.), 24.Kevon Villaroel, 33.Willis Plaza, 22.Leston Paul, 45.Ataulla Guerra

Unused substitutes: 30.Akel Clarke, 6.Kerry Baptiste, 14.Nicholas Dillon, 15.Kaydion Gabriel

Coach: Ross Russell

Referee: Cecile Hinds

North East Stars: 1.Shane Mattis (GK), 4.Jesus Perez, 6.Duane Muckette, 8.Neveal Hackshaw (21.Neil Mitchell 82nd minute), 10.Keron Cummings, 14.Chike Sullivan (39.Taryk Sampson 57th minute), 19.Glenton Wolfe, 23.Brendon Figuera, 24.Adrian Noel, 25.Keryn Navarro (Capt.), 40.Jomoul Francois (5.Alanzo Adlam 70th minute)

Unused substitutes: 22.Cleon John (GK), 27.Quincy Charles, 28.Dillon Jagasar, 29.Hakim Baird

Coach: Roland Clarke

W Connection: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK), 2.Kurt Frederick, 4.Maurice Ford, 5.Triston Hodge, 8.Briel Thomas, 10.Jomal Williams, 11.Neil Benjamin Jr., 14.Andre Toussaint (9.Shahdon Winchester 67th minute), 16.Alvin Jones (Capt.) (13.Kion Joseph 74th minute), 17.Aikim Andrews, 19.Dwight Quintero (46.Anfernee Frederick 80th minute)

Unused substitutes: 18.Julani Archibald (GK), 12.Dimitri Apai, 21.Shannon Gomez, 23.Kevon Goddard

Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier

Match Referee: Rodphin Harris