Jabloteh and Connection confident of Toyota Classic final spots despite weekday slip-ups

San Juan Jabloteh midfielder Keyon Edwards (#8) keeps his eyes on the ball as his strike during a 3-2 loss to Defence Force enters goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke’s top corner in the qualifier round of the 2015 First Citizens Cup on Sep. 30.
Saturday 28 November 2015

San Juan Jabloteh head coach Keith Jeffrey has revealed he wants to meet Central FC in the final of the 2015 Toyota Classic on December 6. Jeffrey envisions it: Past Jabloteh versus the present Jabloteh.

“We are looking to go past Defence Force in the semis and reach the final where I would like to meet Central FC,” said Jeffrey, who led the San Juan Kings to the Toyota Classic last season—his first season as head coach of the club’s senior team.

“A lot of their (Central) players are former players of Jabloteh. I’d like the final to be past Jabloteh versus the present Jabloteh. It will be a good final for spectators also.”

​San Juan Jabloteh head coach Keith Jeffrey.

Jabloteh, champions of 2008 and 2014, will meet Defence Force tomorrow (Sunday) from 4 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in semi-final one before rivals Central FC and W Connection clash in the Toyota Clásico from 6 pm in semi-final two.

Jabloteh have scored the best tally (12 goals) thus far in this season’s edition of the Toyota Classic while conceding none. Jeffrey's side crushed Super League sides Marabella Family Crisis Centre 7-0 and Guaya United 5-0 in the Round-of-16 and quarter-final stages respectively. However, in the lead-up to Sunday's semi-finals, Jabloteh were held to a 3-3 with Police FC in Digicel Pro League action on Thursday after once leading the match 2-0.

“Against Police it wasn’t a bad performance,” said Jeffrey. “It’s just that we threw away a lot of chances. Police are a (troublesome) team in the sense that they don’t go away easily. They threw a few players up late in the game while our defenders made some mistakes that allowed them back into the game.

“Also, on the advice of the team physio I had to rest out key players in our captain Damian Williams and Adrian Reid (both from Jamaica) while Kennedy Hinkson was used off the bench late, all because of injuries in the game against Guaya. But we will be at full force on Sunday. We will grow again.

“Since we (Jabloteh) returned to the league (in 2013-14), the only thing we have won is the Toyota Clasisic. It’s important for us to retain it, not only an honour for me as technical director, but for the people of San Juan and the pride of the club.”

A win on Sunday for Jabloteh will also snap a two-game losing streak against Defence Force this season. Jabloteh were defeated 3-2 in September in the qualifier round of the First Citizens Cup and 1-0 in a league contest in October.

Meanwhile 2005, 2011 and 2013 champions W Connection – the most successful club of the Toyota Classic – are aiming towards their second major title this season but must first overcome rivals Central.

W Connection and Central have met on three occasions this season with the Savonetta Boys losing 1-0 in the Digicel Charity Shield in September but won the First Citizens Cup final 2-1 against Central in October. The most recent of the Clásicos ended in a 1-1 league draw on Tuesday with Connection needing a late Briel Thomas to tie the scores.
W Connection assistant coach Earl Jean.
“We want the Toyota Classic,” W Connection assistant coach and former star forward Earl Jean said after Tuesday’s draw with Central. “It’s the second (major) trophy that’s on the table and we will go all out to win Sunday’s semi-final game against Central.

“We will be ready for it. It’s a semi-final and I think coming back in a game like tonight (Tuesday), where we could have been two goals down, it augurs well. It showed that we have the character to come back and it will help us for the game on Sunday.

“We are confident. Once our players go out and play with the right spirit, the right mentality, I think we can get the better of the game. We want to win and we will always come with something different. It’s a new game, it’s a semi-final,” ended Jean.

Connection needed kicks from the penalty mark to oust Club Sando 5-3 following a goalless draw in the Round-of-16 before defeating North East Stars 3-0 in the quarter-finals to reach tomorrow’s semis.

Toyota Classic 2015
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