By Gregory Trujillo
SMARTING from their 1-0 victory on Sunday, Defence Force will start favourites to win the $75,000 and League Cup today when they face CL Financial Jabloteh in back-to-back action for the two leaders in the Professional Football League at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya from 7 pm.
The match will be of added significance for Defence Force's defender Dennis Law-rence, who missed last Sunday's crucial top-of-the-table encounter in muddy conditions because he was away on trial with Newcastle United of the English Premier Division.
The game is being video-taped for Newcastle manager Bobby Robson to get a better look at Lawrence playing competitively. The national defender will not be the only player the Army-Coast Guard combination heavily relied on. The other is leading goalscorer Jason Scotland, the scorer of the lone goal on Sunday.
Scotland has had a very successful month, netting 11 goals in six matches, including two hat-tricks. Don Morris is expected to be back in the Jabloteh line-up, after sitting on the bench on Sunday and missing the previous encounter for being sent off in the match before against W Connection at the Oval.
With Colombian goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa a tower of strength
all season, Jabloteh will be hoping for a victory to even the score with
the defending league champions. In three meetings this season, the scores
are locked. Their first outing in the
league was drawn 1-1, Jabloteh won the second 4-3 and Defence Force came back on Sunday to win 1-0.
DEFENCE FORCE: Ross Russell, David George, Dean Pacheco, Hutson Charles (capt), Kwesi Smith, Dennis Lawrence, Anton Pierre, Russell Pope, Kerry Jameson, Jason Scotland, Claude Adams, Kurt Williams, Sherman Phillips, Kelshall Alexander, Marlon Cayonne, Miles Henry, Owen Matthews, Dexter Lee, Selwyn George.
CL FINANCIAL JABLOTEH: Alejandro Figueroa, Kerwyn Jack, Keith Pierre, Marvin Faustin (capt), Luis Murillo, Don Morris, Keith Gumbs, Dale Saunders, Otis Seaton, Daleon Sinnette, David Villaquerian, Rolson James, Wendell Isaacs, Sherwin Gomez, Ken Francis, Kerry Baptiste, Michael Celestine, Johnson Job.
Friday September 22nd, 2000
IT is a close race between the top two. But today CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh will be the ones in with a chance of earning some valuable points.
They will have Caledonia AIA as opponents at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence from 6 p.m. And with the Defence Force trailing Ron La Forest’s squad by a single point, a victory will be their immediate objective.
The Errol Mc Farlane-coached Defence Force will be forced to wait until Friday to play their round 20 game against Doc’s Khelwalaas.
But for Jabloteh, a win will not come easily.
Jamal Shabazz’s Caledonia team have not lost their last three games, recently beating Arima Fire 2-1.
But Arima are no Jabloteh. And even though the San Juan club battled to a 1-1 draw with W Connection over the weekend, the quality of their opposition this time around will cause them to fancy their chances of securing a win.
In the other two matches on the day, Joe Public, currently in fourth position, take on the lowly Fire at the Arima Velodrome from 6 p.m. With eight matches remaining in the season, the “Eastern Lions” will be going all out to remain within reach of Jabloteh and the Army/Coast Guard combination.
Second-placed W Connection will face Police at Gilbert Park from 4 p.m. Connection, who have had draws in their last three outings, will be hoping that they can manage a win over the Lawmen to keep the pressure on Jabloteh.—MP
Thursday September 21st, 2000
CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh is breathing a little easier today. The San Juan outfit opened up a four-point advantage at the top of the Professional Football League last night after shutting out Caledonia AIA 2-0 at CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
The victory pushed Jabloteh to 38 points, four more than second-placed Defence Force, who goes into action tomorrow against Doc's Khelwalaas.
However, the win was not gained without a casualty for Jabloteh as they lost crucial midfielder Joseph Peters with ten minutes left in the game. He was given marching orders for his second yellow card and will miss the team's next encounter. Earlier Otis Seaton had given Jabloteh a 17th minute lead.
Daleon Sinnette increased then increased the scoreline in the 38th minute, latching on to a long ball from teammate Luis Murillo inside the penalty area before beating the Fire 'keeper.
Joe Public meanwhile joined Vibe CT 105 W Connection in joint third spot after overwhelming Arima Fire 5-1 at Arima Municipal Stadium in another game.
WCFC (33 pts) had a chance to overhaul the Army going into yesterday's 20th round of action. But this disintegrated after being held to a goalless draw by lowly-placed Police (19 pts) at Gilbert Park.
San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Otis Seaton 17th, Daleon Sinnette 38th) v Caledonia AIA 0
Joe Public 5 (Kerwyn Jemmott 2, Nigel Pierre, Adrian Narine , Marc Borde) v Arima Fire 1 W Connection 0 v Police 0
Monday September 18th, 2000
By SHAMMI KOWLESSAR
CL FINANCIAL San Juan Jabloteh inched ahead of Defence Force at the top of the Professional Football League (PFL) standings after fighting out an exciting one-all draw with Vibe CT 105 W Connection at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
Jabloteh started the match as joint leaders but are now one point ahead of the Army/Navy combination with 35 points.
The battle at the top of the table is a tense one as Joe Public are still in contention with 30 points.
W Connection (31 points) would have been involved in a three-way tie for the lead had they been victorious yesterday.
Having played 19 matches each, all eight teams still have nine games remaining in the tournament —which runs until the end of November 26 — but the big four sides have separated themselves from the field and are expected to battle for the title.
Doc’s Khelwalaas maintained fifth spot and moved to 24 points with a one-nil victory over Police at Frederick Settlement Sporting Facility, Caroni yesterday.
Secretse Cannonier ensured than his team stayed one point ahead of Caledonia AIA when he found the net in the 79th minute. Kendall Veloz had a double strike at the Arima Municipal Stadium for Caledonia in their 2-1 victory over bottom-of-the-table Arima Fire, whose consolation item was registered by Dillon Thomas.
Back at the Oval, Jabloteh took the lead in the 14th minute when Colombian striker David Villaquiran tapped home after an elaborate build-up, involving a near-perfect cross from the right flank by Rolston James and a very clever “dummy” by Daleon Sinnette.
Villaquiran would turn from hero to villian an hour later when he somehow managed to kick well wide with the goal and ’keeper Anthony Clarke at his mercy.
The simplest of touches would have restored the lead for Jabloteh, who had lost the advantage just eight minutes after the real villian, Jefferson George, had been sent off for a second yellow card.
The lanky defender got his matching orders after handling the ball just two minutes into the second half of the contest. And in the 55th minute Connection made Jabloteh pay when Earl Jean headed home from an Elijah Joseph corner.
Although they had failed to find the back of the net until this stage, Connection had looked the more dangerous side in the first half and only brilliant goalkeeping by Alejandro Figueroa had kept Jabloteh in the game.
During one attack the Colombian custodian made a save from point-blank range from a Ronaldo Apricido Viana shot and then also Jean’s follow-up effort.
A few minutes later, when Figueroa was finally beaten, skipper Reynold Carrington struck the post.
Despite being reduced to 10 men, Jabloteh came to life after the equaliser and dominated the last half-hour of the match in similar fashion to the dominance displayed by their opponents in the first.
They missed several chances but none as basic as Villaquiran’s rush-of-blood strike. Connection dominated the first half and scored in the second while Jabloteh controlled the second but scored in the first.
10-man Jabloteh keeps PFL lead
By Gregory Trujillo
VIBE CT 105 W Connection failed to capitalise on playing against a 10-man CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh side for 43 minutes and had to settle for a 1-1 draw yesterday in the Professional Football League at Queen's Park Oval. In the 14th minute, Keith Gumbs, the league's leading goal scorer with 13 strikes, showed that even when his name is not on the score-sheet, he can also set up goals.
The St Kitt's national player should be given most of the credit for the opening goal after Colombian David Villaquiran had the simple task of slotting the ball into an open goal.
Gumbs dummied a cross on the right from Daleon Sinnette, allowing the ball to pass through his legs instead of collecting or shooting first time. The play caught the entire Connection defence flat-footed, as the ball rolled casually for Villaquiran to clinically finish off the move.
Connection had two good chances to score in the 33rd and 37th minutes. But the first was well saved by goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa of Colombia, and the second grazed the far upright from a shot by skipper Reynold Carrington. Two minutes into the second half with Jabloteh leading 1-0, a useless handled ball by Don Morris swayed the game.
Morris, who had earlier been cautioned for making a throw knowing referee Noel Bynoe had signalled a foul against him, pulled down a high ball that was going over his head and he was given his second yellow card.
Morris, who will miss Jabloteh's next match on Wednesday against Caledonia AIA at the Centre of Excellence, was unable to play last week when his side went down 1-3 to Doc's Khelwalaas as a result of receiving a red card in the previous match against Arima Fire.
Jabloteh suffered from Morris' expulsion, as their game fell to pieces. Connection only had to wait nine minutes to draw level when Earl Jean rose above the defence and headed downward past Figueroa. The goal was Jean's 12th for the season.
Connection failed to grasp the opportunity of playing against a team short and Jabloteh held on for the draw.The result left Jabloteh atop the standings with 35 points - one more than Defence Force and four more than Connection. Khelwalaas, who was last in the early stages of the four-round competition, continued their run of good form by edging Police 1-0 to move to 24 points.
With 10 minutes to go in the match played on their home ground
at Frederick Settlement, Kittian Ferelse Cammonier netted the winning goal
for Khelwalaas.Germin Scott failed to convert a penalty in the third minute
of play for Khelwalaas after Randolph Jerome was brought down in the area.
Goalkeeper Ryan Edwards, the police custodian, dived full length to save
the spot kick.
Sunday September 17th, 2000
THE pressure is well and truly on for Professional Football League leaders CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh. The San Juan outfit were joined on top of the eight-team table by defending champions Defence Force on Friday night.
This after the Army/Coast Guard combination unit, thanks to a double from striker Jason Scotland and one goal apiece from Russell Pope and substitute Sherman Phillip, thrashed Joe Public 4-0 to move alongside Jabloteh with 34 points.
However Jabloteh skipper Dale Saunders' unit have a better goal differential. But Jabloteh will have a tough task of staying ahead of the Army as they will meet Vibe CT 105 W Connection in a key clash today at Queen's Park.
The southerners will be keen to improve their third-place position on the table.
Furthermore, WCFC will know that now may be the time to take Jabloteh, who are also coming off a 0-2 loss to lowly placed Doc's Khelwalaas in mid-week. Jabloteh strikers Rolston James and Keith Gumbs were guilty of throwing away a couple chances in that loss but the entire team also had a luckluster effort.
Jabloteh coach Ron LaForest will therefore be calling for a much better effort today.
In another key game today, Khelwalaas will be hoping to continue their recent run of good form when they host Police at their Frederick Settlement ground in Caroni. Caledonia AIA also travel to the Arima Velodrome to take on Arima Fire. All games kick off at 4 p.m.
Friday September 15th, 2000
By IRVING WARD
DEFENDING champions Defence Force will be going for Joe Public's jugular today at CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya, when the teams clash in a crucial Professional Football League encounter from 7 pm.
Army skipper Hutson Charles' unit are now joint second on the eight-team table alongside Vibe CT 105 W Connection. Both teams have 31 points, but the Army have superior goal differential. But, knowing fully well that the league is tightening up, Charles' men will be seeking to keep the Public, currently fourth on the table with 30 points, from improving their position.
Of course, with WCFC and current leaders CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh (34 pts) also meeting on Sunday, a victory could do the Teteron Barracks squad a world of good.
And the Army should favour their chances of stopping the Public tonight. Striker Jason Scotland has been bursting the nets of late scoring two hattricks in the last three games.
His latest "trick" came in their 3-1 win over Arima Fire on Wednesday, a win which helped to push them to within reach of Jabloteh. Scotland now has 15 goals this season and is also well supported by partner in crime, Sherman Phillip, who has nine goals. Needless to say, if both men find form tonight the Eastern Lions could well be in trouble. But every dog is bad in its own yard. And, in the Lions Den, the Public is as menacing as they come.
However, the 1999 "Team of the Year" has been boosted by the return of national striker, Arnold Dwarika, from injury. Dwarika will be joined in the Public frontline by national teammate, Nigel Pierre, who scored once in their 2-0 win over Police on Wednesday. Both men have scored nine goals apiece and if the two are in touch, the fans could be in for a scoring treat.
However, the fans also have to bear in mind that both teams also feature some of the better defenders in the country. On show for the Public will be Shurland David, Sherwyn Julien, while the Army has the likes of Dennis Lawrence, Anton Pierre and Kerry Jamerson. All in all, the Centre of Excellence looks like a good place to "make a lime" tonight.
(Wednesday's round 18 results)
Doc's Khelwalaas 2 (Jermaine Scott 65th pen, Randolph Jerome 81st) v CLF San Juan Jabloteh 0
Defence Force 3 (Jason Scotland 11th pen, 42nd & 87th) v Arima Fire 1 (Dillon Thomas 58th pen.)
W Connection 2 (Gefferson da Silva Goulart, Earl Jean) v Caledonia AIA 2 (Kendal Velox, George Issac)
Joe Public 2 (Nigel Pierre, Sherwyn Julien) v Police 0.
Army in Public battle
By MARK POUCHET
DEFENCE Force are currently one point better than Joe Public in the PFL standings. But tonight the"Eastern Lions", at home at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence, will look to completely erase that deficit and to convert it into a surplus if possible.
Both the Army/Coast Guard combination and Joe Public kept themselves in with a realistic chance of earning the PFL title and the accompanying $500,000 first prize purse on Wednesday.
Coach Kenny Joseph's squad, through Nigel Pierre and Sherwyn Julien, were 2-0 winners over Police at the Arima Velodrome to get within four points of leaders San Juan Jabloteh.
And the Defence Force got the better of Arima Fire with a 3-1 scoreline to place themselves a victory away from sharing the lead with the East-based club.
The desire of both clubs to close the gap between themselves and Jabloteh should make for a keen contest.
For Public to attain the victory, though, their main focus may have to be on trying to stop this season's top goalgetter, Jason Scotland.
Scotland has found the net 18 times already, his last three goals coming from his hattrick against Arima two days ago.
If they successfully keep coach Errol Mc Farlane's sturdy striker under wraps, Kenny Joseph and his Public will increase their team's chances of coming away with at least one point from the encounter.
Public too has firepower in the person of Nigel Pierre. The national striker has nine goals to his tally and will be hoping to add more tonight.
The battle to neutralise each other's firepower is sure to make for
an interesting night for the fans.
Thursday September 14th, 2000
By IRVING WARD
DOC'S Khelwalaas did it yet again yesterday evening. The Caroni-based outfit continued its Professional Football League resurgence by stunning current leaders CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh 2-0 at their Frederick Settlement ground.
Khelwalaas had, at one point in time during the season, been written off by many in the race for the $500,000 first prize and coveted PFL silverware. But yesterday's win, which came thanks to goal heroes Jermaine Scott and Randolph Jerome, certainly helped to further restore its once sagging pride.
With win, the team's fourth in the last five games, the men in orange and white moved one spot up on the eight-team table to fifth with 21 points. However Jabloteh (34 pts) could still count themselves lucky at the end of last night as their lead atop the table was only cut by a point.
This after second-placed Vibe CT 105 W Connection (31 pts) was held to a 2-2 draw by Caledonia AIA (20 pts) at CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
In fact, defending champions Defence Force made the best of the two front runners' poor fortune.
The Army/Coast Guard combination unit jumped into second spot ahead of WCFC on goal differential after stopping Arima Fire 3-1 at the Queen's Park Oval.
At Caroni: Jabloteh left Khelwalaas' home turf cursing itself after one of its worst displays of finishing this season.
Despite dominating the entire first half, the San Juan outfit
failed to convert the numerous chances as strikers, Rolston James and Keith
Gumbs, seemed out of touch on the evening. Jabloteh's frustration then
continued into the second half as it created the
early chances but just could not find a way past Khelwalaas goalie Kelvin Jack. Then, against the run of play in the 65th minute, Khelwalaas got the opening it needed through Jerome.
Lurking alone in the opposition's half as his teammates broke up a Jabloteh attack, Jerome collected a long defensive clearance just outside the penalty area. He then dribbled into the penalty box where he forced Jabloteh defender Don Morris into a false tackle.
Referee Ted Gordon pointed to the spot and Scott, the team's dead ball specialist, promptly stepped up and put his left footer past the desperate lunge of Jabloteh keeper Alejandro Figueroa to the delight of his mates.
Desperate for at least a point, Jabloteh coach Ron La Forest then switched his formation to allow three attackers. But this only created a hiccup in the Jabloteh defence.
And nine minutes from time, Jerome capitalised on this when he ran in between three Jabloteh defenders inside the penalty box, picked up a loose ball and bundled a shot past an advancing Figueroa.
At Macoya: St Lucian striker Earl Jean was both hero and goat for WCFC.
The burly marksman kicked his penalty, on the stroke of full time, high and wide over bar to deny his team the chance of full points. Earlier, Jean had kept the southerners in the hunt for victory with a first half goal as both team's went into the break locked up at 2-2.
Brazilian Gefferson da Silva Goulart got WCFC's other goal while Kendal Velox and George Issac got AIA's items. At the Oval: Striker Jason Scotland scored his second hattrick in three games to lead the Army to victory.
Scotland now has a league-leading 15 goals. At Arima: Striker Nigel Pierre pushed his tally for the season to nine goals while defender Sherwyn Julien got his first of the season as the Eastern Lions handed Police its second loss in as many games.
Monday September 11th, 2000
By MARK POUCHET
THE 3-2 scoreline made it look much closer than it really was. But in the end CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh coasted home to a fairly easy win over Joe Public at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday to extend their lead atop the 2000 PFL standings.
With 11 games left in this year’s edition of the competition, Jabloteh have now accumulated 34 points and have opened a four-point gap between themselves and second-placed Vibe CT W Connection.
In two bottom-of-the-table encounters, Doc’s Khelwalaas edged the home team 3-2 at the Arima Velodrome while at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence, Jamal Shabazz’s Caledonia AIA squad trounced Alvin Boisson and his Police teammates 4-0.
At the Oval, though, Ron La Forest’s team got a late scare from Kenny Joseph’s Public.
For 79 minutes, Jabloteh had a three-goal advantage. But Cyd Gray and Mickey Trotman cut that lead down to one within the space of three minutes.
When Kamu Laird was introduced to replace Arnold Dwarika, the Public attack seemed to become more purposeful.
Receiving a pass from Laird down the right flank, Nigel Pierre took on a Jabloteh defender before crossing to the centre where an outstretched Gray directed the ball past Alejandro Figueroa between the Jabloteh uprights.
They had barely worked the ball around after the kick-off when Trotman took advantage of some room at the edge of the Jabloteh box to blast a low, powerful right-footer into the right corner of Figueroa's upright in the 82nd minute.
Despite their best efforts in the remaining eight minutes, Public could not find the equaliser.
Earlier, a more organised Jabloteh squad was dominating possession in the game. And the San Juan-based team did not appear to miss the services of midfielders David Villaquiran and Joseph Peters and defender Don Morris who were serving a one-match suspension after their recent 1-0 loss to Police last week.
Otis Seaton’s effort that put them deservedly ahead after 17 minutes was the result of individual initiative and skill rather than of structured team play.
Dribbling past Sherwyn Julien on the right flank, Seaton won a battle for possession with Coulson Dick in the area before firing from an acute angle past public goalkeeper Donovan Thomas.
Thomas was more adept at keeping out a powerful long-range shot from Seaton three minutes later. But captain Dale Saunders and his men took only two minutes of the second half to extend their lead when ace goalscorer Keith Gumbs tapped home from Faustin’s pass on the right side.
And Gumbs added to the lead 20 minutes from time, once more tapping home—from a Ralston James pass this time.
Shortly after coach Joseph made the change that saw Public pull back two.
But the comeback attempt yielded results too late to close the gap completely.
San Juan Jabloteh 3 (O.Seaton, K.Gumbs 2) Joe Public 2 (C.Gray, M.Trotman)
Police 0 Caledonia AIA 4
Arima Fire 2 Doc’s Khelwalaas 3
Thursday September 7th, 2000
By Gregory Trujillo
POLICE blew the Professional Football League wide open last night when they shocked leaders CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh 1-0 with a goal from Kurt Vanclare at Arima Municipal Stadium.
In daylight matches, CT 105 Vibe W Connection crept up on the heels of Jabloteh by whipping cellar-placed Arima Fire 5-2 at Gilbert Park, California, while Defence Force recorded a 3-1 victory over Caledonia AIA on a slippery Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, pitch.
Joe Public put three dismal performances behind their backs by coming from behind to stop Doc's Khelwalaas 3-1 at CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
Jabloteh (24 points) still enjoy leadership, but only by goal-difference over W Connection with Joe Public poised in third place on 27 points and Defence Force back in fourth with 24 points.
Brazilian Jefferson Goulart opened the scoring in the 11th minute for Connection, who had to wait a further 25th minutes to increase their lead through Elva Titus.
Five minutes later Earl Jean scored for the Southern-based outfit to lead 3-0 at half-time.
Goulart added another in the 63th minute, while Huwlyn Caesar pulled a goal back for Fire in the 78th minute.
Brazilian Ze Luis notched the fifth item for Connection in the 84th from the penalty spot. Nearing the end, Devon Mitchell netted a consolation goal for the firemen. In a dull affair that produced four goals, Defence Force were always in command against Caledonia.
After three near misses within the first 15 minutes by Sherman "Ants" Phillips, the Army/Coast Guard combination took the lead in the 29th minute.
Phillips made up for his lapses by serving a deaf pass to Jason Scotland, who tapped past goalkeeper Anthony Marshall.
In the 59th Scotland looped a long 40-yard shot from the left flank into the far cornerwhich caught Marshall in no man's land.
Caledonia pulled a goal back in the 81st minute. Scotland notched his hattrick in the 88th minute with a solo effort.
National players Nigel Pierre and Arnold Dwarika, who is coming off an injury, made their presence felt against Khelwalaas by scoring soon after the interval, which closed at 1-1.
And, in a rough match at the Arima Municipal Stadium where four
players were given marching orders, Kurt Van Clare netted the lone goal
for Police in the 63rd minute.