Thursday, May 20, 1999

Jabloteh turn the PFL tide

CL FINANCIAL San Juan Jabloteh turned the tide on Doc's Khelwalaas in the return-leg of the Professional Football League PFL Cup competition, scoring a dramatic penalty-kicking victory at Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence Ground, Macoya, last night.

Surprise 2-1 winners in their first-leg clash at Hasely Crawford Stadium last Wednesday, Khelwalaas failed to repeat last night, falling by the same scoreline after regulation 90-minute and sudden-death 30-minute play.

Khelwalaas' defender Roger Henry missed his team's fifth penalty kick to tie the spot-kicking decider four-all, leaving Jabloteh to leap in joy for the win 4-3 on penalties.

Earlier both team captains, Shurland David of Jabloteh and Collie Hercules of Khelwalaas, had been the players to flunk their spot kicks.

Hercules had given his team a chance to hold off Jabloteh and advance to the July 13 first-leg semifinal of the eight-team knockout when he scored on the stroke of halftime for their 1-nil match lead and 3-1 aggregate score.

But Jabloteh capitalised on a shoulder injury to Khelwalaas' first-choice 'keeper Kelvin Placide, scoring twice in the space of six minutes in the second half against stand-in custodian Wayne "Yankee" Valley. Hector Sam (48th minute) and Dale Saunders (54th) were the scorers.

For Jabloteh, it was a game comeback after their key striker Marc Borde had a 10th-minute penalty saved by Placide.

Jabloteh's victory thrusts them against the winner of the Joe Public/Futgof tie that was the late match at PSA Ground last night.

But the other semifinal match-up was settled with W Connection completing a rout of Point Fortin Civic Centre and Defence Force beating Police, also yesterday evening.

W Connection defeated Civic 3-0 at Guaracara Park to follow on their 4-2 win in the first-leg at the Mahaica Oval. Defence Force also dropped Police 3-0 at the PSA to add to their 5-2 drubbing of the lawmen at Fyzabad in the first leg.

W Connection, subject of a troubling $75,000 transfer fee situation regarding three of their players, Wesley Webb, Reynold Carrington and Atiba Charles, fielded a virtual second-string unit against Civic but won out.

The first half of their Guaracara Park match had not much more than Addae Rique's 14th minute goal. Then Jerome Lee Yaw put Connection 2-0 up in the 66th minute with a looping header and substitute Jonathan McZane of St Lucia finished off Civic with a right-footed blast in injury time.

Defence Force had captain and veteran midfielder Hutson Charles to thank for their blank of Police as Charles scored twice in the first half (13th and 41st minutes) before Brent Hudson closed out the scoring in the 42nd minute.