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Jabloteh storms into Toyota quarters

Stars, Rangers, Caledonia struggle
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Dave Grimshaw, left, of 1976 FC Phoenix, beats bmobile Joe Public’s Brent Antoine to a header during their Toyota Classic Cup round-of-16 match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Tuesday. Phoenix won 3-1. Photo: Anthony Harris

Striker Willis Plaza registered a hat-trick as former Digicel T&T Pro League Toyota Classic winner Adams’ Construction San Juan Jabloteh stormed into the last-eight of this year’s tournament with a 5-0 blow-out of Real Maracas in Tuesday’s round-of-16. However, fellow Pro League clubs, last year’s runner-up DirecTV North East Stars, St Ann’s Rangers and Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA endured tough challenges before cementing their places.

They were joined in the last eight by bmobile National Super League duo, 1976 FC Phoenix and Stokely Vale, both of Tobago. Down at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Plaza continued his good start to the season in front of goal with a treble for the 2008 winner, Jabloteh. The nippy Plaza opened the scoring as early as the ninth minute for Jabloteh which was without national Under-23  duo, Sheldon Bateau and Leslie Joel Russell while Hector Sam (34th) and Luke Gullick (36th) added items before the half for a 3-0 lead against Super League club, Real Maracas. 

In the second half, Jabloteh eased up somewhat but still added two late items via Plaza in the 81st and 85th minutes to set up a quarterfinal meeting with First Citizens Cup winner, Caledonia AIA on Saturday. In the first match at Mucurapo, Phoenix got a double from Dominique Kerr in a 3-1 defeat of recently-crowned Super League double-champion bmobile Joe Public.

Ironically, it was Joe Public which led in the 39th minute via Ricardo Bennett before Kerr drew his team level four minutes later. Eleven minutes into the second half, Kerr put his team ahead while Lejandro Williams added an insurance goal on the final whistle to cement a  meeting with W Connection in tomorrow’s first quarterfinal at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella from 6 pm. 

At the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Sangre Grande-based North East Stars survived yet another tense fight from West Side Stars, a come-from-behind 4-3 triumph thanks to braces from national youth team midfielder, Kaydion Gabriel and Kevin Jagdeosingh. The Diego Martin-based West Side Starzs stunned its Pro League opponents in the 11th minute when Kareem  “Scoobie” Freitas got the opener.

But that was the signal for Stars to jump into action and led by Gabriel (14th) and Jagdeosingh (20th), they led 2-1 at the interval. Six minutes into the second half, Gabriel got his second before Jagdeosingh also completed his double in the 69th minute for a 4-1 cushion. However, Starzs did not give up and got goals from Christian Frietas (72nd), Kareem’s brother and Kevon Dove (82nd) to set up an interesting final eight minutes.

But it was not to be as the Sangre Grande club, which was  minus T&T Under-23 midfielder Jeromie Williams held their nerves and the narrow lead, despite defender Glenton Wolfe seeing red in the 88th minute, to book a clash with two-time runner-up St Ann’s Rangers on Saturday in the quarters. In the opening match at Malabar, Krishawn Joseph (71st), Rundel Winchester (78th) and Jerron Quashie (89th) got second-half items for Stokely Vale in a 3-1 whipping of WASA, which had taken the lead through Michael-Lee Celestine, in the 31st minute.   

In Marabella, 2006 and 2008 runner-up, St Ann’s Rangers, which was without national youth team player Kareem Moses, needed a 75th minute own-goal from Devon James to eke out a 1-0 win over Eagles.

Ironically, Caledonia AIA which had its squad depth tested due to the absence of the Under-23 quintet of Jamaal Gay, Trevin Ceasar, Aquil Selby, Micah Lewis and Nuru Abdullah Muhammad also scored in the 75th minute against Club Sando in its 1-0 win with Guyanese international Trayon Bobb, the man on target.

The tournament continues tomorrow with two quarterfinal matches at Marabella and two more on Saturday at Malabar where the current top two  Digicel Pro League clubs on the standings, newcomer, T&TEC as well as inaugural winner of the Toyota Classic in 2005, W Connection will join the fray after getting first round byes. This year, a new champion will be crowned as Ma Pau which defeated North East Stars 4-2 on penalty-kicks after a 1-1 draw in last year’s decider has opted out of the league.


Tuesday’s round-of-16:

Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo:

Phoenix 3 (Dominique Kerr 43rd, 56th, Lejandro Williams 90th) vs Joe Public 1 (Ricardo Bennett 39th)

Jabloteh 5 (Willis Plaza 9th, 81st, 85th, Hector Sam 34th, Luke Gullick 36th) v Real Maracas 0 

Venue: Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella

St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Devon James o.g 75th) v Eagles 0 

Caledonia AIA 1 (Trayon Bobb 75th) v Club Sando 0 

Venue: Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar

Stokely Vale 3 ( Krishawn Joseph 71st, Rundel Winchester 78th, Jerron Quashie 89th) vs WASA 1 (Michael-Lee Celestine 31st) 

 North East Stars 4 (Kaydion Gabriel 14th, 51st, Kevin Jagdeosingh 20th, 69th) v West Side Stars 3 (Kareem Freitas 11th, Christian Frietas 72nd, Kevon Dove 82nd) 



Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella

W Connection vs 1976 Phoenix, 6pm

T&TEC vs Stokely Vale,  8pm

Saturday November 26:

Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar

North East Stars vs St Ann’s Rangers, 6pm

Jabloteh vs Caledonia AIA,    8 pm


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