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W Connection snatches Toyota Classic title on penalty kicks

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Final MVP Shahdon Winchester, right, shows-off his trophy. Photo: Anthony Harris.

National goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams showed his skills when he made a brilliant save to deny Jamal Ayres and W Connection celebrated the 2011 Toyota Classic title. W Connection defeated T&TEC 5-4 on penalty kicks following a goalless scoreline after regulation time at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. Striker Kerry Baptiste, playing on local soil after nearly a year, debuted for T&TEC as a late substitute and stepped up for the first kick which he completed with a trademark finish. Teammate Javed Mohammed smashed in his strike for T&TEC's second before Ayres was denied by the brilliance of Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper Williams. Kern Cupid, Mekeil Williams, Matthew Bartholomew and Akeem Benjamin were all on target for Connection in respective order and eventual Final MVP Shahdon Winchester sealed the victory with his kick in the fifth against goalkeeper  Phillip.
Second half substitute Marcus Joseph and Kelvin Modeste were T&TEC fourth and fifth kickers burying their efforts in vain.

T&TEC playing in its backyard didn't give a bad account reaching its second Final in as many knockout tournaments this season - the First Citizens Cup being the other. Former W Connection midfielder Andre Pacheco had the first attempt on goal in the 10th minute swinging a low right footed effort which was blocked out by Williams. Three minutes later Connection's Andre Quashie broke lose on a forward pass by Winchester and executed a neat chip against outrushing goalkeeper Phillip, however Corneal Thomas rescued his the current Digicel Pro League leaders by picking up the ball just before the goal-line. In the 21st minute Sylvester Teesdale showed some good pace on the leftside before touching past defender Elijah Joseph inside the W Connection area but selfishly went for goal from an angle with teammate Kerlon Ferguson waiting inside the area. Goalkeeper Williams had no problem wrapping the effort. But in the 27th minute Williams had a bigger tasking in blocking out a blast by Pacheco. W Connection's Winchester was inches wide of the far post in the 33rd minute and teammate Andre Quashie wider in the 34th minute closing off efforts in the keenly contested first half.

Following the break Winchester was denied by Phillip in the 46th minute after he was played at the edge of the area by Bartholomew. In the 56th Bartholomew himself was denied by his former teammate, Phillip, who pulled off a low save on an effort from inside the area. T&TEC continued to hunt for openings with some good possession plays. But it was W Connection who had the better opportunities, even a gift in the  81st minute when an errant pass by Coneal Thomas allowed Cupid an attacking run on the right before feeding Winchester who layed off to Joevin Jones. Again Phillip pulled off a fine save, this time denying the Connection attacking wingback. From the resulting corner, Jones outswinger was met by Mekeil Williams who headed wide. When the final whistle sounded after the last spot kick  T&TEC was left empty-handed yet again. T&TEC lost the FCB Cup to Caledonia AIA. The tournament featured the best TT Pro League and Super League teams. Meantime, W Connection, inaugural winners back in 2005, celebrates its first title since finishing last season empty handed.  

FULL-TIME SCORE: T&TEC FC 0 - 0 W Connection
T&TEC FC: Marvin Phillip(gk) Kern Peters(capt.), Coneal Thomas, Javed Mohammed, Sylvester Teesdale(Kerry Baptiste 73rd)(yellow card), Bevon Bass(Jamal Ayres 63rd), Andrei Pacheco(Marcus Joseph 80th), Aubrey David, Akeem Aadms, Kerlon Ferguson, Kelvin Modeste. Coach-Dexter Cyrus
W Connection: Jan Michael Williams(gk)(capt.), Mekeil Williams Elijah Joseph(Akeem Benjamin 75th)  Jomal Williams Kemuel Rivers Kern Cupid Hashim Arcia(Joevin Jones 65th) Andre Quashie(Jerrel Britto 65th) Matthew Bartholomew Shahdon Winchester(yellow card 67th) Gerrard Williams. Coach-Stuart Charles Fevrier

How They kicked: 
T&TEC 4            W Connection 5
Kerry Baptiste(scored)     Kern Cupid(scored)
Javed Mohammed(scored)      Mekeil Williams(scored)
Jamal Ayres(saved)             Matthew Bartholomew(scored)
Marcus Joseph(scored)           Akeem Benjamin(scored)
Kelvin Modeste(scored)           Shahdon Winchester(scored)



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