Six-time winner of the First Citizens Cup, W Connection, boasts it is the rightful owner of the title. Defending champions, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA, is adamant, however, it will not easily relinquish the crystal-designed trophy. Only one will advance to the final after tonight’s semifinal clash at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. In the other semifinal match two-time champions Defence Force and title-starved St Ann’s Rangers meet in the first of the double-header clashes at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 6 pm. The second match starts 8 pm. The “Savonetta Boys” as W Connection are called, go into the match on the heels of a 1-1 draw with Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara in their final Group Eight Concacaf Champions’ League match, while they were made to work extra for a 3-1 penalty-kicks win over Police last Friday in the quarter-final round of the First Citizens Cup, following a goalless draw at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.
This after the Couva-based club had the match to take around the 85th minute from the penalty spot after a handball call, but Clyde Leon was unable to beat Police goalkeeper Emmanuel Nurse. Caledonia, meantime, is also coming off Concacaf Champions League action, a 2-1 away loss on Wednesday night away to CD Marathon of Honduras and will have to cope with the extra burden of jet-lag having arrived back in T&T yesterday ahead of tonight’s fixture. The Morvant/Laventille-based Caledonia, after starting the season winless in their first four competitive matches, three in the Concacaf Champions League and the other in the T&T Pro League finally kick-started its season with a comfortable 2-0 win over T&TEC in their First Citizens Cup quarterfinal, which was a repeat of last year’s title match, and will be hoping it could overcome its strict flying schedule and a determined W Connection, which is eager for a seventh lien on the title.
While the Connection/Caledonia clash would definitely steal the focus of the semi-final round, the less popular St Ann’s Rangers could be quietly sharpening for another upset of the tournament after defeating North East Stars 2-1 in the quarterfinal round at Mucurapo last Friday when it faces the “Teteron Boys” in tonight’s first encounter. However, Defence Force, winners in 2002 and 2009 and also three-times runner-up, will also be keen to continue its good run against Rangers after squeezing out a 2-1 win over its rivals in their league opener on September 14 with goals from strikers Richard Roy and Devorn Jorsling, who were both on target in their 3-0 quarterfinal triumph over newcomers’ Central FC, with Roy getting two. The semifinal winners will advance to the final where an $80,000 cheque awaits for the victors, and $20,000 for the runner-up. In addition to the team prizes in the final, the tournament’s top scorer and “Most Valuable Player” will each collect $1,000, while the “MPC” of each game will get $500. The “Dash for Cash” winner per game will also receive $500 per game, however for the final they will collect $1,000.