You are here
Caledonia tames Central ‘Sharks’
Despite the lack of a financial reward to the winner of the 2012/2013 T&T Football Federation FA Trophy, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA gave a spirited and determined performance to shut-out tournament debutant, Central FC, 2-0 in the final, played before a sparse crowd at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, on Friday night.
Soca Warriors midfielder, Keyon “Berbatov” Edwards, scored one goal and set up another for lively striker Akim Armstrong, the Most Valuable Player of the final, to secure the win against a plucky and goal-shy “Sharks”.
The win was the third for Caledonia AIA in the 83-year history of the competition adding to its previous triumphs, 3-2 over three-time winner DirecTV W Connection in 2008, and 1-0 over six-time holders Defence Force last year.
The victory was witnessed by T&T Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee, his first as the local federation boss, who also saw the Morvant/Laventille “Stallions,” as Caledonia are known, join an illustrious group of clubs that have won the tournament back-to-back.
The others were four-time winners Everton (1929–32), three-time champions Colts (1944–45), six-time champs, United British Oilfields Trinidad (1950–51), joint record seven-time holders Malvern United (1960–61) and Maple Club (1970–72) as well as two-time victors Aviation Services Ltd (ASEL) Sports Club (1982–83), and three-time champions Direct W Connection (1999–2000).
Friday’s contest got off to a feisty start with Central FC’s Antiguan forward Peter Byers having a goalward effort kept out by Caledonia’s Grenadian goalkeeper Shemel Louision in the fourth minute and eight minutes later, Darrell Mitchell, like Byers, a January transfer window signing, had shot deflected for a corner.
Five minutes later Caledonia had its best chance on goal through national Under-23 striker Trevin Caesar but after sent clear on goalkeeper and Central FC captain, Marvin Phillip, he dragged his effort wide of the target from just on top the 18-yard box.
Against the run of play, Caledonia would take the lead when Phillip could only blast a pass back from Central defender Keion Goodridge into onrushing Caledonia forward Edwards, who charged down the ball, before blasting into the roof of the net from almost on the left base-line with Phillip stranded three yards out.
Caesar had a chance to double his team’s lead in the 37th minute but once again, after being put through on goalkeeper Phillip by Kareem Joseph, he blasted high over the bar while at the other end, Byers dragged a right footer just wide of the target as his team went in at the interval 1-0 down.
Caledonia started the second-half with much more purpose and in the 48th minute the lively Caesar forced Phillip into a two-hand save for a corner from a right-footed drive to keep his team into the contest.
The toothless “Sharks” were then made to pay for their missed chances when Armstrong doubled his team’s lead with a cool finish after a determined run by Edwards in the 69th minute.
Edwards picked up the ball just inside the Central FC half and powered towards goal only to be upended by defender Adrian Noel who grabbed hold of his jersey, however, referee Neil Brizan who had a sub-par night allowed play to flow.
From inside the 18-yard box, Edwards managed to pass off to an unmarked Armstrong who fell to the turf under pressure from the “Sharks” defence before he regained his footing and curled a left-footed effort into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
With the result seemingly written on the wall, Central FC coach and former winner with San Juan Jabloteh introduced Hayden Tinto and Daryl Trim for Darrell Mitchell and Justin Fojo, respectively, with the hope of clawing their way back into the contest, but it was Caesar who almost made it 3-0 for Caledonia with a right footer which just missed the far post, while he also had a free kick blocked out by Phillip.
In the end, Caledonia stood firm to secure a second straight crown and third in the club’s history to join an illustrious group of former back-to-back champions. It was the second title of the season for the Jerry Moe-coached Caledonia, which also successfully defended the First Citizens Cup this season.
Central FC—Marvin Phillip (gk)(capt.), Fabien Lewis (yellow card) (Wesley John 50th), Keion Goodridge, Carey Harris, Anthony Wolfe, Marvin Oliver, Peter Byers, Adrian Noel, Justin Fojo (Darryl Trim 70th minute), Jason Marcano, Darrell Mitchell (Hayden Tinto 70th)
Subs not used: Marc Leslie, Shane Mattis (gk), Sayid Freitas, Jameel Neptune, Weslie John.
Coach: Terry Fenwick
Caledonia AIA—Shemel Louision (gk), Stephan David (capt.), Aubrey David, Collin Nelson, Trevin Caesar, Keyon Edwards (yellow card), Akim Armstrong (Vurlon Mills 86th), Akeem Thomas (Nuru Abdallah Muhammad 68th), Miguel Alejandro Romeo, Densill Theobald (Sheldon Holder 75th), Kareem Joseph.
Subs not used: Aquil Selby, Odelle Armstrong, Nathan Lewis, Glenroy Samuel (gk)
Coach: Jerry Moe
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.