Last update: 09-Dec-2013 9:38 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Derbies in North, Central as First Citizens Cup reaches semis
It will be a case of two derbies, one rich in history and the other relatively new in terms of the clubs, but not their coaches when the First Citizens Cup resumes with a semifinal double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 6 pm today.
In the opener, two-time winner and six-time finalists Defence Force buoyed by their 1-0 quarterfinal defeat of Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA, come up against returning club, San Juan Jabloteh in a clash of North-based clubs.
Two hours later it will be the turn of a Central-based duo when, six-time champions and eight-time finalists, DirecTV W Connection continue their bid for a first hold on the crown when they face second-year club, Central FC.
Both matches are expected to provide a lot of excitment based on their quarterfinal displays, but it will be the night’s second encounter between the Stuart Charles-Fevrier coached W Connection and Central FC, coached by his long-time rival, Englishman Terry Fenwick, that is sure to have the fans at the edge of their seats.
The “Savonetta Boys” as W Connection are called earned a spot in the last four, after a tense 6-5 sudden-death penalty kicks win over newcomer Pt Fortin Civic Centre on Saturday last after a 0-0 draw and being reduced to ten men due to two bookable offences by St Lucia Gerard Williams.
A night earlier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Central FC used a dominant first-half display and well taken strikes from Hector Sam and Rundell Winchester to hold off North East Stars, who got a late reply from Trevin Caesar for some respectability to the score in their quarterfinal.
Both teams have also had impressive starts to their domestic campaigns with W Connection retaining the Digicel Charity Shield with a 4-2 thumping of Pro League champions which was followed by a 7-0 blowout of St Ann’s Rangers in their league opener and a 1-0 win over Police before dumping Pt Fortin.
Speaking on the eve of the contest, Charles-Fevrier who has been at the helm of the team for all their previous First Citizens Cup campaigns said his team will have to lift its game another level because Central is a good team and like W Connection they will want to win to get to the final.
While W Connection midfielder Gerard Williams will miss the match due to suspension, coach Charles-Fevrier will have the availability of national duo Joevin Jones and Daneil Cyrus after the pair missed the quarterfinal contest for breaching club rules and playing in minor league football.
Charles-Fevrier said, both players have gone before the club’s disciplinary committee and were handed their punishments, and its up to him now to select them against Central or not.”
On debut last year, Central FC was blanked 3-0 by eventual runner-up Defence Force in last year’s quarterfinals, but having gotten past that hurdle after they trounced league holders Defence Force 3-1 in their league opener and then a 0-0 draw with Caledonia, the “Shark” are hungry to make another big bite as they seek their first title.
This after coming up short in last season’s T&TFA FA trophy final to Caledonia, 2-0 at Couva.
Fenwick, who led Jabloteh to the title in the ompetition’s first year, 2000, via 1-0 win over Defence Force said his only headache going into the match was that he had a full squad to choose from.
“We have had a great start to the season, unbeaten to date and the mood in the camp is very positive ahead of another important match for us. The guys are all pumped up to face W Connection as we want to make a statement for local talent.”
The former England international also took a swipe at his rivals saying that it seemed that they were now desperate for success with the signing of so much foreigners during the off-season while his team was loaded with local talent, who are quite as capable.”
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