Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Club Sando lifts NSL knockout title after thriller
San Fernando’s most recognised football club, Club Sando, lifted its first ever major trophy, the blink/bmobile National Super League (NSL) knockout title, by virtue of a thrilling 4-3 win over Guaya United, at a crowded Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, on Sunday.
On its tenth anniversary since joining the National Super League, Club Sando set big goals at the beginning of the season and saw it pay off at the first available opportunity as three key pre-season signings were on target, helping the ambitious club to the $75,000 top prize.
Former T&T Pro League trio, Teba McKnight, Coneal Thomas and Devon Modeste all scored within the space of six minutes before long-serving midfielder Andy London scored the winner three minutes into the second half.
McKnight, the match’s MVP and his club’s leading goalscorer, opened in the 22nd minute and it was followed by goals from Thomas (25th) and Modeste (28th), to give the league leader a 3-0 advantage. It was then that Guaya found a response. The promoted Eastern Counties Football Association champion found its first goal in the 34th minute from Jody Allsop before Kevin Jagdeosingh followed with another in the 42nd minute, to reduce the deficit to 3-2 at the interval. Almost immediately after the resumption, London bagged Club Sando’s fourth, which gave it breathing space. Finally, in the 75th minute, Carlon Hughes once again gave Guaya life with the team’s third goal, but it ended there.
It was a fitting way to celebrate Club Sando’s first major title in its 22-year history. Guaya on the other hand still has eyes set on the league title, as it sits in second with a solitary point behind Sando.
Club Sando technical director Muhammad Isa was elated with his team’s first major title. Isa, who took up the new role this season, making way for new coach Anthony Streete, a former Pro League gaffer, said the win epitomised the team’s ambition.
It, however, did not come to a surprise to Isa, who said the club’s haul of 12 players in pre-season was in preparation for success and a berth into the TT Pro League.
“Based on the quality of the players and preparation we’ve put into this season, we expect big things,” said Isa.
Isa said he was appreciative of the club’s $75,000 win, which he said will go on to contribute to the growth and sustainability of the club.
He and Streete will now continue eyeing the league title and the T&T Football Association (TTFA) FA Trophy. Club Sando has a sizable fan base to appease, and Isa said his intention is do to so by also challenging the Toyota Classic, a title never captured by a National Super League club.
Club Sando is one of very few clubs within the second tier football competition which has attracted adequate sponsorship and financial support. It has aided in the attraction of other former Pro League players such as its starting goalkeeper Andre Marchan, Kemuel Rivers, Nigel Daniel, Devon Modeste and others. Several players also benefit by employment offered by the sponsors.
On Sunday, one other fixture was played, the play-off for the upcoming FA Cup competition, where Malabar FC was awarded the sixth and final berth. Malabar trounced 2011 NSL treble winner Joe Public 3-1, via goals from Hayden Tinto, Shandel Samuel and Gorian Highley.
Malabar joins Club Sando, Guaya United, FC Santa Rosa, Westside Superstars and T&T Defence Force.
Club Sando 4 (Teba McKnight 22nd, Coneal Thomas 25th, Devon Modeste 28th, Andy London 48th) v Guaya United 3 (Jody Allsop 34th, Kevin Jagdeosingh 42nd, Carlon Hughes 75th)
FA Cup play-off
Malabar FC 3 (Hayden Tinto 37th, Shandel Samuel 57th, Gorian Highley 90th) v Joe Public 1 (Richard Inniss 51st)
Match Day 14 Fixtures
NB-All matches kick off
at 3.30 pm
Club Sando vs WASA FC, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
1976 FC Phoenix vs Westside Superstarz, Canaan, Bon Accord
Siparia Spurs vs Real Maracas, Palo Seco Velodrome
Defence Force vs Stokely Vale, Frederick Settlement
Guaya United vs Joe Public, Guaya Recreation Ground
Malabar FC vs FC Santa Rosa, UTT Ground, O’Meara.
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