Four-time champions San Juan Jabloteh will be hoping to make a winning start when they face Club Sando in the first match match of a double-header to kick off the 2016/2017 Digicel T&T Pro...
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Debutants Guaya United capture Super League title
Guaya United created history on Sunday after becoming the first team to capture the blink/bmobile National Super League title in its debut season, after the newly established Eastern Counties Football Union giant defeated Siparia Spurs 2-1 in the final match of the season.
Playing away at the Palo Seco Velodrome, Guaya opened the scoring in the 43rd through a Kendes Garcia strike, before Earlon Thomas bagged his second goal against Siparia Spurs this season, and the match winner in the 71st minute. Former Secondary Schools’ top scorer and MVP Shackiel Henry attempted to halt Guaya’s celebrations with a late goal.
In the end, Guaya, which shared the lead with Club Sando for the better part of the season emerged champion by a solitary point.
The curtains closed on the competition on Sunday despite a number matches remaining unplayed. An announcement was made, however, that the matches will not be played, thus leaving the third relegated team undetermined.
Both FC Santa Rosa, which made its debut in the second tier competition last year, and Joe Public, which won the NSL treble in 2011, were relegated. Beneath both relegated teams lie Defence Force in dead last having played only 16 matches, before being forced to withdraw from the competition. A verdict is expected to be laid within this week on the team’s fate in next year’s competition. WASA FC, which played to a goalless draw against Stokely Vale in Plymouth, Tobago, may also create history as the first team to capture the title and suffer relegation the following season if Defence Force remains in the league. Record-holding former T&T international striker may have played his final competitive fixture in an attempt to save WASA from the drop. He played in his fourth match for WASA, after being approached to help save the club, but could not add to his two-goal tally on Sunday.
John rocked the crossbar from close range early into the fixture, but could not make a further impact in the match particularly due to poor service by the club’s wingers. A point from the match may not be enough to see the team survive in the competition next year.
Meanwhile, Club Sando, which also claimed NSL silverware for the first time this season recorded a 3-1 win over FC Santa Rosa, but could not find a return to the top, a place it held for longer spells than Guaya.
Club Sando won the knockout title, its highest achievement in its history, last October following a 4-3 victory over Guaya.
Tobago’s three representatives 1976 FC Phoenix, Stokely Vale and Bethel United all maintained their status in the competition.
Phoenix finished in fifth, while Stokely Vale ended in sixth. Bethel United, which has a chance at facing the drop saved a solid performance for last, beating Real Maracas 2-0. Joe Public, a club which dropped out of the TT Pro League after winning the title on three occasions (1998, 2006 and 2009), suffered its most miserable season to date.
The club has a shaky start to the season and an even more unconvincing end, making a late move into the relegation zone, where it remained on the final day of the season.
While three teams will face the drop, two teams will be promoted from the Champions of Champions National Super League qualifiers, which are set to begin on March 9.
Malabar FC 2 (Kevon Woodley 17th, 35th) v Joe Public 1 (og 13th)
Stokely Vale 0 v WASA FC 0
Club Sando 3 (Jesse Downing 19th, og 29th, Akeem Humphrey 39th) v FC Santa Rosa 1 (Andre Rampersad 85th)
Bethel United 2 (Vernon Wilson 20th, Dwane Marcelle 52rd) v Real Maracas 0
Guaya United 2 (Kendes Garcia 43rd, Earlon Thomas 71st) v Siparia Spurs 1 (Shackiel Henry 84th)
T&T Defence Force v 1976 FC Phoenix - Postponed
Teams Pld W D L F A Pts
Guaya Utd 23 19 1 3 57 26 58
Club Sando 23 18 3 2 68 25 57
Malabar FC 23 16 3 4 79 33 51
Real Maracas 24 9 4 11 41 32 31
1976 FC Phoenix 23 7 10 6 32 39 31
Stokely Vale 24 9 3 12 36 51 30
Bethel United 23 7 5 11 36 53 26
Westside 23 8 1 14 37 57 25
Siparia 24 6 6 12 48 54 24
WASA FC 24 5 8 11 27 35 23
Joe Public FC 23 5 6 12 30 44 21
FC Santa Rosa 23 5 5 13 29 51 20
Defence Force 16 5 3 8 23 44 18