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Guerra returns with late winner for Central
Central FC’s mid-season signing Ataulla Guerra bagged a dramatic winning goal in a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Defence Force, which kept the Sharks in contention for this season's million-dollar 2013/2014 Pro League Championship.
Meanwhile the chances of troubled-Defence Force retaining the title deteriorated. They remain in seventh position with just 17 points, less than half the tally of leaders W Connection (37 points). Army, however, have five matches in hand.
Central returned to second on the standings with 29 points, joint with Point Fortin Civic, but ahead by goal-difference, while both are eight points adrift of Connection.
Guerra who was sidelined for a month with a right shoulder injury, scored in the fourth minute of stoppage-time to complete the 3-2 victory at the Larry Gomes Stadium.
But Defence Force, who lost defender Rodell Elcock to a second yellow card for a push on Central’s Darren Mitchell four minutes from the end, had enjoyed a two-goal cushion before the break. Striker Devorn Jorsling, clearly inspired to do well in honour of close friend and former teammate Kevon Carter, who died of a heart attack two Fridays ago and was buried two days ago, scored twice.
Coach Ross Russell and his men, on an emotional return, looked set for a win against the side that defeated them 3-1 in Round One and 2-0 three weeks ago in Round Two.
Jorsling first converted from the spot in the 17th minute to beat goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams from the spot for a 1-0 army advantage after referee Cecil Hinds awarded the penalty following a handball inside the area by Elton John.
And, in the 24th minute, Jorsling executed a volley, beating Williams a second time for a 2-0 score. Coach Terry Fenwick responded with a double substitution at the start of the second period, replacing midfielder Leston Paul with Guerra, and former Defence Force player, Samuel Delice, with Rundell Winchester.
A cheeky pass in the 47th minute by Plaza beating defender Devin Jordan, allowed Darren Mitchell to swoop in, round goalkeeper Clarke, and hit into an open net to reduce the deficit 1-2.
And when a Plaza' cross found its way to the boot of Mitchell in the 72nd minute, the Tobagonian’s crack across the six yard area was turned in by Marcano to tie the scores at 2-2.
On the other end Marcano was denied a second, ten minutes from time, by Clarke, who also made a save against Guerra in the second minute of stoppage time. But eventually the Defence Force goalkeeper conceded the dreaded Guerra’s strike from the top of the area to suffer defeat.
The soldiers will return to action today at the Ato Boldon Stadium in a rescheduled Round Two Match Day Four fixture against Caledonia AIA from 9 pm, following a 7 pm rescheduled Round Two Match Day Nine clash between North East Stars and Police FC.
Point Fortin Civic 3 (Marcus Joseph 21st, Andre Toussaint 38th, Kariym Balthazar 90th+) v Police FC 0
North East Stars 3 (Trevin Casesar 7th, 61st, Kennedy Hinkson 87th) v Caledonia AIA 2 (Densill Theobald 32nd, 85th)
W Connection 2 (Shahdon Winchester 19th, 57th) v St Ann’s Rangers 0
Central FC (Darren Mitchell 47th, Jason Marcano 72nd, Ataulla Guerra 90th+4) v Defence Force 2 (Devorn Jorsling 17th pen, 24th)
North East Stars v Police FC, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 7 pm
Caledonia AIA v Defence Force, 9 pm
Teams Pld W D L F A Pts
W Connection 16 11 4 1 32 9 37
Point Fortin Civic 16 9 2 5 26 16 29
Central FC 17 7 8 2 31 17 29
North East Stars 16 7 5 4 17 12 26
Police FC 15 6 3 6 19 23 21
Caledonia AIA 16 5 6 5 24 19 21
Defence Force 12 5 2 5 21 20 17
San Juan Jabloteh 16 3 2 11 19 37 11
St Ann’s Rangers 16 1 0 15 11 47 3