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Forward Keron Clarke scored the winning goal and his seventh of the qualifying tournament to secure La Horquetta SA’s first ever qualification to the National Super League, on Sunday, after the club defeated Central’s Coosal’s Las Lomas 2-1 in the fourth of five Champions of Champions matches.
Anslem Jackson, a winger with the most assists in the competition, scored the opening goal and his second in as many matches in the seventh minute, before Clarke, who has scored in every match thus far, wrapped up the win with a 77th minute effort. Three minutes later, Las Lomas attempted a fightback when Carlon Hall scored to make it 2-1. With that being the final goal of the match, La Horquetta confirmed a place in the National Super League after reaching an unassailable 12 points. This only three years after being promoted to the Eastern Football Association’s Premier Division. Even with a match remaining, La Horquetta has been confirmed champion of the six-team table comprising zonal association champions.
Meanwhile, Petrotrin Palo Seco kept its chances of qualifying as the second team alive when Jamal Ayers scored a double to lead the club to a 2-1 win over Eastern Counties’ Matura Reunited. Ayers opened in the 12th minute and scored the winning goal soon after the hour-mark after Keron Vincent equalised for Matura a minute before the break. The result ruled Matura out of qualification.
Then, the third match carded between the bottom two teams, Queen’s Park Cricket Club and D’Bar Goal City failed to kick off.
An unprepared pitch at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, lacking proper field markings, goal posts and corner flags were reportedly the cause of the cancellation, despite Goal City making the trip from Tobago. QPCC, using the pitch as its home venue for the match, was said to be responsible.
The match is unlikely to replayed, but a decision is still pending on the result.
With La Horquetta taking one of two available qualifying spots, and given Goal City is awarded three points, three teams remain with a chance of qualifying as the runner-up.
Petrotrin Palo Seco, which currently sits second will face La Horquetta in the final round on Sunday, from 3.30 pm, before Coosal’s Las Lomas meets a deflated QPCC at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, in the late 6 pm fixture. The round will open on Saturday, with Goal City taking on Matura Reunited, at Plymouth, Tobago, from 5 pm.
La Horquetta SA 2 (Anslem Jackson 7th, Keron Clarke 77th) v Coosal’s Las Lomas 1 (Carlon Hall 80th)
Petrotrin Palo Seco 2 (Jamal Ayers 12th, 62nd) v Matura Reunited 1 (Keron Vincent 44th)
QPCC v D’Lime Bar Goal City – Did Not Play
Goal City v Matura Reunited, Plymouth Recreation Ground, Tobago, 5 pm Sunday
Palo Seco v La Horquetta SA, Palo Seco Recreation Ground, 3.30 pm
QPCC v Coosal’s Las Lomas United, Hasely Crawford Stadium, PoS, 6 pm
Teams Pld W D L F A Pts
La Hor SA 4 4 0 0 9 1 12
Palo Seco 4 2 1 1 11 6 7
Las Lomas 4 1 1 2 6 6 5
Matura Re 4 0 2 2 6 8 2
Goal City 3 0 1 2 5 6 2
QPCC 3 0 2 1 4 12 1