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Jorsling inspires Army
Out-of-favour national striker Devorn Jorsling scored one and set up another as defending Digicel T&T Pro League champions whipped Police in the first of two rescheduled matches at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Sunday to keep its hopes of a title repeat alive.
With the win, the “Teteron Boys” improved to 35 points from 18 matches in fourth spot, ten adrift of leaders DirecTV W Connection who have played three matches while Central FC, the only other team in contention for the $1 million top prize is second with 38 points from 20 matches.
Pt Fortin Civic FC is third with 36 but only has two matches left to complete its 22-game schedule while North East Stars (3 have three to play.
At Couva, Police was first to threaten when with the match only three minutes old, Akiba Peters blasted a free-kick onto the crossbar and in the 11th minute, the same crossbar came to Defence Force’s rescue again, this time from a Kareem Perry effort.
Four minutes later, Defence Force made its first real chance count when the burly Jorsling scored his ninth league goal this term for the Army/Coast-Guard combination, beating Police goalkeeper Adrian Foncette from inside the six-yard area after receiving a short Curtis Gonzales cross for a 1-0 lead.
Twelve minutes later Jorsling turned provider and set up midfielder Jerwyn Balthazar to fire past Foncette from inside the area for a 2-0 advantage.
But within five minutes Police, reduced the deficit through forward Elijah Belgrave, who capitalised on a mix-up in the Defence Force 18-yard-box to slip the ball past goalkeeper Kevin Graham.
Curtis Gonzales almost restored Defence Force’s two-goal cushion, but his sweetly timed right footed volley cannoned off the upright, in the 60th minute before substitute Kerry Joseph then muffed a hat-trick of chances to put the match away.
At the other end, Graham came up trumps for his team in the 78th minute when he blanked Belgrave (Elijah) a second after the latter connected with a cross from substitute Aaron Stewart.
With a minute left in the match, Elijah’s brother Josimar Belgrave, a second-half introduction for Defence Force sealed the win for his team when he turned in a cross from Joseph’s while he nearly added another within a minute, only to be denied by Foncette.
Nevertheless, when the final whistle came it signalled a sixth straight win for Defence Force as it seeks to secure a third Pro League title in four years.
Today, Ross Russell and his charges will be hoping for more of the same as they come up again Police from 6 pm at Couva
ahead of crucial encounters with W Connection on May 4 and 6 while San Juan Jabloteh meets Pt Fortin Civic, two hours later.
And at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, bottom-of-the-table St Ann’s Rangers meets Caledonia from 6 pm and from two hours later, North East Stars tackle Central FC, which is on a 15-match unbeaten run, inclusive of nine straight wins.
In Sunday’s other match, 24-year-old Montserrat international forward Julian Wade scored a double to lead Caledonia past Jabloteh 3-1.
Sunday’s Digicel T&T Pro League results:
Defence Force 3 (Devorn Jorsling 15th, Jerwyn Balthazar 29th, Josimar Belgrave 89th) vs Police 1 (Elijah Belgrave 33rd)
Caledonia 3 (Julien Wade 29th, 90th, Densill Theobald 30th) vs Jabloteh 1 (Jean-Luc Rochford 28th)
Teams P W D L F A Pts
W Connection 21 13 6 2 44 15 45
Central FC 20 10 8 2 41 18 38
Pt Fortin Civic 22 11 3 8 31 23 36
Defence Force 18 11 2 5 37 24 35
N/East Stars 21 9 6 6 22 16 33
Caledonia 20 7 6 7 30 28 27
Police 21 8 3 10 29 37 27
Jabloteh 21 3 3 15 22 50 12
Rangers 20 1 1 18 15 60 4
Upcoming Digicel Pro League fixtures
Today (Tuesday April 15):
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Police vs Defence Force, 6pm
Jabloteh vs Pt Fortin Civic, 8pm
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
St Ann’s Rangers vs Caledonia, 6pm
North East Stars vs Central FC, 8pm