The once mighty lead of longstanding Digicel Pro League leaders W Connection is no more, making for a very interesting end to the 2013/2014 championship. This after the “Savonnetta Boys” who were occupying seats in the stands, awaiting their clash with bitter Couva rivals Central FC in the 2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield final at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday watched on as defending champions, Defence Force clobbered Caledonia AIA 4-0 in a re-scheduled league match. Striker Josimar Belgrave made full use once again of the absence of injured talisman Devorn Jorsling by firing in a hat-trick for the “Teteron Boys” while national defender Curtis Gonsalves added the other to seal a ninth straight win for coach Ross Russell.
The win improved the Army/Coast-Guard combination to 44 points from 21 matches, one point behind W Connection ahead of their back-to-back meetings on May 4 and 6, before which could have well decided the destination of the $1 million title. In the final round of matches set for May 13, Defence Force will face San Juan Jabloteh while W Connection tackles Caledonia. On Friday, Belgrave fired his team into a 28th minute lead against the run of play when he latched onto a pass over the top and slipped his shot past goalkeeper Shemel Louison. Nine minutes before the half, Defence Force, which was on the back foot for most of the contest doubled its lead with Gonzales scoring from close up after Belgrave muffed his initial attempt.
The match was all over as a contest by the 69th minute when Belgrabe made it 3-0 with a header from a Ross Russell Jr cross. Eight minutes from time he completed his treble with a simple tap-in to put the icing on another comfortable win ahead of their clashes with W Connection. Third placed Central FC with 41 points and two matches left to play also still has a mathematical chance of lifting the title but must hope the two matches between W Connection and Defence Force end in draws before they both lose their final matches, while it must win its two remaining encounters.
Friday's Digicel T&T Pro League result:
Defence Force 4 (Josimar Belgrave 28th, 69th, 82nd, Curtis Gonzales 36th) vs Caledonia AIA 0
Current Digicel T&T Pro League standings:
Teams P W D L F A Pts
W Connection 21 13 6 2 43 15 45
Defence Force 21 14 2 5 44 25 44
Central FC 22 11 8 3 46 21 41
Pt Fortin 23 12 3 8 35 24 39
North East Stars 22 10 6 6 24 17 36
Caledonia 21 7 6 8 32 31 27
Police 23 8 3 12 30 41 27
Jabloteh 22 3 3 16 22 53 12
Rangers 22 2 1 19 19 64 7