Sunday 28th September, 2008

 

W Connection cops sixth title

 
 
 
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W Connection claimed a sixth title on Friday night at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella against Joe Public in a thrilling encounter of the 2008 First Citizens Cup final. It was their sixth overall win of the most prestigious knockout title on the T&T Pro League calendar, winning them the first place cash prize of $65,000.

Victory didn’t come the easy way, though. W Connection had to toil for it down to penalties (6-5) after a gruelling 2-2 draw against the “Eastern Lions.”

Spurred on by their supporters who came out in the hundreds, W Connection held the firmest at sudden-death with Joe Public’s Jason Springer missing high over bar giving Connection’s Teba McKnight the opportunity of the winning item and he took it with comfort to beat goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa with the seventh kick, and causing the Stadium to erupt into a party-like atmosphere.

Action at the south venue began with a third place play-off between St Ann’s Rangers and Clico San Juan Jabloteh which Rangers won 2-1 with all goals scored in the second period.

Keyon Edwards (60th) and Josimar Belgrave (61st) where the scorers for Rangers while Jason Marcano notched Jabloteh’s lone item in the 67th minute.

Joe Public got a goal on either side of the half from unlikely sources Christopher Harvey and Keyeno Thomas both defenders rather than tournament top scorer Gregory Richardson (with four goals). Richardson also picked up the tournament’s “Most Valuable Player” title.

W Connection, winners of the First Citizens Cup in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and now 2008 had first half goals by Andre Toussaint and Jonathon Frias, the double goal scorer in the 2007 final against Rangers.

Action started from as early as the third minute when Joe Public’s Jamal Gay had to be denied by the brilliance of goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.

But no time was wasted and Joe Public took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when former Connection defender Harvey towered above the W Connection defence to head Arnold Dwarika’s right side free kick past goalkeeper Phillip.

However, the defending First Citizens Cup champions W Connection would level the scores 1-1 in the 18th minute in a miraculous manner when Toussaint’s intended pass to Hughton Hector was missed by both team-mate Hector and Joe Public goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa—diving the wrong way—as everyone looked on in astonishment with the ball trickling all the way over the goal line.

Toussaint was again in goal mouth action when in the 33rd minute his pass inside to Frias only needed enough boot to ball to end up in the back of the net was kept out by goalkeeper Figueroa in the nick of time.

But the five-time winners stepped up and took the lead two minutes later and this time Frias made sure he struck well, blasting the ball into the roof of the net to beat Figueroa after being played in by Jose Luis Seabra in a play inspired by Toussaint down the left for a 2-1 lead which held out until the break.

Action resumed following the break and in the 56th minute Keyeno Thomas equalised for the “Lions”—Dwarika again the supplier, this time from a cross ball which Thomas headed past goalkeeper Phillip for the 2-2 score.

Joe Public continued to hold the edge on Connection in the second period with second half substitute Kerry Baptiste adding more in attack. However, the scores remained 2-2 at the final whistle resulting in kicks from the spot.

 

 

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