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Article ID : 384
Audience : Public
Version 1.00
Published Date: 2008/12/17 8:43:30
Reads : 17

Reporting by Lasana Liburd www.trinidadexpress.com


Fancy a cold plate of revenge, anyone?

Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA booked a dream TTFF FA Trophy final date with three-time champions, W. Connection, from 6 p.m. today at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.

Caledonia's pleasure was Defence Force's pain as the "Eastern Stallions" whipped the Army/ Coast Guard combination 4-2 at the same venue in the second FA Trophy semi-final on Monday night.


Earlier, Connection clobbered WASA FC 8-1 to cruise into the final.

The short recovery time favours Connection who had an easier route to the final and should feel considerably fresher than Caledonia's troops.

Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier did not use national attacker, Andre Toussaint, in the dismantling of WASA while Jonathan Frias and Hughton Hector made brief cameos off the bench.

All three could be pivotal this evening and Caledonia's coaching duo of Jerry Moe and Jamaal Shabazz might be at their wit's end trying to anticipate their Connection counterpart.

Both teams employ diamond-shaped midfields, overlapping full backs and prefer to pass themselves out of trouble.

Only Connection possess more variation up front and are better served at the back where Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Marvin Phillip guards the uprights.

They will be favourites to end their 2008 season on a high after missing out on the T&T Pro League and Toyota Classic crowns.

Caledonia's motivation is different.

Last season, they looked poised to dominate local football when their first meaningful test came against Connection in the FCB Cup final. Caledonia buzzed at first but Frias' second half introduction changed the match and Connection ran out 2-0 winners. Caledonia never recovered and ended the season trophyless.

The Stallions finally lifted national silverware in May when they beat Defence Force to the Pro Bowl title but they might feel there is unfinished business against Connection.

On Monday night's form, Fevrier would not dare take them lightly.

Twice, Defence Force stormed ahead through their one-man wrecking crew and the league's top scorer, Devon

Jorsling. National coach Francisco Maturana is rumoured to find Jorsling too slow for his counter-attacking game, which ignores the fact that the soldier's four international outings this year-three of his caps came as a subsitute-yielded three goals.

A shortage of pace certainly did not handicap Trinidad and Tobago's record scorer, Stern John, and the 24-year-old Jorsling has a lot of John's attributes in his game. There is the upper body strength, sure first touch, capable hold up play, good sense of timing and quick release from either foot. As a bonus, Jorsling also possesses a wicked set piece off his favoured left foot.

After just six minutes, Jorsling ran on to a Jerwin Balthazar pass and blasted first time with his right boot to put Defence Force ahead.

Caledonia mustered a scrappy equaliser in the 11th minute as Kendall Velox forced home a rebound after Army goalkeeper Kevin Graham failed to hold Conrod Smith's initial attempt.

But, when Jorsling sidestepped a crowd of defenders to fire home with his left-just two minutes later-it seemed like the night belonged to the protective forces.

The lead might have been wider if Caledonia left back Sheldon Emmanuel had not nicked the ball off Kevon Carter as he took aim.

Caledonia did not panic, though. Somehow, they put the magnitude of the occasion behind them and set about to play the way they know they could with playmaker Densill Theobald and flanker Abdullah Phillips, who easily mastered national left back Aklie Edwards, at the hub.

Eighteen passes were exchanged in the 53rd minute before Phillips crossed for Velox to nod in their equaliser and Defence Force, who were now without ejected coach Kerry Jamerson, were never the same thereafter.

Another clever passing move saw Caledonia substitute Akim Armstrong tee up Walter Moore who fired home on the second attempt in the 64th minute and they were two goals clear, ten minutes later, when Velox hammered his third past Graham from close range before leaving to a standing ovation in the 77th minute.

Caledonia goalkeeper Michael Woods was an unlikely hero too with two superb saves to deny David Alleyne and Christian Baptiste as they resisted a late attempted comeback from Defence Force.

If Woods, Theobald, Velox and company kept anything in the tank for tonight, Connection are in for a hell of a fight. Caledonia might have been saving a plate of payback for just this occasion.

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