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Sunday 18 November 2018
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Champs W Connection dumped out Toyota Classic

W CONNECTION’s reign as Toyota Classic champions came to a crashing halt on Friday night as they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Defence Force in the latter of a semi-final double-header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

And, in the earlier semi-final at the Mucurapo venue, North East Stars needed kicks from the penalty spot to eliminate Stokely Vale 4-1, after the scores were locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation time.

The final is carded for December 7, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, from 8 pm.

Connection, who have been renowned for their achievements on the local knockout stages, put in such a dismal performance that their only chances of scoring came from two attempted defensive clearances from Aklie Edwards and Devin Jordan, in either half, which almost resulted in own goals.

Trinidad and Tobago forward Richard Roy has been undergoing a miserable time as the lone striker for Defence Force, and he muffed a chance to open the scoring in the 14th minute.

Collecting a pass from Josimar Belgrave, after good work on the right by Jemel Sebro, Roy created space in the penalty box but lashed his right-footer overbar.

After Connection failed to clear a corner, in the 30th, Defence Force took the lead, with Sebro’s pass to Curtis Gonzales on the right resulting in a cross to centre-back Rodell Elcock, who calmly drilled his right-footer to the bottom right-hand corner.

Only utility player Joevin Jones and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams rose to the occasion as Defence Force basically set up camp in the second half.

But Roy infuriated his coach Marvin Gordon (deputising for Ross Russell who is away with the national Under-17 team) in the 73rd – following a pass by Keston Williams, Roy blasted his right-footer overbar with only the Connection goalie to beat.

Two minutes later, Kevon Carter produced a moment of brilliance to score Defence Force’s second, as he left makeshift right-back Christian Viveros for dead before racing into the penalty box and angling his right-footer to the left of Jan-Michael Williams.

And, in the 85th, the result was put beyond doubt as Carter’s shot was blocked by a defender but substitute Jerwyn Balthazar skipped by a static Silvio Spann and banged home his right-footer via the crossbar.

The North East-Stokely Vale game was a more competitive affair, with ex-national striker Cornell Glen putting North East ahead after 42 minutes but Tyrone Manning evened up the scores in the 60th.

In the penalty shootout, Glen, Elijah Manners, Kerry Baptiste and Seon Power netted for North East. Manning scored Stokely Vale’s lone effort, as Rohan Sebro and Domminic McDougall saw their efforts saved by Cleon John.

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