AIA whip TTEC in First Citizens opener
By JOEL BAILEY Sunday, September 23 2012
GOALS FROM strikers Keyon Edwards and Sheldon Holder were enough to give Caledonia AIA a 2-0 victory over TTEC, on Friday night, the second of back-to-back First Citizens Cup quarter-final matches at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo.
The game was a repeat from last year’s final, but reigning champs Caledonia had more than enough quality and resources to withstand the challenge of a spirited but overmatched TTEC squad, who are without the bulk of their 2011-2012 squad due to financial constraints.
Caledonia came out of the blocks in a hurry, and broke the deadlock after five minutes.
Nathan Lewis, on the left flank, did well to race past Cebastien Bailey before sending a ball to Edwards to side-foot home, to the left of goalkeeper Akini Adams.
Four minutes later, Adams did well to deny a right-footed drive from wing-back Kareem Joseph, but Conrad Smith, Caledonia’s stand-in captain, sent a wild shot to the left of Adams and an alert Holder slid home the loose ball, into the open net.
Sadly, AIA dropped their intensity and the game descended into a level of mediocrity, filled with an array of miscommunication, bad passing and poor finishing by the 2011 champs.
Edwards had a chance to make it 3-0 in the 63rd, but his 20-metre drive was denied by an alert Adams – TTEC’s best player on the night.
Substitute midfielder Kevon Neaves had a rare goal-scoring chance for TTEC, in the 76th, with a 30-metre left-footer which almost caught AIA keeper Glenroy Samuel unaware.
And, six minutes from full-time, Trevin Caesar was on hand to dispossess Bailey on the right but he was unable to find the target after a sprint towards Adams’ goal.
Earlier at Mucurapo, St Ann’s Rangers booked a spot in the last four by virtue of a 2-1 victory over North East Stars. Jason Marcano put Rangers in front after 28 minutes, slotting home from close range after the North East defence failed to clear a corner.
The North East strike pair of Kerry Baptiste and Cornell Glen both had chances to restore parity, but another ex-national forward, Hector Sam, was fortunate to receive only a yellow card from referee Gyasi McDonald in the 52nd for an elbow to the face of central defender Kareem Moses.
Glen levelled the score in the 68th, heading home a Kennedy Hinkson corner beyond the reach of Zane Coker in the Rangers goal.
But Rangers regained the lead for good, two minutes later, as Cameron Roget did well to collect a diagonal ball on the left from Marcano and his pass to Devon Modeste in the six-yard box was drilled past North East goalie Cleon John.
Defence Force marched into the semis with a 3-0 whipping of debutants Central FC, in the latter game of a double-header at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, courtesy of a double from Richard Roy and one from his national teammate Devorn Jorsling.
In the earlier game, W Connection needed kicks from the penalty mark to eliminate Police 3-1, after the score was goalless at the end of regulation time.
The semi-finals will be contested on September 28 and the final on October 5.