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Central FC, Pt Fortin advance to First Citizens quarters
Two-time former champions Central FC and Pt Fortin Civic both advanced to the quarterfinals of the First Citizens Cup after winning their playoff matches at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Wednesday night.
In the night’s first encounter, Tyrik John, the son of former T&T World Cup striker and current Central FC coach Stern John, grabbed a stoppage-time winner to lift the “Couva Sharks” to a 2-1 win against MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers.
However, it was a bitter sweet ending for the young John, as in the midst of his celebrations he was shown a second yellow card for pulling his shirt over his head in celebration, but luckily, the 21-year-old utility player will be available for selection as cards attained during the play-offs will not transfer to the quarterfinals.
Earlier in the contest, veteran midfielder Jason Marcano headed the 2014 and 2015 champions Central ahead in the 60th minute, just after Neil Mitchell had struck the Couva Sharks’ upright on the other end.
St Ann’s Rangers levelled the scores 1-1 nine minutes later through substitute Josh Toussaint, but in the end the St Ann’s club fell at the death as Central FC set up a quarterfinal with W Connection on Sunday at the same venue from 3.30pm.
Pt Fortin Civic booked its place in the last-eight with a 4-1 penalty-kicks win over Police FC 4-1 after a goalless draw which including some incredible regular-time goalkeeping from T&T international Adrian Foncette, who, unfortunately, was unable to rescue the Lawmen in the shootout, one night after leading the Soca Warriors to a 2-1 shock win over USA, to deny the latter a spot at next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.
Foncette made a hat-trick of point blank saves to deny forward Nion Lammy on all three occasions with the latest as close-up as four metres.
The Police custodian also put behind put behind a low drive from substitute Shackiel Henry six minutes from time after Stephan Campbell headed behind a powerful strike from Jameel Perry midway through the second half on the other end.
In the penalty shoot-out, Pt Fortin were clinical with Jabari Mitchell, new signing Nathaniel Garcia formerly of Central FC, Shackiel Henry and Nickcolson Thomas all scoring while Police veteran midfielder Todd Ryan stood the only Lawman to find the back of the net before team-mates Clevon Mc Fee saw his effort crash off the bar and Dillion Kirton fired overbar.
Pt Fortin will now face North East Stars tomorrow (Saturday) from 3.30 at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar while tonight at Couva, Club Sando tackles Morvant Caledonia United from 6pm and title-holders Defence Force face San Juan Jabloteh from 8pm.
The semi-finals are carded for October 20 before the competition culminates on November 3 with the final and third-place matches.