Photo Courtsey: St. Anthony’s College
St Anthony’s College successfully defended their Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Coca Cola North Zone InterCol title, yesterday, defeating Diego Martin North Secondary 4-2 on penalties after the sides were deadlocked 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
St Anthony’s came back from a 1-0 first half deficit to take a 2-1 lead in the second period before Diego Martin North Secondary equalised through a penalty late in the game to tie up the scores.
Aaron Joseph put Diego ahead in the 33rd minute before the Tigers roared back with items from Adrian Millette in the 56th and substitute Dwayne Caliste in the 65th. It looked like game, set and match, but Diego found a way back in the 85th minute, from the penalty spot, when Josh Toussaint converted to level the scores to force a penalty shootout.
Diego missed their first kick in the shootout and had their third saved by St Anthony’s keeper Javon Sample, while the Tigers scored four in a row to seal the win and a place in the national semifinals, next week.
St Anthony’s dominated possession for the majority of the game, and could have gone ahead 1-0 in the second minute of the match when the Diego Martin defence fell asleep, allowing Xavier Rajpaul a free header inside the box. His effort, however, was off target.
Ten minutes later, Diego Martin were awarded a penalty, but Christian Vincent could not deliver the goal, placing his effort well wide.
Diego had another chance to take the lead half hour into the game when a free kick found Christopher Biggette inside the penalty area. His shot rebounded off a defender and fell to Joseph whose shot was well wide of goal.
Diego Martin would eventually make up for the lapse, finally taking the lead three minutes later when Toussaint’s bullet slipped out of Sample’s hands and was slotted home from close range by Joseph.
After that, the Tigers went on an all-out assault, with shots coming in from all sides, the best of which came off of Rajpaul’s boot. He found space to turn and shoot at the edge of the penalty area, but his effort sailed wide.
St Anthony’s had a golden opportunity to level the scores in the first minute of the second half when Brandon Lastiquot brought down a St Anthony’s player in the penalty area. However, the resulting penalty, taken by Tigers captain Jamali Garcia, was well saved by Diego keeper Perry Lee O’Cconor.
The Tigers maintained the pressure, and eventually equalised from a corner. Adrian Millette got his head to the ball, sending it past O’Connor at the near post.
St Anthony’s looked like taking the lead, and eventually did so through Caliste who came on as a substitute early in the second half.
The Westmoorings Tigers finished the game with ten men after Kwesi Allen was ejected in the 90th minute for his second yellow card.
St Anthony’s will now meet the South champions in a National InterCol semifinal, next Wednesday, at Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella from four p.m.
The South zone InterCol champions will be decided on Monday when league winners Presentation College San Fernando take on Shiva Boys’ Hindu College in the final, at Manny Ramjohn Stadium from p.m.
Today, Tobago Zone InterCol champions, Speyside Secondary will be in action against East InterCol winners, St Augustine East Secondary in the National quarterfinal, at Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago from four p.m.
The winners of today’s National quarterfinal will face Central Zone InterCol champions, Chaguanas North Secondary in a National InterCol semifinal, on Tuesday, at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, also from four p.m.