AC Port of Spain, Club Sando, Defence Force earn Concacaf qualification

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Defence Force FC’s Dwight Quintero (R) celebrates after scoring a goal against Club Sando, on Thursday, during a TT Premier Football League match, on Thursday, at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. – TT Premier Football League

Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) tier one clubs AC Port of Spain, Club Sando FC and Defence Force have confirmed their participation at the upcoming Concacaf Caribbean Shield and Concacaf Caribbean Cup tournaments.

Their confirmation came after Thursday’s TTPFL matchday 17 results, which now sees the trio uncatchable by fourth place Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, with one matchday remaining before Concacaf’s qualification deadline on Sunday.

Defence Force climbed to the top of the TT Premier Football League (TTPFL) standings courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Tiger Tanks Club Sando at Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.

Defence Force’s (43pts) reign at the helm may be short-lived however, as keen contender AC Port of Spain (42pts) was still locked in battle against Central FC at La Horquetta Recreation Grounds on Thursday night.

A win or loss for AC Port of Spain still keeps them within the top three.

Against Club Sando, Defence Force went ahead in the 35th minute courtesy Dwight Quintero. For the remainder of the first half, Club Sando tried to equalise while Defence Force sought to extend their advantage but neither was successful.

Both teams cancelled each other out for the majority of the second period but a 92nd-minute strike from Defence Force’s Hashim Arcia assured them the three points.

The result saw Defence Force leapfrog past Club Sando into second position.

Also on Thursday, fourth-place Terminix La Horquetta Rangers (37pts) also tried to stay within contention with one match day remaining as they thumped cellar-placed Cunupia FC 4-1 at Police Barracks in St James.

Back-to-back goals from Rangers’ Nathaniel Garcia and Junior Assoon in the 29th and 31st minutes sent Rangers ahead in commanding style. But four minutes later, Central FC’s Leon Boucaud scored to reduce the deficit. It remained 2-1 at half-time.

But one minute into the second period, Daniel David made it 3-0 and then Tarik Lee put the icing on the cake by finding the back of the net in the 93rd minute.

Fifth-ranked Police FC (28pts) also secured three points on Thursday as they beat Prisons Service FC 3-1 at La Horquetta Recreations Grounds.

Prisons’ Nathaniel Perouse gave Police a 43rd-minute lead by scoring an own goal. Into the second half, Akieem Bibby Bailey pulled one back for Prisons to level the score.

But five minutes later, Joevin Jones scored for Police while Kadeem Hutchinson made it 3-1 in the 96th minute.

Other late matches on Thursday night saw Celdonia up against Point Fortin Civic Centre, W Connection versus San Juan Jabloteh and AC Port of Spain against Central FC.

Matchday 18 kicks off on Sunday.