Fans take in the First Citizens Cup semi-final

DRAWING CROWDS: Fans take in the First Citizens Cup semi-final action at Diego Martin on Friday evening,

Unbeaten La Horquetta Rangers and Police FC, the top two teams in the tough Abercrombie preliminary round group, have advanced to the final of the 2019 First Citizens Cup.

Rangers had edged Police 1-0 when they met earlier in the tournament, before going on to top the group which also included Defence Force, W Connection and Point Fortin Civic.

On Friday night, Rangers cut Cunupia FC to shreds while Police rode their luck a bit before seeing off Club Sando in the semi-final double-header at the Diego Martin Sports Complex.

Playing in the late game, Rangers whipped Immortelle Group runners-up Cunupia FC 3-0 for their sixth consecutive victory of the tournament. It might have been different, had Cunupia taken the first chance of the match. Kevon Woodley’s sizzling free-kick forced Rangers goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel into a full dive to keep the ball out and when the rebound came his way, Keston Bibby-Cummings drove his low shot straight back at the keeper. Rangers were not as generous, even though they struck the crossbar in each half.

Isaiah Lee got the scoring going when he met a cross with a downward header for 1-0 in the 37th minute while their captain, Jamal Creighton, made it 2-0 with a hot, low shot from atop the penalty area, four minutes later. Left-side midfielder Aikim Andrews (47’) completed the scoring with a bullet from outside the box that flew into the roof of the net.

Earlier, Abercrombie Group runners-up Police had edged past Immortelle Group winners Tiger Tanks Club Sando 1-0, Jameel Perry firing in the lone item in the 28th minute.

Perry usually needs a few tries before getting the ball in the net but the veteran Police striker was perfection on Friday night, drilling a low shot inside the far post after combining with fellow striker Christian Thomas.

A goalmouth scramble almost gave Police a second item before Club Sando got going, late in the half.

Unlucky Club Sando did everything but score. Their right-back Nicholas Thomas had a low shot kept out by midfielder J’Deem Paris, with Police ‘keeper Adrian Foncette out of the action. Later, former national Under-20 player Nion Lammy went down under Foncette’s challenge and appealed strongly for a penalty.

Referee Kwinsi Williams turned it down, probably thinking the usually unbalanced Lammy had fallen on his own. But actually, it seemed to be Foncette’s trailing hand that clipped Lammy’s back leg as the striker leapt over him and was staring at an open goal. Angus Eve, Club Sando’s head coach, was furious.

Sando did win a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Keron Cornwall was fouled, preventing him from forcing the ball in from close up. But Foncette brought off a flying save to deny Sando captain Kemul Rivers, who took the spot kick.

In the second half, former primary school MVP Jabari Francis almost caught out Foncette with a long-range shot that just cleared the crossbar and later, Lammy sent the rebound wide after Foncette had parried Anthony Charles’ stinger into the onrushing striker’s path.

FIRST CITIZENS CUP RESULTS:

(Semis/Diego Martin Sporting Complex)

Police FC 1 Jameel Perry (28’) Tiger Tanks Club Sando 0

Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 3 (Isaiah Lee 37’), Jamal Creighton (41’), Aikim Andrews (47’) Cunupia FC 0

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