14 October 2013

BIG CANNONS LOSE SEMI-FINAL

FC Santa Rosa lost 2:1 to Super League leaders Club Sando yesterday (Sunday 13 October 2013) in Semi-final One of the Super League Cup. Short-staffed due to injury and suspension (for accumulated yellow cards), the Big Cannons went to the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva determined to win their second Cup semi-final in two seasons, having lost to eventual 2013 winners, Stokely Vale FC, 3:0.

In the event, it turned out to be a very good tactical battle, with Santa Rosa allowing Club Sando to set the pace while adopting their familiar counter-attacking stance and tactics to good effect. Sando it was who scored first, a speculative shot from long distance beating goalkeeper Andrew Durant (15″). Not to be intimidated by their big-spending opponents, Santa Rosa equalized with a fine header by captain Jason Hope from a free kcik by Jean Luc Rochford (40″). 1:1 at the half.

The pattern of play continued in the second half, Sando having the edge in possession, with Santa Rosa maintaining ogranization and discipline and counter-attacking dangerously. Sando found their winner with a glancing header past Durant from a free kick (60″) but Santa Rosa then took the game to the host team searching for an equalizer of their own.

The referee, who had failed to distinguish himself all match with a series of bad calls, ejected Jovan and Jean Luc Rochford (89″) after the entire Santa Rosa team challenged his failure to award a penalty when a Sando defender used his hand to stop a header by David Lezama from entering the net.

Santa Rosa’s first loss in six matches, but by qualifying for the Cup semi-final, Santa Rosa also qualified for the TTFA FA Cup, which will begin in December. The Big Cannons will now turn their sights back to the second half of the Super League season, which resumes on Sunday 27 October with the Arima derby against Malabar FC.

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