Substitute Mathyyas Charles scored two goals in seven minutes on his way to picking up the 'Man-of-the-Match' award as San Juan North Secondary blanked long-time rivals St Augustine Secondary 5-0 in their East Zone Coca-Cola Boys Secondary Schools Football League semifinal at the Arima Municipal Stadium, Arima on Wednesday.
Playing in the first match of a zonal doubleheader, San Juan North got goals from Jahdel Chase-Charles and Nathan Quashie to lead 2-0 at the half-time interval before Lindell Sween, and the brace from Charles, capped off a dominant performance from the Jerry Moe-coached San Juan North to book their spot in Tuesday's final.
Chase-Charles opened the scoring in the ninth minute when his tame effort on target from some distance managed to slip under the body of St Augustine goalkeeper Madison Lewis.
San Juan North then had to wait a further 25 minutes before Quashie unleashed an unstoppable blast from 25 yards, which whisked past the desperate dive of Lewis.
On the resumption, national youth team player Sween threatened with a volley from on the top of the 18-yard box in the 62nd which was tipped over bar by Lewis, but four minutes later he would finally get his goal when a left-footed shot deflected off St Augustine's Tyrese Andrews and left Lewis stranded before nestling in the left side of the goal.
Charles (M), then took over with his brace, first scoring from a looping header after he outjumped two St Augustine defenders in the 70th minute, and then rifling home from an acute angle on the right side of the 18-yard box off a pass from the alert Sween.
After a cagey first half, Trinity College East had the best chance to take the lead in the 61st minute when a right-footed effort from Khaleem Prince beat the dive of goalkeeper Isaiah Diaz, but unluckily for the visitors the ball ricocheted into play to let Arima North off the hook.
And against the run of play in a heavy drizzle of rain, Arima North took the lead seven minutes later when a well-flighted corner from Mark Thomas to the far post was headed back towards the centre of the 18-yard-box by Arima North's Darren De Four.
De Four's attempted a volley which was miscued into the path of Tyrell Stapleton who was alert to the play and managed to beat Trinity East goalkeeper Alexis Ambrose to the loose ball before hammering the bouncing ball into the roof of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Arima North all but put the game to rest through substitute Tyler Ayers who unleashed a long-ranged right-footed grounder from a failed Trinity East clearance off a corner by Stephano Christopher, which took a wicked deflected and wrong-footed goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
And four minutes from full-time a right-sided free-kick from 15-year-old Stephen Ollivierie was completely overrun by goalkeeper Ambrose to gift the host the third item.
Today, the focus will shift to the North Zone where reigning SSFL Premier Division champions and Inter-Col title-holders Fatima College will put their zonal and national titles on the line against Queen's Royal College in the first semifinal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 3 pm.
Fatima will go into the match as heavy favourites having won their lone meeting in the Premier Division 7-1 while the Mucurapo Road-based school coached by former national midfielder and coach Hutson Charles hammered Trinity College of Moka 5-0 in their quarterfinal at St Mary's College Ground, Serpentine Road in St Clair on Friday last.
In the second semifinal at Mucurapo, a much more even contest is expected when St Anthony’s College and East Mucurapo Secondary coached by friends, Ronald 'Hustler' Daniel and Dale Saunders do battle from 5.15 pm
The Westmooring Tigers and East Mucurapo Secondary have both captured the zonal and national Inter-Col crowns multiple times and will both be eager to stay in contention for more silverware.
When the two teams met in the Premier Division, St Anthony's won 2-0 away from home and crushed Blachisseusse Secondary 7-2 in their quarterfinal while East Mucurapo upstaged St Mary's College 4-3 on penalty kicks after a goalless draw.
Wednesday's Inter-Col semifinals
San Juan North 5 (Mathyyas Charles 70th, 77th, Jahdel Chase-Charles 9th, Nathan Quashie 34th, Lindell Sween 66th) v St Augustine Sec 0
Arima North Sec 3 (Tyrell Stapleton 68th, Tyler Ayres 78th, Stephen Ollivierie 86th) v Trinity College East 0
Fatima College v QRC, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, 3 pm
St Anthony’s College v East Mucurapo Sec, Hasely Crawford Stadium, 5.15 pm
St Benedict’s College v Pleasantville Secondary, Mahaica Sporting Complex, 3 pm
Presentation (San F’do) v Naparima College, Mahaica Sporting Complex, 5.15 pm.