Captain of the Soca Warriors, Kenwyne Jones, continues to fly the flag of red, white and black high in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as his Al Jazira Football Club edged past Al Ain to snag the highly- contested President’s Cup 2016 on Sunday evening.
Fondly called “The Pride of Abu Dhabi” by fans, Al Jazira’s triumph was a hardfought battle against rivals Al Ain, who had managed to level the score at 1-1 at the end of the full 90 minutes.
Al Jazira went ahead in the 43rd minute when Ali Mabkhout was awarded a penalty and he calmly got up and slotted away the opportunity.
Not to be outdone, Al Ain returned with a vengeance in the second half, and eventually levelled the scoreboard thanks to Brazilian-born Dyanfres Douglas, whose bullet flew into the roof of the net in the 64th minute.
Thereafter, Jones was sent on as a substitute by coach Henk ten Cate to keep the defence line strong for Al Jazira - a move which certainly worked in the team’s favour, as regular time ended in an even score. With the removal of extra time as part of the new rules for the President’s Cup, the trophy tugof- war would have to be decided in a penalty shootout showdown.
Mabkhout, who had earlier scored from the penalty spot, missed Al Jazira’s first kick but was rescued when Colombian Danilo Morena missed his kick for Al Ain.
Al Jazira went perfect thereafter from the spot but Mohanad Salem missed again, handing Al Jazira the victory after 13 shots combined from the teams at the Shaikh Zayed City Stadium.
It sparked glorious celebration and revelry for Jones and his Al Jazira teammates and fans, capping the season with a title in dramatic fashion as they mobbed their goalkeeper Ali Khaseif.
Speaking on behalf of Jones was his publicist, Tenille Clarke, who said: “Kenwyne is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the President’s Cup Champions for 2016. He always believed that Al Jazira had great potential to be stars in the league, and it’s just an air of celebration right now for him, his teammates, the Al Jazira staff, and his fans in the United Arab Emirates. To end the season on such a high, words can hardly describe this moment for him.
Teamwork made the dream work, and it’s been a long season of hard work and sacrifice for him. The dedication to his craft has once again paid off in not only representing his club, but Trinidad and Tobago on the global stage.” Jones has been on loan with Al Jazira FC in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since January 2016, on loan from Cardiff City FC.
The Dubai-based club has also recently been named the Professional Club of the Year, and have won the President’s Cup twice in 2011 and 2012.