Ian Prescott iprescott@trinidad
Trinidad And Tobago Express
Friday, May 15th 2009
The top two professional teams in Trinidad and Tobago will meet in one half of the draw of tonight’s Caribbean Football Union Club (CFU) Champions Cup semi-final matches at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Reigning T&T Pro League champions San Juan Jabloteh face last year’s runners-up W Connection from 7.30 p.m. in the second match of a double-header.
The semi-final action kicks off with a 5 p.m. match between Puerto Rico Islanders and Haitian club champs Tempete FC.
The Islanders, who play in the USL (formerly A-League) in the USA, had an extended run in the recently-concluded CONCACAF Champions League, which saw them progress all the way to the semi-final stage where they went out on penalty kicks to beaten finalists Cruz Azul.
The first match should have added local interest due to the presence of four Trinidad and Tobago players: Kendall Jagdeosingh (striker), Nigel Henry (defender), Kevin Villaroel (defender) and Osei Telesford (midfielder) in the Islanders squad.
Following tonight’s semis, the four clubs will contest the final and third-place playoff on Sunday at the same venue. Both finalists and the third-placed team will advance as the Caribbean representatives to the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League.
W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier expects his team to do much better than when going down 2-1 to Jabloteh a week ago in the opening match of the 2009 Digicel Pro League. Connection totally dominated the first half, which ended 1-1, but found Jabloteh a totally different bunch in the second half.
«Matches between W Connection and Jabloteh are always tough matches and the results can go anywhere. We have made mistakes in our last match against them but it wouldn’t happen again. We have aspirations to win the CONCACAF Champions League this year and we will be going all out,» said Charles-Fevrier.
«We would have much preferred to meet Jabloteh in the final…that would have assured that one of us win the final, but these draws are out of our control and we have to accept it. Also we are on a tight schedule and we have very little time to prepare…the same for Jabloteh, but I’m sure we will go out and give great performances.
«We will be coming much more serious,» he added. «I think we had the better game but dropped in concentration for periods and that cost us (against Jabloteh). We have to learn from our mistakes and not let it happen again.»
CARIBBEAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:
5 p.m.–Tempete FC (Haiti) vs Puerto Rico Islanders, Marvin Lee Stadium
7.30 p.m.–San Juan Jabloteh vs W Connection FC, Marvin Lee Stadium
4 p.m.–Third place playoff, Marvin Lee Stadium
6.30 p.m.–Final, Marvin Lee Stadium