Terry Fenwick, coach of San Juan Jabloteh, has put the blame for Sunday’s brawl involving his team and Puerto Rican club River Plate, squarely on the shoulders of the foreigners. Following Jabloteh’s 1-0 win over River Plate in their Group D. Caribbean Football Union Second Round Club Championship match at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, the teams were involved in a brawl. The incident needed the intervention of security guards and gunshots were fired into the air to quell the fiasco. The incident has been sent to the CFU Disciplinary Committee for discussion.
But Fenwick is adamant it was the foreigners who were at fault. “River Plate had no one to blame but themselves. It was a poor display, indiscipline and unprofessional—typical Latin American traits. This was the first time I’ve experienced something like this. It was shocking and should not be seen again,” Fenwick said. Commenting on the match itself, Fenwick said: “We really could not have written the script better. We watched River Plate play Alpha United of Guyana on the Friday evening and went straight to camp from there. The following morning we held a question and answer session with the players to see if they had picked up the key information necessary to undo River Plate PR. “It is worth noting that this team have several Argentineans in their ranks and that they are the current champions of Puerto Rico, so we knew we had excellent opposition against us.
“I was delighted with the feedback. My players recognised the shape of their team, they were not particularly athletic, notably volatile, neat and tidy footballers, we identified their best players and began strategically dismantling them before the game. “Upon arriving at the Larry Gomes Stadium the River Plate players and staff were already incensed at the condition of the playing field and the poor markings of the pitch which was another big plus for us as we’ve played on worse all pre-season. “We made the game hot, quickened the pace, similar to the US vs T&T in Chicago, we closed their intricate passing game down, frustrated their main players and got into them!
“The game wasn’t particularly entertaining but it was tactically enthralling, we knew it was a matter of time before this side would crack! And they did… frustration led to off the ball incidents and late tackles. “Our pre-match preparation was about us. Do not react, tackle them, pick them up, dust them down and go again and for the main part our players displayed great composure and discipline. I was proud of their application. “Once Jason Marcano scored, we knew they would blow up.”