Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Caribbean: CFU title to be decided this week

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on May 4, 2010
Puerto Rico Islanders

Puerto Rico Islanders are amongst the quartet going for Caribbean glory

The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship will be decided this week with the final group stage taking place at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad & Tobago from Wednesday May 5th until the final games are played four days later on Sunday. All four teams left in the tournament come from either the host nation or from Puerto Rico so there will be a couple of derbies to open up proceedings in the all-important final group stage in which, as well as the chance to call themselves Caribbean champions, each team will be hoping to claim one of the three spots available to enter the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League qualifying rounds. There is plenty to play for and “Stoppage Time – International Football Blog” previews the tournament teams and schedule:

BAYAMÓN FC (Puerto Rico)

The 2009 Puerto Rico Soccer League champions will be hoping to savour their first shot of glory at international level just one year after coming into existence. Bayamón FC played against St. Vincent & The Grenadines representatives Systems 3 FC in the first group stage which was reduced from three teams to two after many bureaucratic problems for their other scheduled opponents Elite Sports Club from the Cayman Islands. The same problems arose for the Puerto Ricans upon reaching the second stage when another potential opponent, Tempête FC from Haiti, also withdrew from the competition. This meant that Bayamón FC would play two matches against another St. Vincent side, Avenues United, which they won easily with an aggregate score of 8-2.

JOE PUBLIC FC (Trinidad & Tobago)

Two-time Caribbean champions Joe Public FC will be hoping to make it a hat trick of titles this year after failing to achieve this accolade in 2007 losing to Jamaicans Harbour View. In the first group stage Joe Public FC won all three matches against Avenues United FC, Leo Victor and Devonshire Cougars to easily go through to the second stage. The current T&T champions made easy work of progress into the final stage thanks to two big wins over Surinam’s Walking Boys (5-0) and Systems 3 FC (3-1). The club has two of the top scorers in the competition so far with Kerry Baptiste (6 goals) and Conrad Smith (joint second with four goals) in blistering form in front of the net.

SAN JUAN JABLOTEH (Trinidad & Tobago)

The Kings beat compatriots W Connection FC to the 2003 CFU Club Championship title but have not really come so close to repeating the feat since their 2006 final defeat to the same opponents. Having been given a bye into the second group stage the side from San Juan won two closely fought encounters against Guyana’s Alpha United (2-0) and Puerto Ricans River Plate (1-0) to qualify for the final stage. If they emulate last season’s third place in the CFU Club Championship they will hope to once again qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League in which they played in 2009-10 before falling at the group stage.

PUERTO RICO ISLANDERS (Puerto Rico)

After suffering a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago side W Connection FC in 2009 last year’s runners up will be hoping to go one better in this year’s tournament. The side from Bayamón, who currently ply their trade in the United States D2 (second tier) Pro League, have had an easy route to the final group stage due to two factors. Firstly, the Islanders had a bye into the second group stage and, secondly, when they got there one of their opponents Leo Victor FC had already withdrawn from the tournament meaning that the Islanders’ only football in the competition so far has been two games against Haitian side Racing des Gonaïves. The Islanders won the “away” leg 2-0 and the “home” leg 3-0 (both games were played at their home ground) to easily dispose of their opponents and to set up another chance of Caribbean glory in the final group stage.

CFU CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

05/05/2010 – Puerto Rico Islanders v Bayamón FC

05/05/2010 – Joe Public FC v San Juan Jabloteh

07/05/2010 – Joe Public FC v Puerto Rico Islanders

07/05/2010 – San Juan Jabloteh v Bayamón FC

09/05/2010 – San Juan Jabloteh v Puerto Rico Islanders

09/05/2010 – Bayamón FC v Joe Public FC

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