Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

CFU: Islanders on course to defend title

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on May 26, 2011

Puerto Rico Islanders crestPuerto Rico Islanders will face off against Haitian club Tempête FC in the final of the 2011 CFU Caribbean Club Championship.

Defending champions from last year, Puerto Rico Islanders are hoping to become the first team in over a decade to win back-to-back titles having overcome the challenge of Alpha United on Wednesday. With Guyana playing host to the semi-finals and final of this year’s competition Alpha United enjoyed home advantage against the champions. But the Islanders eventually proved too strong for United although they needed extra-time to overcome the Guyanese. Matthew Bouraee’s 23rd minute strike for the Islanders was cancelled out by United’s Dwain Jacobs with eight first half minutes remaining. But the crucial goals came in the second half of extra-time with Jonathan Faña and David Foley finally sealing the Islanders’ progress.

The Islanders’ opponents in the final will be Tempête FC who needed a penalty shoot-out to get past 2001 champions Defence Force from Trinidad & Tobago following a goalless 120 minutes. Rawle Fletcher and Anton Joseph were the unlucky culprits for Defence Force whose penalties failed to hit the net and thus handed the win to Tempête FC. The Haitian champions had a 100% conversion rate from their four spot kicks will now play in their first ever final which takes place at Providence Stadium in the Guyanese capital of Georgetown on Friday.

CFU: Islanders secure first Club Championship triumph

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on May 10, 2010
Puerto Rico Islanders

Puerto Rico Islanders are CFU Club Champions for the first time in their history

The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday with the Puerto Rico Islanders getting through a tough final group stage to become Caribbean champions in 2010, their first title at this level of competition. There was still glory of sorts to be celebrated for second and third place teams Joe Public FC and San Juan Jabloteh as they, along with the champions, also secured spots for the qualifying rounds of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League. The only team who were crying in their beers at the end of the tournament were Bayamón FC who had to make do with the wooden spoon in the final round and will hope to come back stronger for the experience next year.

Matchday One of the final group stage saw two derby matches with Puerto Rico’s Islanders and Bayamón FC going head-to-head whilst Trinidad & Tobago representatives San Juan Jabloteh and Joe Public FC clashed in the other opening day game. The Islanders easily saw off their rivals with Noah Delgado, Nicholas Adderly and Josh Hansen scoring the goals before the hour mark to dispose of Bayamón FC 3-0. In the T&T derby a solitary strike from Abu Bakr secured the three points for two-time winners Joe Public FC as they won a tough encounter with San Juan Jabloteh by a goal to nil.

On Matchday Two the winning teams from the opening day, Joe Public FC and Puerto Rico Islanders faced-off in a game in which a win for either side would almost certainly land them the title. However the game finished in a 1-1 draw but only after some dramatic late action. Marcus Joseph had given Joe Public the lead six minutes into the second half and the Trinidadians held out until deep into stoppage time when Josh Hansen secured a point for the Islanders with a last-gasp equalizer. In the second game of the round San Juan Jabloteh comfortably gained three points over Bayamón FC who were finding the going tough at the final stage. A brace for Jason Marcano and further strikes for Kennedy Hickson and Mickel Awai provided the platform for a 4-1 victory, Kendall Watson scoring a consolation for the depleted Puerto Rican side.

After two games the Islanders and Joe Public were level on four points but San Juan Jabloteh had brought themselves back into the reckoning lying  just one point behind going into Matchday Three. The Islanders faced off against Jabloteh in what was a closely fought contest in which the two teams were separated only by a 19th minute goal from Nicholas Adderly, the Jamaican scoring his second goal of the final group stage. The despair of oncoming defeat got to one Jabloteh player, Elijah Manners, who was shown a second yellow card with three minutes of the match remaining and the Islanders were able to hold out against the ten men to secure three priceless points. This meant that Joe Public had to win their game against Bayamón FC by four clear goals to win the tournament but the Puerto Ricans were in no mood for laying down. Bayamón FC took the lead as early as the tenth minute thanks to Alan Acevedo but the T&T side were back on level terms on 27 minutes when Abu Bakr scored his second goal of the final stage to make the game 1-1. The second half saw Bayamón FC shock the match favourites by scoring two goals in quick succession. Adrian Brown and Kendall Watson struck the decisive goals to turn the match in Bayamón’s favour and there was to be no coming back for Joe Public who had to be satisfied with their second runners-up placing in three years.

As for the Islanders they secured their first Caribbean title just one year after suffering heartbreak in the 2009 final against another T&T side, W Connection FC, and are about to look forward to their third CONCACAF Champions League appearance in a row, a feat that can only be matched by Cruz Azul of Mexico and Club Deportivo Marathón of Honduras since the tournament changed its format in 2008-09.

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