Caledonia AIA (left), shown in 2014 Caribbean Club Football Championship action against Inter Moengotapoe, is aiming to qualify for a third straight appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League. (Photo: Yonel Louis)
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Alpha United may have already booked its ticket to the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship semifinals, but a pair of additional berths are at stake Tuesday, when the competition’s group stage closes with five games.
The Guyanese champion confirmed its presence in the final four after winning both of its games against Defence Force (2-0) and host Harbour View (1-0) to take the Group 3 title.
Due to the late withdrawal of Suriname’s SV Notch, the group was reduced to three teams. That circumstance was ultimately viewed as a benefit by Alpha United head coach Wayne Dover.
“It was a blessing in disguise when I heard that SV Notch had withdrew from the competition as I knew that the challenges to advance to the semis would have been more difficult if they were still in contention,” said Dover. “We are very happy to have qualified as the group winner and we are looking forward to our next engagement at the semis.”
“Going into this segment of the tournament Alpha United will be placing a lot of emphasis on fitness. The fitness level of the team dropped significantly during the final minutes of the game against Harbour View. We did not finish comfortably and will definitely have to address this weakness.”
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s Bayamon FC and Unite Saint Rosienne of Guadeloupe top Group 1 with four points each. When the sides will meet on Tuesday, Bayamon will need only a home draw at the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel to progress thanks to superior goal difference (+5 to +1).
The situation in Group 2 is tight as well. Waterhouse is in first place on the strength of wins in its first two games. Lurking only two points behind is Trinidad & Tobago’s Caledonia AIA, which can take the group with a win in a meeting against the table-topping Jamaicans at the Stade Bayas in Mirebalais, Haiti. Caledonia is bidding to qualify for a third straight CONCACAF Champions League.
Each of the three group winners will advance to the competition’s semifinals, where they will be joined by Valencia (Haiti), which received a bye. The eventual finalists and winner of the match for third place will qualify for the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League.
The final round is set to be played in April at a venue to be announced.
Tuesday – March 25, 2014
Centro Dominguito v Bodden Town
Unite Saint Rosienne v Bayamon FC
Caledonia AIA v Waterhouse
AS Mirebalais v Inter Moengotapoe
Harbour View v Defence Force