• Friday Jul 27, 2012

    PR Islanders claim last berth in CCL



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    MARABELLA, Trinidad - The Puerto Rico Islanders became the 24th and last team to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League, beating Antigua Barracuda FC 2-0 Thursday night to make the field for the fifth straight year.

    The result finished Puerto Rico in third place in the Caribbean Club Champions Cup and made then one of only three teams to qualify for every season of the Champions League since its inception in 2008.

    It will face the LA Galaxy and Isidro Metapan of El Salvador in Group 5 in the Champions League.

    In the Caribbean title game, Caledonia AIA outlasted fellow Trinidadian side and three-time champion W Connection 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw to claim its first CFU club crown. Caledonia's previous best finish in the competition was a runner-up showing in 1998.

    The result means Caledonia will move into Group 4 of the Champions League against Seattle and Marathon while W Connection, making its return to the CCL after a two-year absence, will play Xelaju of Guatemala and Chivas de Guadalajara in Group 8.

    Joshua Hansen scored for a second straight match and Jonathan Fana Frias added a second-half penalty for Puerto Rico.

    After Hansen put Puerto Rico ahead in the 14th minute, Quinton Griffith had a chance to equalize in the 31st, but he put his penalty attempt off the left post and the Puerto Rico defense cleared the rebound.

    The loss was the sixth straight for Barracuda FC, which essentially doubles as the Antigua and Barbuda national team and plays in the U.S. third-division USL Pro league. It has not won since beating W Connection 2-1 in the second round of the Caribbean club championship on May 10.

    In the championship match, the team endured two lighting failures - one in each half - before the game moved into extra time to break the 0-0 deadlock.

    Radanfah Abu Bakr, who scored the first goal in Caledonia's 2-0 win over Antigua in Tuesday's semifinals, put the "Arima Morvant Fire" ahead in the 97th minute, but Clyde Leon tied it six minutes later.


    Caledonia finally prevailed in the penalty shootout when Guyanese keeper Ronson Williams dived low to his right to thwart Johan Peltier's attempt, securing the title for Caledonia.

    Results of the draw for the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League.

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