Trinidad's W Connection takes early command in Group One
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Haiti's Valencia and Portmore United of Jamaica made winning starts in their Group Two CONCACAF Champions League Caribbean qualifying campaigns with victories on Friday over Bayamon and Boys' Town, respectively, at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
The Haitians rallied to beat Puerto Rican outfit Bayamon 3-1 and jumped to the top of the group on goal difference ahead of Portmore United, who clipped Boys' Town 1-0 in an all-Jamaican clash.
With the winner of the group advancing in the 2013/14 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League and the runner-up entering a playoff with the second-placed team from Group One, which is taking place in Trinidad and Tobago simultaneously, both Boys' Town and Bayamon have some catching up to do in the four-team group.
In the curtain raiser, Valencia, who arrived in the island just hours before the match, was understandably slow into its stride and did well to beat spirited Bayamon.
Carlos Martin gave the Puerto Ricans a ninth minute lead, heading home a Noah Delgado corner kick.
Augustin Walson, though, pulled Valencia level 11 minutes later with a left-sided free kick that beat goalkeeper Maximiliano Torlacoff.
Pompee Mardochee gave Valencia the lead for good, ramming home from the right side of the box in the 29th minute following a neat passing sequence that left Bayamon unbalanced.
Amy Andre sealed the win, firing home from just inside the box in the 86th minute after being picked out by the outstanding right wing back Mardochee.
In the nightcap, an 83rd minute strike by substitute Ricardo Morris broke a 0-0 stalemate, giving Portmore United all the points against Boys' Town.
Both teams have already been eliminated from title contention in this season's Jamaican Red Stripe Premier League. Portmore United, which has been dethroned as champion by Harbour View, and Boys' Town, currently sit in fourth- and fifth-place, respectively, on 54 points each.
Group Two action continues on Sunday with Valencia and Portmore United clashing in a top-of-the-table clash scheduled for 6:00 pm local, before Boys' Town take on Bayamon at 8:00 pm in a must win match for each, also at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
In Couva, Trinidad, Joevin Jones scored a goal in each half as W Connection topped Caledonia AIA 4-0 on Friday in CONCACAF Champions League qualifying for the Caribbean at Ato Boldon Stadium. Jones' tallies in the 6th and 81st minutes sandwiched Andrei Pacheco's 27th minute strike, while Stefano Rijssel completed the score line with a minute left in regulation.
Caledonia, winner of the 2012 Caribbean Club Championship, will face Antigua Barracuda FC on Sunday needing at least a draw to maintain any hope of making a second straight trip to the confederation's club championship next season.