WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – On Monday night, Robinhood of Suriname was crowned champion of the 2019 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield after defeating Club Franciscain of Martinique 1-0 in a pulsating final at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao.
With this victory, Robinhood will have the opportunity to try to earn its way into the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League when it takes on the fourth-place team from the 2019 Caribbean Club Championship in a playoff match to be played later this spring.
Yet success in Concacaf tournament is nothing new for Robinhood.
One could make the case that arguably no team was stronger in the Concacaf region over a 11-year period than Robinhood from 1972 until 1983 when it reached the final of the Concacaf Champions Cup five times, finishing as runner-up each time.
It was part of the golden era of Suriname football when domestic rivals Transvaal reached five Concacaf Champions Cup themselves, winning two (1973, 1981) and finishing runners-up in three editions (1974, 1975, 1986).
While Robinhood also took home six domestic titles in that 11-year span, it was their performances in Concacaf play that impressed the masses.
The string of five Concacaf Champions Cup finals started in 1972 when Robinhood narrowly fell 1-0 on aggregate to Honduran giants Olimpia. Four years later in the 1976 edition, a very strong Aguila of El Salvador overwhelmed Robinhood in an 8-3 win on aggregate.
Fans of the club only had to wait a year for another crack at Concacaf glory, only to see Mexico’s Club America emerge with a narrow 2-1 victory on aggregate in the 1977 final.
Robinhood’s motivation for a Concacaf title remained intact, however, but it came up just short again in 1982 in a 3-2 aggregate loss to Mexican side Pumas, who coincidentally was led by a brace from current Tigres Head Coach and 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League finalist Ricardo Ferretti.
It was not meant to be either at the fifth time of asking a year later in 1983 in a 6-1 aggregate defeat to Mexico’s Atlante.
Nevertheless, Robinhood’s run to five finals is a distinction worthy of a place in Concacaf lore, and now a new generation of the club’s players will be looking to write their own history with a possible Scotiabank Concacaf League qualification.