San Juan Jabloteh yesterday grabbed third spot in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship and also qualified for the CONCACAF Champions Cup after scoring a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Haitian champions Tempete at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Earlier, Jabloteh went close from a 15th free-kick which saw John powerfully strike a post after he was set up by playmaker Marvin Oliver. And on the half hour, John's floated free-kick found the head of Oliver who planted his attempt straight at Tempete keeper Gary Guillaume.
The breakthrough finally came three minutes later when Oliver's meandering run into the penalty area carved out a chance for Glen, younger brother of national striker Cornell Glen, who scored with a low shot across the Haitian goalkeeper.
And as the half closed, Atullah Guerra's defence-splitting pass picked out the overlapping John on the far right and he chipped the ball into the net to make it 2-0.
Tempete started the second half aggressively and struck the post early through Vaniel Sirin. But when striker Jason Marcano subsequently failed to extend Jabloteh's lead with just the Haitian keeper to beat, Tempete made them pay. Boosted by striking the post earlier, Tempete put Jabloteh under so much pressure that they forced an own goal from Jabloteh central defender Karlon Murray, who turned the ball into his own net in the 55th minute. And Kerven Belfort came agonisingly close to an equalising goal when angling a powerful header just wide of the foot of the goal from a corner-kick.
W Connection FC and Puerto Rico Islanders contested the CFU final in the second match of the double-header.
Jabloteh beats Tempete 2-1 to claim last Caribbean berth in CONCACAF Champions League.
MACOYA, Trinidad – San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad claimed the Caribbean’s last berth in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League on Sunday, beating Tempete FC of Haiti 2-1 to win the third-place game in the CFU Club Champions Cup.
W Connection of Trinidad beat the Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 later Sunday to win the Caribbean club title. Both teams had clinched berths in the Champions League with their Caribbean semifinal victories on Friday.
Cyrano Glen opened the scoring in the the 33rd and Elton John added his second goal in three days in the 44th to provide all the scoring Jabloteth needed. Jabloteh’s Karlon Murray knocked in an own-goal to cut the lead to one goal, but the victory gave Trinidad two teams in the 24-team Champions League field.
In the title match, Jonathan Frias scored twice in the first 21 minutes to pace W Connection over the Islanders, which reached the semifinals of this past season’s Champions League before being eliminated by Cruz Azul.
Pablo Nunez scored in the 36th minute for the Islanders, which finished the game without manager Colin Clarke.
The former Northern Ireland international was ejected in the 59th minute for cursing the fourth official.
Jabloteh’s addition increases the number of qualified teams to 14 for next season’s Champions League, which will begin July 28 with the first leg of the Preliminary Round.