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Top striker Kerry Baptiste scored a double as Joe Public held a comfortable 4-1 lead after 78 minutes before Leo Victor fought back with late goals from Van Zuilingen (84th) and Roché Emanuelson (90th).

Baptiste, who netted 48 goals last season, opened the scoring for the Eastern Lions in the 16th before Leo Victor knotted up the scores 1-1 at the half through a 25th minute Stefano Rijssel goal.

New signing Andre Toussaint (60th) gave Joe Public a 2-1 lead 15 minutes into the second half and Baptiste added a second in the 63rd, after which he seemed to have settled the match when getting a fourth goal for the T&T Pro League champions in the 78th.

The second game of the series saw Bermuda’s Devonshire Cougars playing out a 2-2 draw with Avenues United of St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Today, Group C action continues with Devonshire Cougars facing Leo Victor from 6 p.m., while Joe Public play home team Avenues United in the feature from 8 p.m. at Victoria Park.

The top team in the group will automatically qualify for round three of the CFU Club Champions Cup.

TEAMS

Joe Public - M. Phillip, T. Noel, C. Mitchell, C. Pollard (M. Hislop 46th), N. Daniel, K. Goodridge, K. Baptiste, H. Tinto, K. Young (37 Yellow), A. Toussaint (M. Joseph 72nd), G. Highley (M. Lewis 40th).

Coach: D. King

Leo Victor - V. Walker, D. Garden, F. Abauna, M. Leyman (Yellow 67), F. Mando, R. Emanuelson (50 Yellow), J. Browne (67 Yellow, Red 67), F. Hoogdorp, G. Kinsaini (C. Plet 75th), S. Rijssel, G. Tiendari (S. Van Zoolingen 70th).

Coach: E. Remak

CFU Club Champions Cup fixtures:

Group C qualifying

Today

Devonshire Cougars (BER) vs Leo Victor (SUR)

Avenues United (VIN) vs Joe Public (T&T)

Tuesday March 23

Joe Public (T&T) vs Devonshire Cougars (BER)

Avenues United (VIN) vs Leo Victor (SUR)


Joe Public win.
T&T Newsday Reports.


Joe Public withstood a late rally from Surinamese club Leo Victor to earn a 4-3 win in their opening Group ‘C’ First Round clash in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Champions Cup, at Kingstown, St Vincent on Friday.

Goalscoring ace and team captain Kerry Baptiste netted twice for the national Pro League and FA kings, while off-season signing Nigel Daniel and lanky left-back Keion Goodridge got the others.

But Joe Public’s coach Derek King will be concerned for the fact that his team allowed two late goals as they held on for full points. Baptiste broke the deadlock in the 16th minute before S Rijssel tied up the scores nine minutes later.

On the hour-mark Daniel, a utility player who joined the squad from United Petrotrin, put Joe Public back in front while Baptiste (63rd) and Goodridge (78th) stretched the lead to 4-1.

But the Surinamese did not go down without a fight, as S Van Zuilingen (84th) and R Emanuelson (90th) produced some late drama and tension, however Joe Public maintained their lead until the final whistle.

Joe Public will turn their attention on host club Avenues United today, in the second of back-to-back matches, with Leo Victor meeting Devonshire Cougars of Bermuda in the first game.

Action in Group ‘C’ concludes on Tuesday with Joe Public facing Devonshire Cougars and Avenues United opposing Leo Victor. The top two teams in the group will automatically advance to the Second Round, which is due to take place from April 13-17.


Baptiste brace pushes Joe Public past Leo Victor.
T&T Guardian Reports.


National forward Kerry Baptiste scored a double as Digicel T&T Pro League champions, bmobile Joe Public edged Suriname’s Leo Victor 4-3 in their Group C opener of the Caribbean Football Union Club Champions Cup on Friday night. This was in the first match of a double-header at Victoria Park, Kingstown, St Vincent.

The 28-year-old Baptiste, who led Joe Public to a historic five domestic titles last season scoring 48 goals in the process, got his first in the 15th minute against the Surinamese who drew level in the 26th for a 1-1 score at the half-time interval. On the resumption, the “Eastern Lions” continued to dominate the match and it was no surprise when offseason signing Andre Toussaint regained the lead for the T&T club in the 60th minute to lead 2-1.

Baptiste, who had a trial stint with English Chjampionship club Ipswich Town last month got his second in the 63rd minute for a 3-1 cushion while national Under-23 striker Marcus Joseph extended the margin to 4-1 seven minutes later. However, the Derek King-coached “Eastern Lions” allowed complacency to creep into their game and conceded two late goals in the 84th and 88th minute before they held on for the much deserved win.

Speaking after the match, King said the victory was a deserved one but at the same time he was not happy with his players defensive output. “We got complacent when we went 4-1 up in the match and conceded two soft goals in the end. We have another match tomorrow against Avenues United and they are not a bad team.

“So we have to learn quickly from our silly mistakes and go out there and execute our game plan, added King. In Friday’s other match, host club and St Vincent champions, Avenues United and Devonshire Cougars of Bermuda battled to a 2-2 draw. Today, the “Eastern Lions”, two-time CFU champions will meet Avenues United in the feature match from 8 pm at the same venue while two hours earlier, Cougars and Leo Victor face off.

The Group C series will close off on Tuesday with Joe Public meeting Cougars in the first match at 6 pm while Avenues United tackle Leo Victor two hours later. The group in St Vincent is one of four in the CFU region to select its trio of qualifiers for next season’s Concacaf Champions League.

This year’s tournament is a three-round event that will conclude with a final, four-team league phase that will run from May 4 to 8 in Puerto Rico. The four group winners, runners-up and best third-place team will advance to the second round along with seeded sides Puerto Rico Islanders, Tempete FC of Haiti, and San Juan Jabloteh of T&T. The teams will then be divided into four, three-team groups with Puerto Rico and T&T hosting two groups each.

The Islanders, the Group D winner, and Group A runner-up will participate in one of the Puerto Rico groups, with the other group consisting of Tempete, the Group B winner, and the Group C runner-up. One of the T&T groups will comprise Jabloteh, the best third-place team, and the Group A winner, while the other will be made up of the Group C winner, along with the runners-up of Groups B and D.

The four second-round group winners will then advance to the final league phase in Puerto Rico. A new CFU champion will be crowned after last year’s winner and four-time champions W Connection (2001, 2002, 2006 and 2009) failed to secure a top two finish in the T&T Pro League which guarantees a place in the tournament.

Results
Group C - At St Vincent & the Grenadines:

Joe Public (T&T) 4 (Kerry Baptiste 15th 63rd, Andre Toussaint 60th, Marcus Joseph 70th) vs. Leo Victor (Sur) 3

Avenues United (SVG) 2 vs. Devonshire Cougars (Ber) 2