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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Suarez treble stalls Caledonia in CCL
Paolo Suarez, the brother of controversial Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez showed goal scoring is a key trait in the family, as he netted a hat-trick to lead Guatemala’s Comunicaciones past Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA, 3-0, in a Group Six Concacaf Champions League (CCL) encounter at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, on Thursday night. The loss was a big blow for the Morvant/Laventille-based Caledonia, which remained bottom of the three-team group without a point after two matches, following a 3-1 away loss to Mexico’s Toluca last month on the opening day of the tournament. On the other hand, the victory gave the Guatemalans their first three points of the competition and sliced in half Toluca’s lead at the summit with two matches left for all three teams. Last season, Caledonia competing in the CCL group stages for the first time only managed one point, in a 0-0 draw at home to Honduran club, CD Marathon while tasting defeat in the away leg, 1-2 and in both ties with USA’s Seattle Sounders, by similar 3-1 margins.
However, the club’s technical director and coach Jamaal Shabazz was optimistic about an improved display, especially at home. But that was quickly put to the test when 33-year-old Suarez in his second season with the club scored on a brilliant individual effort in the tenth minute for a 1-0 lead. The Uruguayan started a run down the left wing nearly 35-yards from the goal, dribbling past defenders with a mixture of skill and change of speed, before he glided into the box and fired a right-footed shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel. It was Suarez’s first CCL goal for the Cremas as Comunicaciones are known after scoring five during an accomplished career with El Salvador’s Isidro Metapan. Caledonia, still searching for its first win in the competition after five matches, almost drew level in the 27th minute when utility player Noel Williams latched onto a ball headed near Comunicaciones’ left post, however, his left-footed shot from inside the six-yard box was parried behind by goalkeeper Juan Paredes, for a corner kick. Three minutes later, Caledonia, enjoying its best spell in the match created another opening, this time for striker Jamal Gay, but his close-range header from the left flashed just inches beyond the far post.
Comunicaciones then had an opportunity to punish the host for those misses in the 36th minute, when Carlos Figueroa found an unmarked Carlos Ramirez in the 18-yard box with a precise cross from the right side, but somehow the Uruguayan failed to find the target with his header to leave his team 1-0 ahead at the half. Three minutes after the resumption, the visitors had another chance to double their lead through a penalty-kick earned by the tricky Suarez, who, after dribbling into the Caledonia 18-yard area, was brought down by defenders Kareem Joseph and Muhammad Nuru Abdullah. Jean Marquez took the ensuing penalty, striking it down the middle and straight into Samuel, while the rebound was also blasted high over by the Comunicaciones player to keep Caledonia in the match. Suarez, though, would make his immense presence felt again in the 61st minute, when he turned and unleashed a shot from 28-yards out that whistled past Samuel for a 2-0 advantage. The Uruguayan then completed his hat-trick in the fourth minute of stoppage time through the help of Samuel who appeared to have injured himself in the run up to a goal kick.
The ball fell short to the quick-reacting Suarez, who only had to roll it unchallenged into the back of the empty net from 18 yards, while the goalkeeper remained down on the ground visibly dejected and rightfully so, as his team now faces an uphill task to advance from the group. Next up for Caledonia is a home encounter with Toluca on September 18 at Mucurapo, followed by an away meeting with Comunicaciones at the Estadio Cementos Progreso a week later, while the Guatemalans who snapped a four-game CCL away losing streak with the win also travel to Toluca on October 23.
Caledonia AIA: 33. Glenroy Samuel (GK), 2. Aubrey David, 12. Kareem Joseph, 3. Nuru Muhammad, 14. Jamaal Smith, 7. Stephan David (capt), 27. Nathan Lewis, 21. Densill Theobald, 20. Noel Williams (16. Tyrone Charles 56th), 9. Keyon Edwards (11. Abdallah Phillips 73rd), 23. Jamal Gay (15. Aaron Lester 81st).
Subs not used: Shemel Louision (GK), Akeem Thomas, Marcus Ambrose, Keron Bethelmy
Technical director/coach: Jamaal Shabazz.
Comunicaciones: 30. Juan Paredes Guzman, 13. Carlos Castrillo Alonzo, 14. Rafael Morales, 28. Joel Benitez (3. Elias Vasquez Prera 17th), 29. Carlos Figueroa Martinez, 22. Rigoberto Gomez, 24.Kendell Herrarte (19. Brayan Ordonez 58th), 4.Wilson Lalin, 12. Jean Marquez, 8. Paolo Suarez, 70. Carlos Ramirez Silva (18. Minor Lopez 77th).
Subs not used: David Guerra (GK), Carlos Mejia, Edward Santeliz, Dagoberto Arriola
Coach: Ivan Sopegno
Comunicaciones 3 (Paolo Suarez 10th, 61st, 93rd) v Caledonia AIA 0
Current Group Six standings
Teams P W D L F A Pts
Toluca 2 2 0 0 5 2 6
Comunicaciones 2 1 0 1 4 2 3
Caledonia 2 0 0 2 1 6 0
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