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Charles heads Jabloteh to CFU six-team finals
Tyrone Charles scored off his head to seal San Juan Jabloteh’s place in the six-team final round of the 2017 Caribbean Football Union Club Championship with a 1-0 win over Group E host team System 3 Sport Academy at Victoria Park in Kingstown, St Vincent and The Grenadines, on Sunday night.
With the win, Jabloteh finished with maximum nine points, three more than Guadeloupe’s Club Sportif Moulien while System 3 Sport Academy tallied three points, and Sint Maarten’s Flames United, bottom of the table without a point.
Jabloteh, winner of the CFU competition in 2003 and runner-up three years later, now joins two-time reigning CFU Club champion, T&T’s Central FC in the six-team final along with Racing des Gonaives (Haiti), Cibao (Dominican Republic), and Antigua & Barbuda’s Grenades who all won their respective qualifying groups for the final round to be held from May 14-21 in T&T.
The San Juan-based club which qualified for the CFU Club Championship qualifiers, its eighth appearance behind an impressive runner-up finish to Central FC in the 2015/2016 Digicel T&T Pro League season got the decisive item from Charles in the 64th minute off an Elijah Manners corner after which they defended soundly to add to their wins over Flames United (9-1) and Club Sportif Moulien (4-1).
Commenting on the win, Jabloteh coach, Keith Jeffrey said his team was guilty of missing too many chances and should have finished off” the match by the end of the first half.
“This was the best performance by System 3 during the tournament, and they also had a good 12th-man in the home crowd but we should have finished them off since in the first half.”
In the previous two seasons, Central FC defeated fellow T&T Pro League club W Connection in both CFU Club finals and Jeffrey said he wants to make it a third straight all-T&T decider.
“We want it to be an all-Trinidad and Tobago final [again], and we hope to continue doing well in the tournament and we want to wish Central the very best also in the final round.
“Both Central FC and Jabloteh being in the final round tells the rest of the Caribbean that the T&T Pro League is the place to be. Our league is very competitive and we have the best players in the Caribbean.”
Flames United, Club Sportif Moulien and System 3 Sport Academy are the champions of their respective country, but our supporters back home and our community expected us to take full nine points and we are happy to be returning home having achieved in full, topping the group and with nine points. We wanted to do well for T&T and by extension the Pro League.”
From the six-team CFU finals, the top four teams will qualify to the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, an increase of one from previous years and Jeffrey has his eyes set on finishing among the qualifiers.
“My work has only just begun with the new Pro League season set to start in May and we must compete with the Caribbean’s best-of-the-best for the regional crown and a place in the Concacaf Champions League,” ended Jeffrey.
The final qualifying group to be held in Bayamon, Puerto Rico takes place from today (March 14) until Saturday involving host Puerto Rico Islanders, Jamaica’s Portmore United, Cayman Islands’ Scholars International and Suriname’s SV Transvaal.
For the six-team finals, the teams will be separated into two groups of three at the end of which the group winners will contest each other for the CFU Club title and an automatic spot in the Concacaf Champions League group stages.
The teams finishing second, third and fourth will join 13 Central American teams in the newly launched club championship tournament – set to begin in August – to battle for a trophy which guarantees the winner a place in the Concacaf Champions League where they will join 15 other teams.
The CFU Club Club Championship has been contested annually since 1997 (with the exception of 1999 and 2008), when United Petrotrin of T&T captured the inaugural title and a champion has been crowned 16 times, with DirecTV W Connection, also of T&T, lifting the trophy a record three times.
Sunday’s Group E Results
Jabloteh 1 (Tyrone Charles 64th) vs
System 3 S.A 0
Club Sportif Moulien 8 vs Flames 0
Final Group E standings
Teams P W D L F A Pts
Jabloteh 3 3 0 0 14 1 9
CS Le Moule 3 2 0 1 13 4 6
System 3 3 1 0 2 9 7 3
Flames Utd 3 0 0 3 2 26 0