Digicel Pro League champion,bmobile Joe Public will seek to end its disappointing campaign in Group B of the Concacaf Champions League on a high when it hosts Columbus Crew at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya from 8pm. The match at Macoya will be of academic interest to both teams as Crew (nine points) has already earned a spot in the quarterfinal round after Santos (13 points) whipped quarterfinal hopefuls, Municipal (eight points) of Guatemala 6-1 on Tuesday night in their final match to top the group. Municipal entered the game with eight points, two behind Santos, one behind Columbus and needing a victory to advance while Joe Public has one point. With Tuesday's result Santos and Crew advanced to the quarterfinals to join Monterrey (Mexico), Cruz Azul (Mexico) and Real Salt Lake (MLS).
Joe Public coach Derek King is eager to get a first group stage win, but he is also mindful of his team's First Citizens Cup final against title-holder, Defence Force at the same venue on Saturday and will be tempted to rest a few key players. Speaking ahead of his team's match with Crew, King said, "We are considering rotating the team for the match against Crew but at the same time we also don't want to hamper the team chemistry ahead of Saturday's final. "The guys know we did not achieve what we set out to do in the Champions League and are hoping to finish on a winning note by avenging the 3-0 away loss to Crew," added King. While King may not make too many changes to his squad he will have to cope without the suspended duo of defenders, Carlyle Mitchell and Nigel Daniel along with national Under-20 duo, Keneaz Williams and Marcus Joseph. Williams and Joseph are currently in Venzuela with the national youth team for a six-team invitational tournament.
Joe Public goes into the match buoyed by a 3-1 semifinal win over W Connection in the First Citizens Cup semifinal while the struggling Crew earned a dramatic point away from home on the weekend, rallying to tie Toronto FC 2-2 at BMO Field thanks to goalkeeper Will Hesmer who knocked in a second-half stoppage time equalizer off a corner kick on Saturday to become only the second goalkeeper to score in open field play in MLS history. Having already secured its knockout stage spot, the Crew, winless in its last six MLS matches and trailing trhe New York Red Bulls by one point in the race for the Eastern Conference regular-season title are also expected to rest most of its regular starters' presenting Joe Public with its best chance at victory. When both teams met at Crew Stadium on September 14, the hosts got goals from Leandre Griffit, Jason Garey and Steven Lenhart in a 3-0 victory.