A late header from veteran Xelajú defender Fredy Santiago ended DirecTV W Connection’s CONCACAF Champions League aspirations last night as the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League’s defending champions lost 3-2 at the Estadio Mario Camposeco in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Twice, Connection fought back from a goal down to hold the Guatemalan outfit but could not find a response to Santiago’s header in the 76th minute. All three Xelajú goals came from headers.
It meant curtains for the “Savonetta Boys” who would regret an opening 2-2 draw with Xelajú on 2 August 2012 in Trinidad.
Connection managed just one point from its three group games so far after a 4-0 loss away to Mexican club, Chivas de Guadalajara.
Last night started badly for Connection owner David John Williams as full back Kern Cupid headed into his own net after four minutes while trying to clear a freekick. However, striker Rennie Britto brought the visitors level, just five minutes later, with a composed finish after an incisive pass from Hashim Arcia on a counter-attack.
Thirty-one-year-old Brazilian striker Israel Silva restored Xelajú’s advantage in the 38th minute with another headed finish after a Kevin Arriola cross. But, five minutes after the resumption, the two clubs were level again as talented 21-year-old Trinidad and Tobago left flanker Joevin Jones thumped home from distance after a pass from St Kitts and Nevis international Gerrard Williams.
The young Connection team could not hold on, though, as the 34-year-old Santiago got the decisive item after a cross from Costa Rican substitute Allan Alemán.
Connection plays its final group match in Trinidad on 26 September 2012 against Guadajara.
W Connection: 18.Jan-Michael Williams (Capt), 13.Kern Cupid (17.Andrei Pacheco 61), 5.Elijah Joseph, 3.Akeem Benjamin, 6.Kemuel Rivers (4.Daneil Cyrus 46); 12.Gerard Williams; 8.Clyde Leon, 36.Joevin Jones; 7.Rennie Britto, 14.Hachim Arcia, 40.Shahdon Winchester (26.Stefano Rijssel 75).
Unused Subs: 22.Aquelius Sylvester, 16.Andre Quashie, 19.Joel Russell, 25.Christian Viveros.
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
Xelajú: 1.Fernando Patterson, 5.Fredy Santiago, 2.Johny Girón, 4.Nelson Morales; 18.Manuel León (6.Julio Estacuy 77), 7.Edwin Villatoro (11.Allan Alemán 63), 10.Sergio Morales, 15.Kevin Arriola; 24.Alejandro Alpízar, 13.Edgar Chinchilla (8.Edgar Greaves 61), 9.Israel Silva.
Coach: Hernán Medford.