DIRECTV W Connection started their 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League campaign yesterday with a comfortable 7-1 win over the Guyana Defence Force in an otherwise chaotic night at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
Jamaican giants, Waterhouse FC, never showed up for their opening match against Antiguan club, SAP FC, for 5.30 pm while a power outage temporarily plunged the stadium into darkness before Connection’s affair and the uncomfortably loud music in the covered stands unnerved visitors, particularly in the press area.
But there were no issues after the opening whistle as the “Savonetta Boys” steamrolled the Guyanese soldiers. Playmaker Hashim Arcia bagged a hattrick for Connection while Shahdon Winchester scored twice and Akeem Garcia and Jerrel Britto contributed a goal apiece. Delroy Fraser scored a consolation item for the visitors in second half stoppage time.
At present, Guyana does not have a domestic league competition and the clubs there play infrequent cup competitions against each other.
“GT” football fans had more to celebrate at home as local outfit, Alpha United, began their adventure with a 3-0 win over Surinamese club, Inter Moengotapoe, at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown yesterday afternoon.
Alpha, who eliminated Defence Force to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League last year, will face Pro League club, Central FC, in a decisive fixture on Sunday from 4 pm at the same venue.
Daniel Wilson opened the scoring for Alpha who got their remaining items from two familiar faces. Thirty-two-year-old Gregory “Jackie Chan” Richardson, who captained the Guyanese club, scored the second item against Inter and is still remembered fondly in Trinidad for his four goals for Joe Public as they thrashed MLS club, New England Revolution, 6-1 on aggregate in 2008.
Kithson “Bully” Bain, a burly 32-year-old Grenadian international striker, was a handful during a stint with Caledonia AIA while his career includes spells in England and the United States.
Central start their campaign on Friday evening against Inter from 4 pm at Providence.
In a fixture reshuffle, due to Waterhouse’s no-show, SAP will face the Guyana Defence Force from 6 pm on Friday in Couva before Connection and SAP close the group on Sunday from 6 pm at the same venue.
W Connection: Julani Archibald, Aquelius Sylvester; Mekeil Williams (captain), Maurice Forde, Shannon Gomez, Christian Viveros, Kurt Frederick, Triston Hodge; Gerard Williams, Alvin Jones, Christian Rodriguez, Yhon Stiven Reyes, Jomal Williams, Hashim Arcia; Shahdon Winchester, Neil Benjamin Jr, Jerrel Britto, Akeem Garcia.
Central FC: Jan-Michael Williams, Javon Sample; Kaydion Gabriel, Akeem Benjamin, Marcelle Francois, Elton John, Jamal Jack, Kevon Villaroel, Keion Goodridge; Leston Paul (captain), Sean de Silva, Marvin Oliver, Jason Marcano, Darren Mitchell, Nathaniel Garcia, Ataulla Guerra, Willis Plaza, Dwight Quintero.
CFU Group Stage fixtures
(Wed Apr 15)
Alpha United 3 (Daniel Wilson 26, Gregory Richardson 56, Kitson Bain 90), Inter Moengotapoe 0, Group 1, Providence Stadium, Georgetown;
W Connection 7 (Akeem Garcia 18, Shahdon Winchester 20, 25, Hashim Arcia 32, 46, 82, Jerrel Britto 40), Guyana D/Force 1 (Delroy Fraser 90+4), Group 2, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva;
(Fri Apr 17)
Central FC v Inter Moengotapoe, 4 pm, Group 1, Providence Stadium, Georgetown;
Guyana D/Force v SAP FC, 6 pm, Group 2, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva;
(Sun Apr 19)
Alpha United v Central FC, 4 pm, Group 1, Providence Stadium, Georgetown;
W Connection v SAP FC, 6 pm, Group 2, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.