Central, W Connection secure 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League qualifying berths

Central FC forward Willis Plaza (L) and W Connection full-back Alvin Jones.
Tuesday 23 March 2015

Leaders Central FC and defending champions DIRECTV W Connection have already caged the top two places in this season's Digicel Pro League championship hence qualifying for the 2016 Caribbean Club Championship, which serves as the qualifier tournament to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Central leads the current DPL 2014-2015 standings with 46 points from 21 matches while W Connection are second with 43 points from 20 matches as the Couva-rivals continue to battle for league supremacy.

Even if the DPL leaders were to lose their remaining three and four matches respectively, third positioned North East Stars (32 points from 21 matches), and Defence Force and Point Fortin Civic (both with 30 points from 20 matches) in fourth and fifth respectively, will still be chasing third as their best possible finish this season.

Both Central, last season’s DPL runners-up, and W Connection, last season’s DPL champions, are also set to tackle the rest of the Caribbean in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship but will head separate routes in the Group stage.

The Group stage will be contested between April 15 – 19, while the semi-final and final rounds will be contested between April 22-24 to decide the Caribbean Club Champions and determine three Caribbean berths at the 2015-2016 CONCACAF Champions League.

Connection, three-time Caribbean Club Champions (2001, 2002 & 2009) and seven-time finalists, will host Antigua and Barbuda champions SAP FC, Jamaica’s Waterhouse FC and Guyana Defence Force in Group 2 hosted in Trinidad.

While Central will debut at the CCL in Group 1, hosted in Guyana, and includes home team and Guyana National Super League champions Alpha United and Suriname’s powerhouse Inter Moengotapoe.

Inter Moengotapoe have won the Surinamese Voetbal Bond's Hoofdklasse
the country's top league – 6 times in the last eight seasons, while Alpha United have won five GFF NSL titles in recent years.

In 2011
 Alpha defeated Trinidad and Tobagos Defence Force in the third place play-off of the Caribbean Club Championship to create history as the first ever Guyanese club to earn a CCL berth.

Alpha United, Jamaica
s Waterhouse FC and Puerto Ricos Bayamon FC represented the Caribbean in the Group stage of the current CCL after progressing out of last seasons Caribbean Club Championship ahead of Trinidad and Tobago clubs Defence Force and Caledonia AIA. Trinidad and Tobago was last represented at the CCL by W Connection and Caledonia in the 2013-2014 edition.

Haiti meanwhile will host Group 3 and 4 of this season
s Caribbean Club Championship. Haiti league (opening stage) champions America FC, Jamaica champions Montego Bay United, SV Excelsior of Suriname, and Club Sportif Moulien of Guadeloupe are pooled in Group 3.

While Haiti league (second stage) champions Don Bosco FC, Helenites Sporting Club of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Unite Sainte Rose of Guadeloupe and Lyford Cay FC of Bahamas make up Group 4.

The winning team from each group will advance to the semi-final round with the winners of Group 1 and 2 to contest semi-final one, and the winners of Group 3 and 4 to contest semi-final two. The semi-final round winners will automatically qualify for the 2015-2016 CCL and compete for the Caribbean crown, while the defeated semi-finalists must compete against each other for the third and final Caribbean berth in the CCL.  

Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship 2015
GROUP 1 (GUYANA)
April 15, 2015

Alpha United (GUY) vs Inter Moengotapoe (SUR)

April 17, 2015
Inter Moengotapoe (SUR) vs Central FC (T&T)

April 19, 2015
Alpha United (GUY) vs Central FC (T&T)

GROUP 2 (TRINIDAD)
April 15, 2015
SAP FC (ATG) vs Waterhouse FC (JAM)
W Connection (T&T) vs Guyana Defence Force (GUY)

April 17, 2015
Waterhouse FC (JAM) vs Guyana Defence Force (GUY)
W Connection (T&T) vs SAP FC (ATG)

April 19, 2015
Guyana Defence Force (GUY) vs SAP FC (ATG)
W Connection (T&T) vs Waterhouse FC (JAM)

GROUP 3 (HAITI)
April 15, 2015
Montego Bay United (JAM) vs Club Sportif Moulien (GLP)
America FC (HAI) vs SV Excelsior (SUR)

April 17, 2015
Club Sportif Moulien (GLP) vs SV Excelsior (SUR)
America FC (HAI) vs Montego Bay United (JAM)

April 19, 2015
SV Excelsior (SUR) vs Montego Bay United (JAM)
America FC (HAI) vs Club Sportif Moulien (GLP)

GROUP 4 (HAITI)
April 15, 2015
Helenites Sporting Club (VIR) vs Unite Sainte Rose (GLP)
Don Bosco FC (HAI) vs Lyford Cay FC (BAH)

April 17, 2015
Unite Sainte Rose (GLP) vs Lyford Cay FC (BAH)
Don Bosco FC (HAI) vs Helenites Sporting Club (VIR)

April 19, 2015

Lyford Cay FC (BAH) vs Helenites Sporting Club (VIR)
Don Bosco FC (HAI) vs Unite Sainte Rose (GLP)

Semi-Final Round
April 22, 2015

Winner Group 1 vs Winner Group 2 (Semi Final 1)
Winner Group 3 vs Winner Group 4 (Semi Final 2)

Final
April 24, 2015

Winner SF 1 vs Winner SF 2 (championship match)
Loser SF 1 vs Loser SF 2 (third place play off)