Category: W Connection

W Connection against Arabe Unido in first of two must-win Concacaf Champions League second leg ties

Connection assistant Earl Jean giving instructions to defender Daneil Cyrus during Saturday's 7-0 win over RangersA win on Thursday night against visiting Arabe Unido of Panama would propel DIRECTV W Connection into an improved position of qualifying out of the 2013-2014 Concacaf Champions League group stage. Whereas a defeat for the Stuart Charles Fevrier coached-club could end its quarter-final round hopes.

Presently, Connection (1 point) sits at the bottom of Group 1, trailing leaders Houston Dynamo (4 points) and second positioned Arabe (3 points). But with each club having two matches still to play, and based on points, Connection are still within qualifying out of the group.

“We have been working tremendously on preparations for these games and I am very confident that we can do what’s needed to win these games,” said Connection assistant coach and former CCL striker Earl Jean.

“We have our home game (on Thursday) and we are very confident that we can turn it around.”

If Connection were to win their remaining two matches (against Arabe on Thursday and against Dynamo on September 25 ) to finish with 7 points, and Houston were to defeat Arabe in the final group match on October 24 in Panama to also end with 7 points, then goal difference will be the first method of the tie-breaker according to regulations.

Rule 2.3 of the Concacaf Champions League regulations states: Tie-Breakers (ties among group stage winners) – should the group winners be tied on points, the order of the teams will be determined in the following manner - 1. Best goal difference, 2. Most goals scored, 3. Most goals scored away from home, 4. Most wins, 5 Most away wins, and 6. Drawing of lots.

And if Arabe were to defeat Dynamo in their final group match, then Connection, once registering wins in their remaining two matches, will automatically move into the CCL quarter-final/championship round.

Connection will host Arabe, which boasts former ‘Savonnetta Boys” goalie Miguel Lloyd, from 8pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The home side will attempt to turn around a 3-1 defeat suffered on August 8 against the Panamanian champions in the first leg at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama.

Back then, a first half brace by Humberto Ward (20th and 32nd minutes) and an early second half item by Jose Gonzalez (53rd minute) did the damage against Connection, which pulled a goal back through second half substitute Neil Benjamin Jr. (75th minute).

And against Dynamo in their second CCL group match, Connection were held to a goalless draw after squandering at least three clear cut chances at the Port of Spain on August 20.

Jean added, “I think because we were coming off preseason and didn’t have the games under our belt as we needed, it affected us against Arabe in the first game. But after looking over the videos of the game we did play a good game but allowed a couple soft goals that cost us the game.

“Against Dynamo we played really well also but didn’t put away our chances. But now we have a couple more matches under our belt and I’m very confident we can get take win against Arabe.”

Domestically Connection kicked off its 2013-2014 Digicel Pro League campaign last weekend with a 7-0 hammering of St. Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, and a week earlier defended its Digicel Charity Shield with a 4-2 win over Defence Force.

“As always when you win a game of such margin (7-0) to start your league it gives your team a confidence boost. We have been doing a lot of finishing and the results prove that we just need to take our chances. We are now hoping that the players take the chances the same way on Thursday,” concluded the assistant Connection coach.

Following Thursday’s CCL match, Connection will return to domestic action in Round One Match Day Two of the League championship on Saturday against Police FC from 5pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium before jetting off to Houston to take on Dynamo on Wednesday 25 September at the BBVA Compass Stadium.