How high would Caledonia AIA lift the bar this season, remains the question as the Morvant/Laventille club continues to ride success.
On Tuesday night the club added to already its most successful season by securing its berth into the CONCACAF Champions' League—a lifelong dream of the Jamaal Shabazz coached Caledonia—by reaching the Final of the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship.
Second half goals by defender Radanfah Abu Bakr in the 64th minute and substitute Devorn Jorsling in the 87th minute secured a comfortable 2-0 win over USL PRO outfit Antigua Barracudas in the CFU semi-final round at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.
Caledonia will meet second semi-final winner and fellow TT Pro League compatriot W Connection in the Final on Thursday from 8pm at the same Marabella venue.
Connection now also into the CONCACAF Champions’ League reached the CFU Final by trashing two-time defending champs Puerto Rico Islanders 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Rennie Britto found the back of the net on either side of the half (27th and 66th minutes) against the Puerto Ricans and set up another in the 90th minute which was converted by striker Hashim Arcia; and Connection’s second in the chain of goals was scored by U23 striker Jerrel Britto in the 57th minute.
Islanders’ lone item came in the 72nd minute from a well taken strike by substitute Joshua Hansen, however it wasn’t enough of a comeback by the USL division one club.
Islanders and Barracudas will meet from 6pm on Thursday in the crucial third place playoff of the CFU tournament with the winner advancing into the CCL which begins at the end of July.
The CFU champions will join a group that includes Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Seattle Sounders and Honduran club, Marathon. Seattle employs Trinidad and Tobago U23 attacker Cordell Cato and US striker Eddie Johnson.
The CFU runner-up will face top Mexican side Chivas de Guadalajara and Guatemalan team Xelaju, while the CFU third place joins David Beckham’s MLS club LA Galaxy and El Salvador’s Isidro Metapan.
Barracudas vs Caledonia Match Play Caledonia had a smell of goal just two minutes inside the match however a tardy effort by striker Jamal Gay clattered into a Barracudas defender after meeting Cornelius Stewart's pass from the right.
Caledonia’s Guyanese goalie Ronson Williams then mishandled a tame low freekick from distance by the Antiguan side in the 6th minute, giving away a corner which later proved little threat.
The Digicel Pro League third place finisher and winner of the First Citizens Cup, FA Trophy and Lucozade Sport Goal Shield domestically, then had its first real attempt on goal in the 15th minute.
Striker converted into midfielder Keyon Edwards had a crack from outside the area missing the crossbar by a couple inches when he connected to a loose ball which was threaded through two Barracudas defenders by Gay.
The home side then won a set piece some 24 yards out after a foul on attacker Trevin Caesar, however right wingback Kareem Joseph curling effort was too high to trouble goalkeeper Molvin James.
Following a goalless half the second period continued with little efforts at goal until the introduction of Jorsling in the 56th minute.
Seconds after replacing U23 forward Caesar, the T&T international forced Barracudas goalie James into action with a low strike from just inside the area.
James’ goal was under threat again in the 62nd minute with attacking right-back Kareem Joseph finding the side netting.
Caledonia finally broke the deadlock 1-0 in the 64th minute when a well placed cross by talented Stewart was headed into the back of the net powerfully by Abu Bakr, leaving James shattered.
However James rebounded to deny Joseph in the 73rd minute and measured a fine strike by Jorsling 11 minutes from time, but was beaten a second time in the 87th minute.
Jorsling slapped in Caledonia second from side the area for a 2-0 finish overcoming an unyielding effort by Barracudas.
Antigua Barracudas 2—0 Caledonia AIA
; Radanfah Abu Bakr 64', Devorn Jorsling 87'
Antigua Barracudas—Molvin James(gk), Lawson Robinson, George Dublin(capt.), Akeem Thomas, Tamorley Thomas(Yellow Card)(Luke Blakely 75th minute), Quinton Griffith, Peter Byers, Stefan Smith, Kimmoi Alexander, Kerry Skepple(Yellow Card), Orlando Mitchum(Yellow Card)
*(Matthew Aldred 67th minute), (Ranja Christian 77th minute)
Caledonia AIA—Ronson Williams(gk), Stephan David(capt.), Walter Moore, Kareem Joseph, Nuru Abdullah Muhammad(Yellow Card), Radanfah Abu Bakr, Keyon Edwards, Cornelius Stewart(Nathan Lewis 74th minute), Trayon Bobb, Trevin Caesar(Devorn Jorsling 56th minute), Jamal Gay(Conrod Smith 80th minute)(Yellow Card)