Winger Rennie Britto scored twice and set up another as W Connection hammered Puerto Rico Islanders 4-1 in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship semi-final round on Tuesday night.
The victory secured Connection’s place in the CONCACAF Champions’ League and set up an all Trinidad and Tobago CFU Club Championship Final with Caledonia AIA which kicks off from 8pm on Thursday at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.
Caledonia defeated United Soccer Leagues(USL) PRO club Antigua Barracudas 2-0 with second half goals by Radanfah Abu Bakr and substitute Devorn Jorsling in the earlier semi-final at the Marabella venue.
And in the second contest, Digicel Pro League Champions W Connection made easy of the North American Soccer League(NASL) club PR Islanders.
R. Britto fired Connection ahead 1-0 in the 27th minute with a superb curling effort which left a fully stretched Islanders goalie Richard Martin beaten at the far netting.
Martin was earlier tested in the 10th minute pulling off a save against a strike from distance by Connection left wing back Joevin Jones, and made another shutout in the 45th minute denying a solid strike by R. Britto.
Connection then doubled its advantage 2-0 by the 57th minute completing an excellent buildup with Jerrel Britto holding off a defender on the left and blasting a shot past Martin.
A minute and a half later strike teammate Hashim Arcia tamed a shot into the hands of Martin after slipping past a his marker inside the area.
Islanders were lucky not to concede another in the 62nd minute when midfielder Clyde Leon shaved a shot just wide of the upright with a strike from distance.
However the visitors sank to another item in the 66th minute as Connection celebrated a 3-0 score in spectacular fashion with R. Britto completing his double by latching onto a perfectly placed Arcia through-ball and finishing over an advancing Martin.
Islanders didn’t give up the fight with former Connection striker Jonathan Fana Frias and substitute Gregory Richardson, also very familiar with Trinidad and Tobago club football, creating problems for the home-side.
The visitors finally pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute with a superb half volley by substitute Joshua Hanson taking comfortably inside the area and hitting past goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams at the near post for a 3-1 score-line.
But the goals didn’t stop there.
In the 90th minute Arcia deservingly got his name on the scoresheet to complete the score 4-1 by finishing into an exposed net and had R. Britto to thank after the winger unselfishly opted to the open striker following a good breakthrough.
Connection, four time (2001, 2002, 2006 & 2009) CFU champions, now looks ahead to Thursday’s Final, while Barracudas and PR Islanders will take on eachother in the third place fixture from 6pm.
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.
W Connection 4—1 Puerto Rico Islanders
Rennie Britto 27', 66' Jerrel Britto 57', Hashim Arcia 90' ; Joshua Hansen 72'
W Connection—Jan Michael Williams(gk)(capt.), Elijah Joseph(Yellow Card), Akeem Benjamin, Rennie Britto, Clyde Leon, Gerard Williams, Kern Cupid, Hashim Arcia(Yellow Card), Andrei Pacheco(Johan Peltier 88th minute), Jerrel Britto(Christian Viveros 77th minute), Joevin Jones
Coach—Stuart Charles Fevrier
Puerto Rico Islanders—Richard Martin(gk), Noah Delgado(capt.), Giovanni Edward(Yellow Card)(Cesar Garcia 71st minute), Jarad Van Schaik(Gregory Richardson 62nd minute), Nicholas Addlery(Joshua Hansen 70th minute), Jonathan Frias Fana, Justin Fojo, David Foley, Richard Martinez, Jay Needham, Anthony Vazquez