CFU Club Championship 2015: Group Stage Review

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Nathan Carr, editor of The Home of Caribbean Football, looks back at the group stage of the CFU Club Championship…

This year’s CFU Club Championship is the 17th edition since its inception in the late 1990s. Widely regarded as the Caribbean’s premier club competition, it pits the crème of the crop against each other to determine the region’s three representatives at the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL). The Championship has a couple of entry requirements: it is open to all 31 CFU member associations’ league champions and runners-up, as long as their respective seasons finished by the end of last year. Each club must pay a fee by a set deadline, which in this year’s case was 7 January. For 2015, a total of 15 teams from nine member associations entered and were placed in four groups. Here’s how the action panned out…

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Group 1:

From the outset this group had only three participants because of the uneven number of total teams. It was expected that Guyanese champions Alpha United, a team that featured in last year’s CCL, would battle with Central FC of Trinidad & Tobago for the number one spot, but it was actually the latter that came out on top and secured progress through to the semi-finals. Founded just three years ago by former Soca Warriors defender Brent Sancho, now the country’s Minister of Sport, Central boast a strong squad and are coached by Englishman Terry Fenwick. They play good football and have several stand-outs who have experience playing with the national team, like Willis Plaza, Ataullah Guerra and veteran goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams. Plaza was the star of the show against Surinamese champions Inter Moengotapoe, scoring two second half goals within the space of four minutes. The Sharks had to follow that win up with another when they faced Alpha, who had also beaten Inter two days previously. Continue reading