Portmore United FC and Arnett Gardens FC produced good performances in the Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship to advance to the group stages of the CONCACAF League competition.
The CONCACAF League kicks off on July 31.
Rohn Rainford, club administrator of the hosts Portmore United said it was unfortunate that a team from Jamaica did not win the tournament, but it was a fair showing.
“We pulled quite a number of parties together for this showing. Special thanks to all who supported us in this venture — title sponsors FLOW, CONCACAF, the JFF, and the PFAJ (Professional Football Association of Jamaica). We extend a special thanks to our partners Arnett Gardens and congratulate them in reaching a riveting final. We are now both assured of top flight regional football and this can only help Jamaica’s football,” Rainford explained.
Arnett advanced to the Concacaf League after their 6-5 their shootout defeat to Club Atlético Pantoja of the Dominican Republic in the final of the competition at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday, May 12.
This was after both teams played out 0-0 draw in full and extra-time. Club Atlético Pantoja have advanced to the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League, which will be held in 2019 and claimed $US50,000 in prize monies.
Jerome Waite, head coach of Arnett Gardens, said despite his team’s defeat in the final, the tournament was a major success for the team.
“Overall, it was a good tournament for the Arnett Gardens team and we only can build on this from here,” said Waite. “If you notice, in this tournament we didn’t give up a goal and that is always a plus. And when it comes down to penalties, it is something that could go either way. We just have to continue to lift our heads high and move forward,” Waite said.
The West Kingston team also copped US$30,000 for finishing second.
The FCCCC tournament is also good logistics practice.
“It is the first time that we have done this level of planning — multiple days of competition, co-ordinating transportation and training. It is a good start for us now that we are in elite competition of the CONCACAF League. We can now leave and ensure that we can co-ordinate those games properly,” Rainford explained.
Portmore United recorded a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago in the third place-off in the opening match on Sunday.
The third-place position comes with US$20,000 in prizes.
Rosario Harriott in the 59th minute, and Jermie Lynch in the 63rd minute, were scorers for Portmore, while Duane Muckette netted in the 27th for Central FC.
Shavar Thomas, head coach of Portmore, said he is pleased that they have advanced to the next phase of the competition.
“We would have loved to qualify directly and that means being in the final, but this is another opportunity to qualify for the Champions League,” said Thomas.
Meanwhile, Central FC and Martinique’s Club Franciscain will meet on Wednesday to decide the final qualifier for the CONCACAF League on Wednesday, May 16 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.