Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Arnett hunt Caribbean title

Published:Sunday | May 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Arnett Gardens coach Jerome Waite

Five-time local club champions Arnett Gardens will face Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic in the FLOW CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship final at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 8 p.m. today.

In the third-place playoff, Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions Portmore United, who went down 4-3 to the Dominican Republic champions in one semi-final last Friday, tackle Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago at 5 p.m.

Former RSPL champions Arnett showed improved form and blanked Central 2-0 in Friday's feature semi-final. Now, the Jerome Waite-coached team will hunt the winning trophy and a US$50,000 prize on their home turf.

Waite said that his team is ready for the challenge and the chance to obtain an automatic spot in next year's CONCACAF Champions League.

"We have played Pantoja before. The last time we played them, Oneil Thompson picked up two yellow cards and was ejected. The team maintained their shape in that group encounter and the game ended 0-0. They are pretty much a physical team, very strong," Waite told The Sunday Gleaner.

 

ONCE IN A LIFETIME

 

"We have to just take this opportunity because it comes once in a life time. We have to go out there in front of our home support and deal with it," he added.

Pantoja's coach, Lenin Bastidas, said they expect a competitive game.

"We have played Arnett before and are fully aware that they are a tough team. We are expecting a competitive game and hoping to come away champions," Bastidas said.

The Caribbean Club Championship, now in its 20th year, is held among clubs whose football associations are affiliated with the Caribbean Football Union, a subconfederation of CONCACAF.

The Tier One competition, known as the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship, is contested by the champions and runners-up of the top professional and semi-professional leagues in year one (2018) and is open to only fully professional leagues in 2019 and onwards.

The Tier Two competition, known as the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield, is contested by the champions of the top leagues in member associations that have no professional or semi-professional leagues in year one (2018) and is open to amateur and semi-professional leagues in year two and onwards.