Howard Walker, Staff Reporter
CARIBBEAN CLUB champions Harbour View are confident of
overturning a one-goal deficit and upstaging DC United, the American champions, in their second leg CONCACAF Champions' Cup quarter-final series match at the Compound tonight at 7:30.
In the first leg in Maryland last week, DC United, through goals by Alecko Eskandarian in the fifth minute and Joshua Gros in the 64th, carried the home team to a 2-1 win over Harbour View for whom Luton Shelton had levelled the scores in the 23rd minute.
Donovan Hayles, coach of Harbour View, said despite the 2-1deficit, he was confident of advancing.
"We are pretty confident. We are playing to win the game. There is no second chance. A draw can't help us. There is only one result and that's a victory," Hayles said.
"We were able to analyse them first hand and we saw their weaknesses and strengths and what we have realised is that after matching strides with them for 90 minutes in adverse conditions we were able to cope with their strength and we were able to do what we wanted to do over there," he added.
Hayles, though confident, notes that Harbour View cannot afford to take DC United lightly after putting up a good show in the first leg.
"DC is a quality team and they will not be a pushover. The fact that we performed so good against them that it raised eyebrows that we can win but we have to be careful. I anticipate that they will play a better game than the one they played over there."Nevertheless, we feel that we are in that class and can move further in the championship," said Hayles.
Although Harbour View scored, there will not be any away goal advantage.
"I am not worried about the score line. The away goal is not in effect. If we win the game 1-0 it goes into extra time," he said.
"It (away goal rule) is not in CONCACAF, Europe is the one using it. FIFA allows each confederation to be flexible. What CONCACAF has is to play to the end and if it is tied up, it's extra time and then penalties," he explained.
DC United's had a training session at the Compound last night under the watchful eyes of their coach, Peter Nowak. The players looked lively as they went through their paces trying to get familarised with the Harbour View turf.
Meanwhile, the Harbour View staff was working feverishly to put the final touches on the facility, especially in the media area which is expected to accommodate the Fox Sports network team which will broadcast the game live to the United States.
The walls of the main stand and the changing rooms were being painted in yellow and blue and lights and electricity were being installed in a final rush.
The quarter-final victors will advance to the semi-final series which takes place on April 6-7 and 13-14, with the two-game 2005 finals scheduled for May 4 and 11.
The CONCACAF Champions' Cup is the longest-running international club competition in the region and has crowned the champion club of the Confederation since its inception in 1962.
Harbour View: Leighton Murray, Jermaine Taylor, Damion Stewart, Donald Stewart, Clifton Waugh, Lovell Palmer, Craig Stewart, Robert Scarlett, Jermaine Hue, Nicholas McCreath and Luton Shelton.
D.C. United: Nick Rimando, Christian Gomez, Mike Petke, Ben Olsen, Brian Caroll, Joshua Gros, Bryan Namoff, Alecko Eskandarian, Jaime Moreno, Freddy Adu, Brando Prideaux.