Jabloteh, Cibao reach club final, as Central FC stumble

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Trinidad & Tobago Pro League outfit Central FC failed on Thursday to reach the final and in their bid for a third consecutive Caribbean Football Union Club Championship title.
Fellow T&T Pro League side San Juan Jabloteh and Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic will contest the final on Sunday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, with the winner booking a place in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League.
When the dust settled on the last night of group play in the CFU Club Championship, Central suffered a big blow to their egos, when Patrick Soko scored the only goal, as Cibao FC prevailed 1-0 to finish top of Group A.
The result condemned Central to their first ever loss in 10 CFU Club Championship matches and meant that they will play in the third-place playoff at the same venue and booked a spot in the inaugural 2017 CONCACAF League in August.
Jabloteh entered the final group matches needing just one point to reach the final and held on to secure a 2-2 draw with Jamaica Premier League side Portmore United.
Adrian Reid struck a 34th minute penalty and Vurlon Mills converted four minutes before halftime to give Jabloteh a 2-0 lead.
But Portmore United came storming back with two late goals from Jermie Lynch in the 85th minute and Ewan Grandison two minutes later to make the home team sweat in the closing minutes before the final whistle.
With the result, Portmore United qualified for the CONCACAF League and meet Central FC in the third-place playoff on Sunday, while Jabloteh can earn a direct place in the CONCACAF Champions League with a win over Cibao FC in the final.
The CONCACAF League is the newest tournament in the Confederation’s expanded club competitions platform. The draw for the League will take place on Wednesday, May 31, in the American city of Miami.
The CONCACAF League will feature 16 clubs from Central America and the Caribbean. It will be played in a four-round knockout format, with home-and-away fixtures in each of the four rounds – round of 16, quarterfinals, semi-finals and final.
The club that lifts the CONCACAF League trophy in October also advances to 2018 Champions League, the region’s premier competition for clubs.

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