TIGER Tanks Club Sando failed to qualify for the 2023 CONCACAF Club Championship after losing their CONCACAF Caribbean Shield semi-final 2-1 to Martinique champions Golden Lions, on Friday night at the St Kitts and Nevis Technical Center.
Robinhood started off the semis by defeating Metropolitan of Puerto Rico, 5-0. The star of the day for Robinhood was Shaquille Cairo, who notched a hat-trick with goals in the 41st, 72nd and 75th minutes. Cairo now has eight goals, thus far, in the tournament, tops among all players. Adding their names to the scoresheet were Dimitrio Andro in the 45th and Carlos Da Silva in the 69th.
In the nightcap, Marvin Bellance (12th) and legendary forward Kevin Parsemain, gave Golden Lion a two-goal lead. Club Sando would pull a goal back right before half-time, as Alvin Jones rocketed in a free kick in added-on time, bringing his side to within 2-1. Jones almost had a repeat from another blistering free kick with just under ten minutes of the regulation period to go. However, that time, the ball struck the underside of the crossbar but did not cross the goal-line and was eventually scrambled away under tremendous pressure by Golden Lion.
Today, Club Sando end the Shield battling Puerto Rico’s Metropolitan International of Puerto Rico for third place from 4 p.m. at SKT, while Golden Lion face Suriname Champions Robin Hood in the final, to be played three hours later.
Both finalists have qualified for the ten-team Caribbean championship, which runs over a five-month period from August 22 and qualifies the top three finishers for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup. Two other Trinidad and Tobago clubs, champions Defence Force and runners-up AC Port of Spain have qualified for the Caribbean Club Championship.
Unbeaten in three previous matches, Group D winners Club Sando faced adversity for the first time in the competition, when finding themselves two goals down against the also unbeaten Group B winners.
Bellance redirected a free kick with a flash header for the opening goal, while veteran Parsemain curled in a free kick from the edge of the penalty area for the second goal.
Real Gill tried to cut the deficit for Club Sando, but swept a shot over the crossbar, just past the half-hour mark, before Jones finally scored with the final kick of the first half.
Club Sando met a very organised and mature Golden Lion team, which included Persermain, the highly rated former France-based Martinique national team striker.
Despite dominating second half possession, Jones’ second free kick provided the only real terror moment with about nine minutes to go, creating a melee while several Club Sando players tried to force the ball over the line. Central defender Seon Thomas was too forceful in his effort to do so, picking up a second yellow card and was sent off.
SOURCE: T&T Express