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Portmore, Waterhouse in big Caribbean Club Championship clash

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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Jamaican teams Portmore United and Waterhouse FC will clash for a spot in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League when they meet today at National Stadium East field.

Portmore United lead the four-team group with maximum six points, two ahead of Waterhouse on four points, with Haitian teams AS Capoise (one point) and Real Hope (pointless) already out of contention for the main prize.

Portmore need only a draw to qualify for the Champions League when they take on Waterhouse at 8:00 pm, while AS Capoise and Real Hope meet at 5:30 pm on a night when a lot will be at stake.

The champions of the FLOW Caribbean Club Championship qualify directly to the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, while the runner-up and third-place finishers qualify for the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League in late July.

Then the fourth-placed team will enter a play-off with Sport Vereniging Robinhood of Surname for the final spot to the Scotiabank Concacaf League.

This is a glorious chance for a Jamaican team to be crown Caribbean champion following Harbour View's victory in 2007. Last year, Arnett Gardens were runners-up.

Portmore, fresh from their triumph over Waterhouse in a fiery Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) final a few weeks ago, clash once again, this time for the Caribbean title and what an encounter it promises to be.

Portmore will once again start favourites having the easier task of just securing a point to be crowned Caribbean champions, but they cannot for one minute take Waterhouse lightly based on the evidence of their recent contest.

The Shavar Thomas-coached Portmore United edged Haitian teams Real Hope and Capoise 1-0, while Waterhouse, coached by Marcel Gayle, blew a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 with Capoise before dismissing Real Hope 2-0.

Portmore will be depending on the likes of Javon East, veteran Damian Williams, Rosario Harriott, Ricardo Morris, Andre Lewis, Emelio Rousseau, Lamar Walker, Donnegy Fer, Damano Solomon and goalkeeper Shaven Paul for victory.

Waterhouse, who must win if they are to advance to the Champions League, will again be at their solid best with the likes of Keithy Simpson, Shawn Lawes, Nicholy Findlayson, Mark Miller, Ricardo Thomas, Rafeik Thomas, Tramaine Stewart, Kenroy Howell and Andre McFarlane leading their charge.

Meanwhile, the Haitian clash between Capoise and Real Hope is just as crucial, as the third-placed team will be in the Concacaf League, while the fourth-placed team will get another chance for the Scotiabank Concacaf League.

With a point, Capoise need only a draw to clinch their spot and avoid further play-offs.

— Howard Walker

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