Despite repeated blunders reminiscent of their first encounter, Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United defeated Puerto Rico’s River Plate 3-2 when the two teams clashed in the second of two games in the 2011 Caribbean Football Union Club Champions Cup at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground Bourda yesterday afternoon.
Dwight Peters converted from the penalty spot in the 55th minute after he was blatantly fouled inside the box while Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams and Andrew Murray (Jr.) hit the network in the 58th and 83rd minutes respectively.
River Plate received some consolation after Matias Maroni slammed home a 78th minute success with Ruben Diaz emulating the effort in the six minutes to full time.
Really, Alpha should have won by a larger margin but for several blunders in the first half that spilled over into the second. Dwight Peters was guilty of a plethora of errors and his success from the penalty spot must have vindicated him especially since he was just one strike away from breaching the opposition’s goal.
Almost the entire strike force of the Alpha team was guilty of blunders. From the onset River Plate seemed to be intent on dominating the proceedings with superb ball distribution. The local boys took over about fifteen minutes into the session and Devon Millington received a dolly of a pass that landed on his ‘sugar foot’ just in front of the goal. Amazingly, the dapper striker flunked the shot.
Several other Alpha stars also committed similar faux pas including Nigel ‘Powers’ Codrington, Travis ‘Zorro’ Grant and even captain Howard Lowe joined his players to ensure that the score remained nil all at the end of the first session.
Amidst the wasted opportunities, River Plate exhibited great defensive tactics and their classic passing gave them the advantage, mostly in midfield. They were also guilty of shabby play when approaching the opposition’s goal mouth.
As the game wound down, it appeared as though the teams would have gone into extra time, Peters’ strike opened the floodgates and the local team widened the gap 3-0 before River Plate got into the act.
Matias Diaz succeeded in the 78th minute while his compadre Ruben Diaz closed the margin with a humdinger in the 94th minute. Just when the Puerto Ricans appeared warmed up and threatening the final whistle intercepted and gave ‘The Hammers’ the win.
Coach of the visiting team, Fabian Zermatten said that he was very disappointed by the results. He admitted that his boys were not as sharp as they should have been and did not play as a unit. The coach said that he would now return home and evaluate the performance, regroup and resume activities a renewed bunch. The team left Guyana this morning.
Alpha will now turn their attention to the semi-final round set for Trinidad and Tobago from May 25 with the final and third-place games set for four days later. The semifinal winners and third placed club will qualify for the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League.
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