Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United (AUFC) is one game down having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Olimpia when those teams clashed in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Champions League at the National Stadium Providence Tuesday August 5 last.
The team is now set to improve its fortunes when those players square off with
USA team, Portland Timbers, at the same venue, August 19 next. Coach of the local team, Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover is confident that his boys will apply themselves to the task at hand and come out victorious and he expressed these sentiments at a press conference at the Water Chris Hotel, Waterloo Street Georgetown yesterday morning.
The forum was also attended by President of the AUFC, Odinga Lumumba, Vice President, Steve Ninvalle, Agent, Fabio, and several local players along with guest players Manuel Vargas and Caio Oliviera.
Mr. Dover said that following the loss to Olimpia the team returned to the drawing board in an effort to correct mistakes of that encounter. “We dealt with the finishes even as we reviewed the reasons for our missed chances,” Dover explained.
He said that during the evaluation process he implored upon the team to be more clinical in their applications. “It is extremely important that we win this game and clinch the full three points as it would be very difficult to qualify to the next round if we don’t,” said Dover in an attempt to underline the importance of an outright victory.
The Alpha coach said that his technical team had reviewed the Hondurans game and is satisfied that the local ball weavers are capable of winning this game. Defender, Howard Lowe is back in the team and Dover is adamant that he is one of, if not the best defenders around.
Otherwise, Dover said that he prefers not to elaborate on certain strategic issues as he wishes to surprise the adversary. Once again, Lumumba has issued a call to corporate Guyana for support of the team.
“The mere fact that this game is a national sporting event is enough to encourage support from the business community but with the exception of a few we have not received anything,” he lamented. He said that such activities impact positively on the country which is exposed to the world in good light.
Adding his voice to the reason for the team’s loss a few weeks ago, Lumumba opined that the team was not match ready. “But we are in a better position now and will win this match,” he reaffirmed.
That apart, Lumumba singled out several entities and organizations that have contributed to the team’s preparations. He said such firms as DDL, Ansa McAl, Michael Cummings Electrical, New GPC (Limacol) have assisted greatly. “I also wish to extend gratitude to Courts Guyana) Inc. for supporting the team’s efforts Courts with a substantial contribution of $250,000 yesterday morning,” he said.
The defending CONCACAF Champions League champion is ‘Cruz Azul’ and twenty-four teams are participating in this season’s Champions League, marking the seventh edition in which a Confederation-wide group phase has been disputed before the knockout rounds.
Sixteen clubs debut in the tournament’s first week, with the other eight – including Major League Soccer sides DC United, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Sporting KC and Liga MX entrant, Club America.
The top club from each of the eight three-team groups advances to the knockout round. The quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds are slated for early next year. Alpha is also slated to play in Honduras in a return fixture, August 28 before moving on to Portland Timbers, USA, in that country September 23 next.
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