Alpha pipped by Olympia!

— Local side loses opening game of CONCACAF Champions League by 0-1 scoreline

Alpha United got their CONCACAF Champions League campaign off to the worst possible start, narrowly going down to Club Deportivo Olimpia of Honduras by a 1-0 margin yesterday at the National Stadium Providence.

Albert Elis separated the two sides with a fortuitous 17th minute conversion. Winners of the event twice in the year of 1972 and 1988 respectively, the visitors started the opening half the brighter of the two sides and silenced the partisan crowd through Elis.

Lurking within the centre of the penalty area, Elis would inexplicably direct an initial headed attempt from the left side of the area into the lower right hand corner of the net, following a right sided cross.

Galvanized by their recent concession, the local side should have leveled the score line two minutes later through a Kithson Bain effort.

Racing into the right side of the area after playing a cheeky one-two pass combination with Gregory Richardson, the Grenadian international would see his powerful effort cannoning off the right upright, much to the dismay of the large gathering.

The equalizer would continue to evade the Guyanese unit as a powerful left footed Richardson strike from the just outside the centre of the area in the 30th minute, flew narrowly wide of the sneaking into the lower right hand corner.

Content to hold onto their lead following a slow start to the second period, Olimpia almost surrendered their advantage as Alpha fashioned the best chance of the period through a 62nd minute Aldair Paredes strike.

Picking up the ball 30 yards from the goal in the centre of the park, the diminutive box-box midfielder would unleash a thunderous left footed screamer that forced custodian Gerson Argueta into an acrobatic save, tipping the resulting danger over the crossbar.

Albert Elis (no.17) of Honduras side Olimpia netting the game’s only goal during his side’s hard fought win over Alpha United in the opening round of the CONCACAF Champions League
Albert Elis (no.17) of Honduras side Olimpia netting the game’s only goal during his side’s hard fought win over Alpha United in the opening round of the CONCACAF Champions League

Utilizing a translator, Coach of the winning side, Hector Vargas during a post-match press conference said “Alpha is a very good side with very fast players. They played very well but I am happy to get the result”.

He further said “It was an evenly contested match and we scored and that is the result of the game. The Alpha team is strong and we will approach the return leg with more caution. This is the champions’ league and they are only good teams inside”.

Losing coach Wayne Dover said “I am disappointed we didn’t get the result. We know that the team that makes the least mistakes does comes out on top. We made a mistake and after 90 minutes the result says 1-0 Olimpia”.

Dover further said “We will try our best to regroup and try to convert our chances in the next game. It will be like final because only one team coming out of the group. Initially they were some problems with our plan to keep the team at bay. We adjusted and put some pressure on them in the second half”.

Questioned about the area that the team will need to improve on going into their second matchup, Dover said “We need to work on finishing, we created two clear cut chances but unfortunately we did not convert”.

With the win, Olimpia now sit at the top of the group with three points. Alpha sit in the cellar position and will now faceoff with USA’s Portland Timbers at the same venue from August 19th.

The local side will then engage Olimpia on August 28th in the return leg while they lock horns with Portland Timbers on September 23rd in their final away fixture.

Winner of the tournament will earn the opportunity to represent the region in the FIFA Club World Club. Mexico’s Cruz Azul is the event’s defending champions.

Alpha United qualified for the 2014/2015 CONCACAF Champions League following group victories over Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago champions Harbour View and Defence Force respectively in their CFU qualification playoff tournament.



Latest in Sports

The Zouks celebrate (CPL T20 photo)

Charles, Miller shine as Zouks stun title-holders

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – West Indies opener Johnson Charles belted an attacking half-century and South African David Miller produced an entertaining late cameo as St Lucia Zouks stunned title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders by six wickets in the opening game of the Caribbean Premier League here Wednesday night.

Members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the CBC U16 Championships George Vyphius (left), GABF Head, Nigel Hinds, Director of Sports, Christopher Jones and Japarts’ Terry Singh display the new Shot Clock that will be installed at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

FIBA certified equipment arrives for CBC c/ships

With the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) u16 Championships only days away, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has acquired the FIBA Level-1 Certified Equipment for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal sweating on injuries ahead of Poland clash

PARIS, (Reuters) – Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos will leave his final decision on team selection for the quarter-final clash against Poland until this morning because of injuries to at least two players, he told reporters.

Novak Djokovic

History man Djokovic aims to keep breaking records

LONDON, (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic made tennis history at Wimbledon yesterday when he notched up the most consecutive grand slam match victories in the Open Era, and said he aimed to continue his assault on the record books.

default placeholder

Former champion Kvitova in a hurry to reach round two

LONDON, (Reuters) – Twice champion Petra Kvitova needed just 15 minutes to bulldoze through the first set against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea at Wimbledon yesterday, taking the match 6-0 6-4.

default placeholder

Increased venues, franchises in pipeline as league seeks expansion

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Caribbean Premier League organisers say they will explore pushing the increasingly popular Twenty20 tournament into Asia, as well as expanding the number of franchises involved and hosting them in North American cities.

Flashback-Part of the earlier action in the Ministry of Health/Petra Organization Soft Shoe Championship at the Parade Ground

Soft shoe football tourney resumes today with round of 16 matches

Rescheduled due to the inclement weather, the Ministry of Health/Petra Organization Soft Shoe football championships will resume today with the round of 16 stage at the Santos Training Area on the Square of the Revolution.

default placeholder

Federer plays cameo role to end Willis fairytale

LONDON, (Reuters) – Few players have reduced the great Roger Federer to a role as secondary attraction on Wimbledon’s Centre Court but for one hour and 25 minutes yesterday he had just a walk-on part in the Marcus Willis fairytale.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: