Alpha “The Hammer” United suffered a 0-1 defeat against Surinamese nemesis Inter Moengotapoe in their opening match of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Group Two playoffs at the National Stadium, Providence yesterday.
Stefan Russell scored the game’s lone goal in the 23rd minute in a match that lacked spark.
Alpha United, the current national league champions, looked short of match preparation as they failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities.
Dwight Peters squandered a clear scoring chance in the 20th minute when he failed to convert in front of an open goal.
The Surinamese duly capitalized on a lethargic Alpha defence following a blunder by makeshift right back Quincy Madramootoo.
Madramootoo failed to clear the ball in the goal area and Inter striker Russell pounced on the ball and placed it to the right of Alpha goalkeeper Richard Reynolds.
Andrew Murray Jr. also missed out on a golden opportunity close to the half time when he made two attempts at an open goal but failed after Inter Moengotapoe goalkeeper Jarrel Adensiba was left stranded in the goal area.
At the resumption, the Suriname side tried to press home the advantage with several attacking plays on the right wing but they lacked the necessary finish.
Alpha found themselves under additional pressure when Peters was shown the red card by referee Javier Santos midway in the second half.
Despite playing with 10 players Alpha had another chance to equalize but Dwain Jacobs’s shot at an open goal went wide of the mark with just 10 minutes before the final whistle. Alpha ended the encounter failing to beat the Surinamese side in their third match. Alpha now face an uphill task as they square off with Hubentut Fortuna of Curacao in their next game tomorrow evening at the same venue.
The Netherlands Antilles side scored a 2-1 win over Milerock of Linden in the other encounter and will be looking to strengthen their position ahead of their clash with the Suriname side on Saturday.
The four teams are battling for a chance to advance to the CONCACAF Club championships.