Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2013 Contents A68
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 21, 2013
DirecTV W Connection s attempts to
advance out of the Concacaf Champions
League group stage struck a dead-end on
Thursday night after the T&T club suffered
a 2-0 defeat against visiting Arabe Unido.
Connection was disappointing in front of
goal, but the same couldn t be said about
the Panamanians, at the Hasely Crawford
Left-back Luis Fraiz fired Arabe ahead in
the 28th minute and forward Abdiel Arroyo
doubled the advantage by the 60th minute
to secure the victory.
Meanwhile, Connection, which was defeat-
ed 3-1 by Arabe in Panama on August 8 and
drew 0-0 with Houston Dynamo on August
20 in Trinidad, now sits at the bottom of
Group One with just one point and out of
the race for a quarterfinal spot.
Forward Jerrel Britto had three early oppor-
tunities for Connection, first flicking a Stefano
Rijssel cross wide of the far post in the eighth
minute, hitting wide in the 16th minute, and
wide again in the 19th minute with goalkeeper
Miguel Lloyd at his mercy.
The Savonnetta Boys looked promising in
the early moments despite the fact that Arabe
goalscorer Arroyo had three early efforts him-
self.Jose Gonzalez then broke the offside trap
in the 23rd minute for Arabe and had a try
at goal but goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa
was unbeatable. And a minute later, the Con-
nection goalkeeper thwarted an effort by
But Figueroa was beaten four minutes later
for a 1-0 Arabe advantage when Fraiz, free
on the left, slammed an early strike into the
roof of the far netting to complete a play
which started from a throw in on the right.
Connection had a 34th-minute opportu-
nity to level the score but a free Britto was
late to react when a Joevin Jones free-kick
deflected to him at the back post.
Later, a minute inside the second half,
Britto was involved again, this time with a
well-weighted low cross behind the defense
and past the gloves of a fully stretched Lloyd,
but Rijssel s sliding attempt at the back post
Connection s failure to find the back of
the net continued in the 59th minute when
Hashim Arcia volleyed overbar from the edge
of the six-yard area from substitute Jomal
Williams head-on inside the area.
The Stuart Charles Fevrier-coached Con-
nection then conceded its second item on
the hour mark when Arroyo, who was set
free by an excellent through-ball on the
counterattack, outran defender Leslie Russell
from 25 yards out and held his composure
against a recovering defender and Figueroa
to slot into the net.
Charles-Fevrier responded by adding a
fourth striker in debuting Jamal Clarence,
and later attacking midfielder Jomal Williams
for striker Arcia. However, the Savonnetta
Boys failed to get back into the game.
Former Connection goalkeeper Lloyd, now
a mainstay in the Arabe lineup, pulled off a
great save in the 91st minute, thwarting a
deflected Jones free kick.
And in the third and final minute of time
added on, Clarence slammed a low effort
In the end, Arabe jumped to the top of
the group with six points, two ahead of
Dynamo, which defeated the Panamanians
2-1 in the first leg on August 27.
"First we have to thank God for this vic-
tory," said Arabe s Colombian coach Jahir
Palacios during the post match media brief-
"It was against a hard team. They are very
good technically, very good physically, and
very fast. I had to tell my players to move
the ball around a lot."
Palacios also said that Connection was a
lot more aggressive than when both teams
met in Panama. Arabe will next host Dynamo
on October 24 to wrap up their group fix-
Improving the standard of refereeing was key
among topics discussed between TT Pro League
and the T&T Football Association s (TTFA) Ref-
eree s Department during a meeting held at the
league s office in St Augustine, earlier this month.
"It was refreshing," said head of the TTFA ref-
eree s department, Ramesh Ramdhan, who holds
the administrative position since July 2012.
"It was the first time I ve attended a meeting
with the league. It was a mutually benefiting
meeting for the development of the league and
the development of the referees."
The meeting, headed by Pro League CEO Dexter
Skeene as part of the league s initiative Bridging
the Gap---Partnering for Progress. Also included
the league s general secretary Julia Baptiste and
chairman of the TTFA referee s department, Bryan
Ramdhan revealed that a lot of new and ongoing
initiatives are part of the referee s department s
four-year plan towards improving the standard
and image of refereeing.
The 53-year-old businessman and former Fifa
referee highlighted that "there will be a promotion
and demotion system" in effect from this sea-
"It wouldn t be like that past, where the same
referees will be seen at the Pro League level," he
"Only referees that have passed the mandatory
fitness tests, once every three months will referee
in the Pro League. No one failing the tests will
be allowed to referee at the top. Instead they would
have to referee at the division below and so on.
"It was refreshing for Skeene on hearing that.
He was impressed by the work of the referee s
department behind the scenes.
"It wouldn t happen overnight, but I have a
plan for the next four years and it involves training
the referees at the highest level, while the same
sort of developmental work is done at different
levels, such as the Super League and zone foot-
Ramdhan who boasts a 25-year refereeing career,
officiating at estimated 170 internationals, one of
which was a Fifa 1998 World Cup match (Japan
versus Croatia) and another the Concacaf Gold
Cup Final in the same year, divulged more inter-
This season referees will don new kits specific
to leagues, and also the brand of kit sponsor,
National Lotteries Controls Board (NLCB).
"I wanted to improve the image of the referees
and for the first time we have a kit sponsor,"
Ramdhan explained. "Specific uniforms with the
Pro League logo will be worn at games. It will be
the new image of the referees in the Pro League.
"I asked for certain things to be done on the
Pro League end, in giving referees their space for
the development of proper referring and serving
the game the way as it should be.
"We have also maintained existing rates (charged
for refereeing) to help our contribution to the
league. So we are working together for the good
of the game. I also offered my services to do a
seminar for clubs and supporters with material
that I have on the laws on the game by FIFA. It s
good to educate both sides. Similarly we would
like that coaches have a session for referees in
sharing some of their concerns."
The former Fifa referee development officer
also supports playing Pro League matches at com-
munity grounds, which the league intends to do
from time to time during the 2013-2014 season
"I have been wondering why that hasn t been
so all along. I believe if you do that, it will attract
people to the football. That s a step in the right
direction," said Ramdhan.
...falls 2-0 at home to Arabe Unido
Stefano Rijssel of W
Connection, left, is
tackled by Angel
Patrick of Arabe Unido
during a Concacaf
group stage clash, at
the Hasely Crawford
Spain, on Thursday
night. W Connection
dropped out of
contention for a spot
in the knockout phase
with a 2-0 loss against
the visitors. PHOTO:
No knockout action
for W Connection
Arabe Unido 2 (Luis Fraiz 28th, Abdiel
Arroyo 60th) vs W Connection 0
W Connection: Alejandro Figueroa (GK),
Joevin Jones (capt), Kurt Frederick, Gerard
Williams, Daneil Cyrus, Celio Da Silva, Hashim
Arcia (Neil Benjamin Jr 69th), Leslie Russell
(Jamal Clarence 65th), Joao Jordao, Stefano
Rijssel (Jomal Williams 57th), Jerrel Britto.
Unused substitutes: Julani Archibald, Silvio
Spann, Mekeil Williams, Christian Ocoro
Coach: Stuart Charles Fevrier
Arabe Unido: Miguel Lloyd (GK), Fidel Caesar
(capt), Luis Fraiz, Roderick Paul (Enrico Small
88th), Rigoberto Nino, Angel Patrick, Abdiel
Arroyo (David Daniels 85th), Orlando
Rodriguez (Humberto Ward 54th), Jose
Gonzalez, Harold Cummings, Alejandro Velez.
Unused substitutes: Alexander Andreve
(GK), Reinaldo Anderson, Brayan Florez, Felix
Coach: Jahir Palacios
NLCB sponsors TT
Pro League refs
...better officiating on the agenda
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