Central FC post first win, stay alive in Champions League

Port of Spain, Sep 19 (IANS) Central FC kept their CONCACAF Champions League dreams alive when they edged out Comunicaciones 1-0 in their Group D clash here.

Without a win in the tournament in two previous outings, the Trinidad and Tobago club on Friday got a second half goal from Ataullah Guerra to break their poor run of results and earn their first points, reports CMC.

They were forced to play the last 26 minutes of the game with 10 men after Darrell Mitchell was sent off but managed to ensure the scoreline remained intact.

The victory for Central was a crucial one. They were hammered 5-1 by Major League Soccer giants LA Galaxy in their opening group game on August 6 and fell to a 1-0 defeat to Comunicaciones three weeks later.

Friday’s win saw them leapfrog Comunicaciones into second on three points on goal difference while unbeaten Galaxy led the group with six points.

Entering the contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Central FC found themselves on the back foot as the Guatemalan side pressed from early on.

Brandon De Leon tested their defence as early as the opening minute but goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams pushed the shot wide for a corner and in the 19th minute, Emilliano Lopez shot just wide of the far post.

Just before half-time, Williams was once again called into action to deny Lopez.

The game went to the break at nil-all but it was Central FC who went ahead at 61 minutes when Mitchell forced a save out of goalkeeper Mynor Padilla only for Guerra to fire home the rebound from 17 yards out.

Minutes later, Mitchell was dismissed for a tackle on Rolando Blackburn but Central FC did enough to hold on for the win with ten men.

Central FC will host Galaxy here next Wednesday.

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