- After scoring the goal, I felt that I had all of the fans around me and they were celebrating this victory with me”
MIAMI, Florida – Ose Charles will never forget the moment when he stepped up to take Arcahaie’s fourth penalty attempt in their shootout with Forge FC in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League.
If the 20-year-old MF converted, he would send Arcahaie to the SCL semifinals and also punch the club’s ticket to the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League for the first time ever.
But Charles did not feel alone in that moment as he stared down Forge GK Triston Henry. In fact, it was as if he had the entire Arcahaie fan base giving him strength to convert the winning kick.
“Before I kicked the penalty, I felt all of the fans on my back. I told myself that I had to shoot and make the penalty for all of the fans. That’s the feeling I had before the penalty. After scoring the goal, I felt that I had all of the fans around me and they were celebrating this victory with me,” said Charles in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
Arcahaie’s 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Forge FC now sets up a semifinal date with Costa Rican giants Deportivo Saprissa next Wednesday in Costa Rica.
It was been a magical run for Arcahaie in the 2020 SCL and they are keen to continue it until next month’s Final.
“This experience has meant a lot for this team. It is a golden opportunity for us. The only thing that we want now and what we are looking for is to qualify for the Final. We know that Saprissa is a good team, but we are going to play our game and try to reach the next round. That is the only thing we are thinking about right now,” said Charles.
There will be a big change in the Saprissa side that takes the field on Wednesday. FW Johan Venegas, who has scored all six of Saprissa’s goals thus far in the tournament, exited the club over the winter break.
The fact that the Ticos won’t be able to rely on the all-time leading scorer in SCL history is a big boost for Arcahaie.
“It is a good thing for Arcahaie that Venegas is not there and won’t be playing against us. We are going to play our game. We know that Saprissa is a good team. We have good players in our team and we are going to stay focused in the semifinal and try to get to the Final,” said Charles.
Not only is it an important moment for Arcahaie and Haitian football, but also for Caribbean football as a whole. Arcahaie are the first Caribbean team to reach the final four of the SCL and the first Caribbean team in a Concacaf semifinal since the Puerto Rico Islanders were in the semifinals of the 2008-09 SCCL.
The significance of that is not lost on Charles and his teammates.
“It means a lot for Arcahaie. We have been waiting a long time for this moment and we have worked hard for it. We will enjoy this moment first and play for all of the Caribbean teams. The objective remains the same: to go to the Final and win the Final,” concluded Charles.