San Juan Jabloteh falls just short of Caribbean objective

Action from the Caribbean Club Championship final between San Juan Jabloteh (left) and Cibao FC on May 21, 2017, in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: CA-Images)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – Unfortunately, for San Juan Jabloteh, the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship (CCC) finals happened to fall during its preseason period.

Despite knowing the challenge such a reality would pose, the TT Pro League club’s expectations of lifting the trophy were high.

That dream, though, fell short on Sunday night, when Jabloteh dropped a 1-0 decision in the final to the Dominican Republic’s Cibao FC on Richard Dabas’ 30th-minute goal.

Head coach Keith Jeffrey put the result down to execution

“At the end of the day, a game is 90 minutes,” he said. “The first 45, it took a little while to adjust to what the team (Cibao FC) had to offer. In the second 45, I think, overall, we were the better team. We just didn’t execute the way we were supposed to. We didn’t execute and you must execute to win matches.”

It was the San Juan Kings only loss in six 2017 CCC games and the first time it failed to score after hitting the back of the net 18 times.

“Sometimes in football, you do all the nice things and the results just don’t go your way,” commented Jeffrey. “When you look overall at the game, I think Jabloteh did enough to win the game. We just didn’t execute.”

While San Juan Jabloteh’s first and only Caribbean crown was acquired in 2003, Cibao did the same in only two years of existence.

Jeffrey was gracious to the region’s new champion: “Congratulations to Cibao…for a team, two- to three-years-old, and being to pull off [being] the Caribbean side at the CONCACAF.”

As a result of finishing runner-up, San Juan Jabloteh qualified for the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, while Cibao FC will compete in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.