Arabe Unido defeats wasteful Connection 2-0 in crucial Concacaf Champions League clash

Photo shows Arabe Unido forward Abdiel Arroyo against Houston Dynamo in the first leg on August 27 (courtesy W Connection's attempts to advance out of the Concacaf Champions League group stage struck a dead end on Thursday night after the Trinidad and Tobago club suffered a 2-0 defeat against visiting Arabe Unido.

Connection were disappointing in front of goal, but the same couldn't be said about the Panamanians at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

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 defeated 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 1 with just 1 point and out of the race for a quarter-final spot.

Forward Jerrel Britto had three early opportunities for Connection; first flicking a Stefano Rijssel cross wide of the far post in the 8th 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 himself.

Jose Gonzalez then broke the offside trap in the 23 minute for Arabe and had a try at goal but goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa was unbeatable. And a minute later the Connection goalie thwarted an effort by Fidel Caesar.

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 opportunity to level the score but a free Britto was late to react when a Joevin Jones free-kick which 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 Llyod, but Rijssel's slidding attempt at the back post was late.

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 a substitute Jomal Williams' head-on inside the area.

Arabe Unido Head Coach Jahir PalaciosThe Stuart Charles Fevrier coached-Connection then conceded its second item on the hour mark when Arroyo, who was set free by an excellent through-ball on the counterattack, out-raced 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 goalie 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 just wide.

Moments earlier Connection were lucky not to concede in the 76th minute when a neat heeled pass by Rigoberto Nino allowed Angel Patrick a go at goal, and in the 89th minute substitute Enrico Small found the root of the upright.

In the end Arabe, jumped to the top of the group with 6 points, two ahead of Dynamo (4 points) which defeated them 2-1 in the first leg on August 27.

"First we have to thank God for this victory," said Arabe's Colombian coach Jahir Palacios during the post match media briefing.

"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 were a lot more aggressive than when both teams met in Panama.

Arabe will next host Dynamo on October 24 to wrap up their group fixtures.

W Connection 0 - 2 Arabe Unido
Luis Fraiz 28', Abdiel Arroyo 60'

W Connection - 21. Alejandro Figueroa (G), 10. Joevin Jones (C)(Yellow Card), 2. Kurt Frederick, 3. Gerard Williams(Yellow Card), 4. Daneil Cyrus, 6. Celio Da Silva, 14. Hashim Arcia(65. Neil Benjamin Jr. 69th minute), 19. Leslie Russell(17. Jamal Clarence 65th minute), 24. Joao Jordao, 26. Stefano Rijssel(40. Jomal Williams 57th minute), 31. Jerrel Britto

Unused substitutes - 18. Julani Archibald, 7. Silvio Spann, 15. Mekeil Williams, 25. Christian Ocoro Viveros

Coach - Stuart Charles Fevrier

Arabe Unido - 1. Miguel Lloyd (G)(Yellow Card), 3. Fidel Caesar (C), 4. Luis Fraiz, 5. Roderick Paul(11. Enrico Small 88th minute), 6. Rigoberto Nino, 8. Angel Patrick, 9. Abdiel Arroyo(21. David Daniels 85th minute), 10. Orlando Rodriguez(14. Humberto Ward 54th minute), 12. Jose Gonzalez, 30. Harold Cummings, 88. Alejandro Velez

Unused substitutes - 13. Alexander Andreve (G), 2. Reinaldo Anderson, 15. Brayan Florez, 26. Felix Gondola

Coach - Jahir Palacios