There were opening day victories for Bodden Town FC, USR Saint-Rose, Inter Moengo Tapoe and SV Real Rincon as the inaugural CONCACAF Caribbean Shield got underway in Santiago, Dominican Republic on Friday.
Powering their way to the biggest win on the day were Inter Moengo of Suriname as they whipped Aruba's SV Deportivo Nacional 5-0 in the opening game of a Group A double header at the Estadio Cibao.
Inter Moengo stormed out of the starting blocks with a 2nd minute goal by Romeo Castiel who chased onto a ball unmarked and lobbed the Nacional goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.
Nacional did their best to contain their opponents but fell further behind on 32 minutes through a goal by Donnegy Fer. That item dismantled the Aruban side and they would concede two further goals in quick succession before the half time break. Stefano Rijssel in the 34th and Miguel Darson in the 36th left Inter Moengo sitting comfortably with a 4-0 lead at the interval. Eduard Sergino would complete the rout in the 66th minute.
Head Coach Jozef Joekoe was delighted with his team's emphatic win, saying they were well prepared for the opposition.
"It's a great win for us to start the competition. We came here knowing that we had to be well prepared and that a win in the first game would be crucial for our chances of advancing to the next round," Joekoe said. "This will give us a boost. We are grateful for the opportunity to be taking part in the Caribbean Shield and we have a strong desire to be successful. This is a major boost for us at the moment," he added.
In the other encounter at Estadio Cibao, Guadeloupe's USR Sainte-Rose had to hold off a stubborn Weymouth Wales FC of Barbados to come away 2-1 winners. Steeve Desert opened the scoring for USR in the 27th minute but Weymouth kept themselves in the match, pressing USR for long periods before eventually tying the scores in the 47th minute through Hadan Holligan. Both teams kept their shape with neither side allowing the other to take total control of proceedings. But Romuald Lundy would turn out the hero for USR, grabbing a 78th minute deciding item to earn his team their first three points.
USR head coach Marie-Anne Louis later described the win as crucial for his side.
"Today I am happy to see the way we fought until the end of the match. It was an even contest but our team played with a lot of heart and determination and the result finished in our favour. I think the win was very important because the other club from Suriname also had a victory in the first match so we knew it was very important for us to win our match as well in other to have a good chance of advancing," Louis said.
In other matches at PUCMM,Bodden Town of Cayman Islands pulled off a 2-1 victory over Cayon Rockets FC of St Kitts/Nevis in Group C action. Ricoh Brown put Bodden 1-0 ahead in the 34th and substitute Charlo McLean struck the winner in the 81st minute to cancel out Evansroy Barnes' 65th minute equaliser for Cayon FC.
In the other Group C encounter at PUCMM,Centro Dominguito of Curacao were 2-1 winners over Club Franciscain of Martinique . Samuel Matheus notched a pair of goals in the 4th and 88th minutes with Djenhael Mainge getting on the scoresheet for Franciscan.
In the lone Group B match at Universidad ISA, SV Real Rincon of Bonaire got the better of Grenada's Hard Rock Sports Club 3-1.Joshua Anthony Seinpaal grabbed a double in the 57th and 59th minutes while teammate Frederick Piar added a third item in the 66th to leave Rincon 3-0 ahead. Keno Alexander pulled a goal back for Hard Rock in the 73rd minute.
Matches in the three groups will continue on Sunday.