Trinidad and Tobago's Joe Public FC advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League group stage with a convincing 4-0 victory against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday night.
Gregory Richardson scored a hat trick and Roen Nelson added a goal as Joe Public became the first Caribbean team to advance past an MLS team in a CONCACAF club competition, winning the two-leg series 6-1 on aggregate after a 2-1 victory last week in Trinidad and Tobago. Joe Public now moves on to Group C in the Champions League alongside Mexico’s Atlante FC, CD Olimpia of Honduras and Canada’s Impact de Montreal. Joe Public's next outing is away to Impact on September 17.
"It's a remarkable night for Joe Public and a historic result for our club football in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean," said club chairman Jack Warner. "I mean to go to the home stadium and beat the top ranked American club team must be a feat that cannot go unnoticed. I am extremely proud of the entire team."
Bermudan Khano Smith partnered reserve striker Brandon Manzonelli up top. Michael Parkhurst had the night off as Gabriel Badilla and Amaechi Igwe partnered in the center of defense.
The Revs attack had a makeshift look to it and it showed in the opening stages as the team struggled to get forward. Some neat interplay helped the Revs keep possession, but there wasn't much in the way of danger in the early stages.
Joe Public looked content to hit the Revs on the break with their pace. That tactic paid off after 17 minutes. Wolry Wolfe collected a loose ball in midfield and slipped a ball through the Revs backline. Richardson surged through Igwe and Badilla, latched on the pass and deposited into the far side netting to give Joe Public a shock lead.
Needing a minimum of two goals to force extra time, New England started to inch forward in search of goals. Combination play from Wells Thompson and Manzonelli created a corner kick opportunity that ended up astray.
Shalrie Joseph should have tied the score after 36 minutes after Jay Heaps played a ball into his run. Joseph walked in along the byeline, but dragged his shot wide from a tight angle.
Joe Public hadn't given up on getting the killer second goal on the counterattack. Wolfe forced Reis to palm over the bar minutes before the break. The "Eastern Lions" continued to settle and got the killer second goal before the break.
Richardson on the stroke of halftime to effectively end the tie. He collected from a throw-in on the right side of the penalty area, skipped around Badilla and shot high to the near post past the cheating Reis to place his goal on the highlight reels. The goal sent the Revs from the field to the boos of the Gillette Stadium faithful as all hope had gone in the first 45 minutes.
Things didn't improve after the break as Joe Public added their third after three minutes. Nelson missed a boatload of chances in the first leg down in Trinidad, but rectified that with a simple finish here. Richardson again provided the impetus as he cut inside and pulled back for Nelson to sidefoot past Reis from just outside the area.
The Revs improved a bit after the third goal with the game well and truly gone, pushing up the field. Joseph went off for a substitute with Saturday's match in Columbus in Steve Nicol's mind, but chances were still hard to find.
Richardson added his third when Silan Spann created some space for him and he finished to the far post with a thumping strike to end the scoring.
But the night ended in misery for Heaps after he was issued his second yellow card in the 90th minute.
"I think it is a great night for us but already we have to look ahead to the next stage of the tournament. We want to continue this run but for all of us this second consecutive win was well deserved and came after long hard run of preparations. Everyone involves deserves to savor the win," said Joe Public and Barbados-born head coach Keith Griffith (September 2,2008/AP Photo shows goalscorer Richardson celebrating one of his goals.)
Scoring Summary (courtesy mls.net)
JPF – Gregory Richardson (Wolry Wolfe) 17
JPF – Gregory Richardson (unassisted) 45
JPF – Roen Nelson (Gregory Richardson) 48
JPF – Gregory Richardson (Silas Spann) 81
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Chris Tierney, Amaechi Igwe, Gabriel Badilla, Jay Heaps, Mauricio Castro, Shalrie Joseph © (Rob Valentino 68), Jeff Larentowicz (Pat Phelan 46), Wells Thompson, Khano Smith, Brandon Manzonelli (Joe Germanese 72)
Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren (GK), Chris Albright, Brandon Tyler, Sainey Nyassi
STATS: Shots 10; Shots on Goal 4; Saves 3; Corner Kicks 2; Offside 1; Fouls Committed 14
Joe Public FC: Alejandro Figueroa (GK), Jason Springer (Lyndon Andrews 85), Keyeno Thomas, Christopher Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell (Silas Spann 72), Wolry Wolfe, Dale Saunders ©, Arnold Dwarika, Kerry Baptiste, Roen Nelson (Jamal Gay 76), Gregory Richardson
Substitutes Not Used: Andre Foster (GK), Gary Glasgow, Elusma Pierre, Kerry Noray
STATS: Shots 9; Shots on Goal 7; Saves 4; Corner Kicks 3; Offside 5; Fouls Committed 13
JPF – Dale Saunders (caution) 13
NE – Jay Heaps (caution) 78
NE – Gabriel Badilla (caution) 88
NE – Jay Heaps (second caution/ejection) 90
Referee: Steve DePiero
Referee’s Assistants: Hector Vergara (SAR), Daniel Belleau (JAR)
Fourth Official: Mark Geiger
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: 67 and cloudy