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Digicel 2010 Caribbean Soccer Championship  News

Caribbean Soccer at its Best

Jamaica Reggae Boyz defeat Guadeloupe to retain Digicel Cup

by Aldwyn McGill

Sunday, December 5th 2010 Jamaica Reggae Boyz retained the Digicel Caribbean Cup after defeating Guadeloupe 5-4 on penalty kicks .

The final was a nail biting affair as the teams remained deadlock at one apiece from halftime to the end of overtime and took the penalty kicks down to the wire.

 

The Digicel Caribbean Cup soccer Championship final was played at the Pierre Aliker stadium in Dillon, Martinique and was watched worldwide on the concacaf.com network. It was a well attended final that attracted scouts from throughout the region

With scouts in the midst it was only fitting that Jamaica Reggae Boyz striker Omar Cummings was on hand to showcase his talent. Cummings plays for the Colorado Rapids in the MLS and may be picked up by a team in Mexico or Europe sometime soon.

 

However, to expedite his case Cummings scored the opening goal from a neat set up by Luton Shelton in the 26 minute which should bolster his stocks. But Guadeloupe came into the game pumped and was not going down without a fight.

 

It was the second meeting of the teams. Guadeloupe had lost to Jamaica at the group stage 2-0, after a scoreless first half and allowing a goal in injury time. The French was prepared. Four minutes after the Reggae Boyz surged ahead, Guadeloupe captain Stephane Auvrey equalized.

 

Captain Auvrey had returned to the team line up after serving a game suspension for accumulation of yellow cards and his contribution in the midfield was invaluable. The teams went into the half tied 1-1 and the game remained tied after regulation and overtime.

 

In the seventy-five plus minutes there was no defining moment to separate the teams. It was a fitting end to the three month tournament as the KO stage was play to a higher standard and more competitive.

 

At the group stage the defending champions was going through it opposition like a hot knife through butter while Cuba ran away with Group H. But domination stopped at the semi final when Guadeloupe upset Cuba 2-1 and Jamaica grind out a 2-1 overtime win over Grenada.

 

Grenada contested every ball against Jamaica and competed right down to the end which included an overtime period. The Reggae Boyz eventually score in overtime to win the game 2-1. In the match for third Cuba defeated Grenada 1-0.  

 

The final four also advance to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States but until November 2012 the Reggae Boyz are the deserving 2010 champions of the Caribbean and should give the other teams in the Gold Cup a run for their money next summer.  

 

The Reggae Boyz was the most consistent team at the Digicel Caribbean Championship and finished the tournament as the only team without a loss. However, one area which coach Theodore Whitmore has to work on with his team is discipline.

 

What I witness at the 2009 Gold Cup against Costa Rica in Ohio occurred again against Grenada in the semi final match. The Reggae Boyz got a straight red card. In Ohio it was Rodolph Austin and in Martinique it was Sergio Campbell.

 

On both occasion the Reggae Boyz had to struggle after the red. Luckily in Martinique it had a 2-1 lead and could have held on for the win. In Ohio, the Reggae Boyz was not as fortunate and gave up a goal after Austin's ejection. It turned out to be a 1-0 final score in favor of Costa Rica and the Boyz was eliminated.  

 

Without these incidents, Jamaica can continue to enjoy success. Since the 2009 Gold Cup Austin has matured and was the Digicel Championship MVP. He was also a force against Canada and may be one of the upcoming leaders of the Reggae Boyz at the forceful age of 26.

 

Austin plays for the Norwegian Premier League side Brann, after attempts by Stoke City to acquire him failed in 2009 as he was refused a work permit. But Brann has been a good developing curve for Austin who has turned into a dynamite player for Jamaica.

 

Coach Whitmore also deserves a lot of credit for making that adjustment for the big game. His team was patient in the final and stayed the course. If these type of calm and collective effort continues for Jamaica, the Reggae Boyz fans will have to continue their cheers for the future.

 

Kicking first and down to its fifth penalty Troy Smith scored while Guadeloupe’s fifth penalty was shot wide by Lamboude. Besides the Caribbean championship trophy Jamaica received a cheque for 120,000USD which is the largest cash prize for football in the region.

 

Guadeloupe, got 70,000 USD as runners up, while Cuba and Grenada received 50,000USD and 30,000USD respectively for third and fourth place.  Congratulation Jamaica, you are the King of the Caribbean soccer.  

 

www.digicelfootball.com DIGICEL CHAMPIONSHIP REPORT

Sunday, December 5th 2010

– Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique: Jamaica retained their Digicel Caribbean Cup crown in a magnificent game that ended in penalties after a 1-1 draw and extra time

The Digicel Caribbean Cup Final, watched across the Caribbean, USA and Worldwide on www.digicelfootball.com, packed the Pierre Aliker stadium in Dillon, Martinique for what turned out to be a cracking finale to the 3 month tournament, the centre piece of Caribbean football, which is the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

Having lost to Jamaica in their Group I encounter, Guadeloupe started the match at a ferocious pace and with skipper Stephane Auvrey reinstated to his midfield berth after his semi final suspension due to yellow cards accumulation, the midfield battle was being won early by the French.

The defending champions however were not to be outclassed and with Dane Richards looking threatening going forward there was always the skill and experience of the Reggae Boyz that caused an immense and constant threat.

Collet was an ever imposing threat on the left for Guadeloupe as his sweet left foot tried to find Gendrey on more than one occasion but the Jamaican defence marshalled by skipper Thomas were standing tall and dealing well with the attacks.

Joint golden boot leader Dane Richards had a great chance on 26 minutes after a decisive run down the right and cut back by Eric Vernan which fell to Richards perfectly, and just as he was about to pull the trigger, three French defenders threw themselves at the ball to protect the goal.

The deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute when Austin’s run and cross down the right found Shelton at the back post whose delicate header back across goal was hooked into the roof of the net by an industrious Cummings who wiggled in front of the Guadeloupian defence to push the Reggae Boyz in front one goal to the good.

Guadeloupe were not going to fade away from this game, not in front of a massive “home crowd” cheering them on, and 4 minutes later they were level.

Hanany played a through ball to Gotin, and as the French striker came onto the bouncing ball just inside the right side of the box, he did not have to break stride as he smashed his half volley thundering past Miller in the Jamaican goal.

Cue hysterics in the crowds. Game on.

The second half started at the same ferocious pace and with both teams looking to take the edge the ball whisked from one end to the other. On 59 minutes another incisive run by Larry Clavier set up Collet on the edge of the box, and with the ball positioned favouring his left foot he curled the ball inches wide of the mark to the collective gasp of the large crowd.

Luton Shelton had lacked some quality service for the opening period of the second half as Guadeloupe controlled the midfield battle with Auvrey, Collet and Hanany really stamping their authority on the game. The one time Shelton did get in behind it took a last ditch intervention from Guadeloupe after a clever cute back from an acute angle by Shelton to prevent a Jamaican goal.

Jamaica had their best chance on 80 mins when Shelton fed Richards and just when the top Jamaican goal scorer looked like he was clean through, his first touch amazingly let him down to save the French from what would have been a certain goal. Despite Richards efforts to feed Cummings, the Reggae boyz failed to beat the front post and the chance went a begging.

With 2 minutes left of the 90 regulation minutes, Gendrey decided to take matters into his own hands and when he collected the ball on the wide right, his decisive dribble led to a thunderbolt strike from 20 yards that just flew inches over the bar to have the crowd on their feet.

As we entered additional time, Jamaica had their chance to win it, as Richards laid the ball off to Austin who side footed the ball into the grateful arms of Bus from 12 yards even though he probably had one of the fiercest strikes of a ball on the pitch.

With the two giants deadlocked at full time we entered extra time with Guadeloupe winning the toss and electing to keep the positioning status quo.

On 96 minutes Clavier’s dead ball effort from 14 yards deflected off the wall and when it seemed it may trickle in at the far post just when the far side for a corner much to the relief of the Reggae Boyz netminder.

Austin then showed just how ferocious his shots can be when he arched his hips over the ball that broke to him on the edge of the box and smashed his effort toward the bottom left corner of the French net. But Bus was in majestic form as he got down low to turn the ball around the post for a corner kick when it seemed the ball was going to squeeze home.

As we entered the second half of extra time the fiercely competitive sides were relentless and it was a testament to their stamina and condition as it was their fifth game in eight days.

Clavier had the chance to win it in extra time for Guadeloupe as he was fed by Auvray after a skillful run down the right led to his cut back to the French winger on the edge of the box but his shot was scuffed wide and away.

The two teams could not be separated and into penalties we went.

Guadeloupe won the toss and elected to shoot second. Rodolph Austin went first for Jamaica and scored followed by Clavier who made it all square. Shelton converted for Jamaica next followed by Gendrey for Guadeloupe. Woodbine and Collet traded scores before Vernan made it 4 for Jamaica. Currier put the French level before Smith made it 5 for 5 for Jamaica. Lamboude then stepped up and out his spot kick wide to the devastation of the home crowd.

Jamaica were crowned as the champions of the Digicel Cup for the fifth time and the second consecutive tournament. With it they win top prize of USD$120,000 and the coveted glory of Caribbean champions

Guadeloupe came a valiant second and qualify to the CONCAF Gold Cup and go home with USD$70,000

The Digicel Cup Finals were played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on www.digicelfootball.com. Voting continues for the Digicel Player of the tournament until Monday 13th December.
Jamaica: 13. Dwayne Miller 4 Shavar Thomas (Captain) (5. O’Brian Woodbine 117 mins) 6 Jermaine Taylor 8. Eric Vernan 14. Omar Cummings 2. Richard Edwards (7. Lovel Palmer 68 mins) 11 Dane Richards 16. Troy Smith 17 Rodolph Austin 19 Adrian Reid (18. Kenell Moodie 84 mins) 21 Luton SheltonCoach: Theodore Whitmore

Guadeloupe: 1 Yohann Bus 18 Eddy Viator 4 Ulick Lupede 6 Stephane Auvray (Captain) 12. Cedric Collet 19. Larry Clavier 13 Jean Luc Lomboude 14 Julien Ictoi 17 Larry Hanany (8. Fabien Bolson 78 mins) 9. Ludovic Gotin (11. Mickael Antoine- Currier 105mins) 10. Gregory Gendrey Coach: Roger Salnot

Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (Suriname) Assistant Referee 1: Adrian Goddard (Barbados) Assistant Referee 2: Ramon Louisville (Suriname) Match Commissioner: Hubert Isenia (Curacao)

Digicel Caribbean Championship 2010 Report

Group H

GP

W

D

L

+/-

PTS

Cuba

3

2

0

0

3:0

7

Grenada

3

1

2

0

2:1

5

Trinidad & Tobago

3

0

1

2

1:3

3

Martinique

3

0

1

2

1:3

1

26.11.2010

Trinidad & Tobago - Cuba

0:2 (0:1)

Pierre Aliker, Martinique

26.11.2010

Martinique -Grenada

1:1 (0:1)

Pierre Aliker, Martinique

28.11.2010

Grenada- Trinidad & Tobago

1:0

Pierre Aliker, Martinique

28.11.2010

Martinique  - Cuba

0:1

Pierre Aliker, Martinique

30.11.2010

Cuba - Grenada

0:0

Pierre Aliker, Martinique

30.11.2010

Martinique- Trinidad & Tobago

 0:1

Pierre Aliker, Martinique

Group B

Group I

GP

W

D

L

+/-

PTS

Jamaica

3

3

0

0

10:1

9

Guadeloupe

3

1

0

1

2:3

4

Antigua & Barbuda

3

0

1

1

1:3

3

Guyana

3

0

0

2

1:6

1

26.11.2010

Guyana - Guadeloupe

1:1 (1:1)

Riviere Pilote Stadium Mart

26.11.2010

Jamaica - Antigua & Barbuda

4:1 (2:0)

Riviere Pilote Stadium Mart

29.11.2010

Antigua & Barbuda- Guyana

1:0

Riviere Pilote Stadium Mart

29.11.2010

Guadeloupe - Jamaica

0:2

Riviere Pilote Stadium Mart

01.11.2010

Guadeloupe - Antigua & Barbuda

1:0

Riviere Pilote Stadium Mart

01.12.2010

Guyana- Jamaica

0:4

Riviere Pilote Stadium Mart

 

Semi Final 1 03/12/2010 17:30 Pierre Aliker,
Dillon
Cuba Winner H 1:2  Guadeloupe Runner-up I 
Semi Final 2 03/12/2010 20:30 Jamaica Winner I  2:1 Grenada        Runner-up H 
3rd Place 05/12/2010 16:00 Cuba Loser SF 2  1:0 Grenada            Loser SF 1 
FINAL 05/12/2010 19:00 Jamaica Winner SF 1 1:1 4-5 PK Guadeloupe  Winner SF 2 


Group H (third match) digicelfootball.com

Martinique vs Trinidad and Tobago-Tuesday, November 30th 2010–Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique: Trinidad & Tobago exited the Digicel Cup Finals tournament with a win as they overcame a feeble Martinique side in what was the final game for both teams as they propped up Group H of the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

With both sides knowing that their Digicel Cup journey was over, they took to the field to ensure their sense of pride was restored somewhat as they looked to gain a first victory.
For Martinique the pressure of a home crowd was daunting but for the Trinidad coach, Russell Latapy, it may be more a question of his position as leader should they fail to impress in their final game.

While Gustan was again looking dangerous for the French it was Jorsling who had the first real chance of the match after a fine run and cross by Hector put the forward in a one on one with keeper Heurlie, but his lobbed effort was tame and was cleared easily.

Molino was next up for Trinidad when he raced clean through from the right wing but he seemed to see his name in headlines first as he dragged his shot wide of the far post when he had time to at least make Heurlie work to save his effort.

Trinidad started the second half with the same tenacity and were rewarded after only 2 minutes of the restart when Hughtun Hector came on to a precise cut back from the right by Wolfe, and side footed his effort with great confidence into the top left corner of the French net.

On 64 minutes Trinidad should have made it 2 when Keon Daniel laid a golden chance for Jorsling who miskicked from 5 yards and saw his bobbled effort go wide when it seemed simpler to score. On 68 minutes Parsemain had the best French chance of the half but his header failed to go between the two posts and yet another French attack came to nothing.

Jorsling again had a chance for Trinidad on 74 mins but his valiant diving header after a great cross from skipper Leon was meat and drink for Heurlie.

Heurlie was again the hero 4 minutes later as Jagdeosingh, only on the pitch 2 minutes, raced clean through for a one on one situation, but the keeper stood tall and waited until the last minute before making his decisive pounce to save.

And so it stayed until the end of the game as the Soca Warriors picked up their first win of the Digicel Finals to leave hosts Martinique rooted to the foot of Group H and along with their victors out of the Caribbean’s showcase football tournament, the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on www.digicelgroup.com.

Martinique: 24. Eddy Heurlie 3 Sebastien Cretinoir 4 Daniel Herelle 5 Patrick Percin ( Captain) (18. Gaetsan Sidney 46mins) 6. Joan Deluge 7 Steve Gustan 8. Rodrigue Audel 14 Fabrice Reuperne 9. Manuel Mence (19. Livaye Aliker 75 mins) 15 Rodrigue Cesar 10. Jose Goron (17. Kevin Parsemain 61mins) Coach: Jocelyn Germe

Trinidad &Tobago: 1 Marvin Phillip 2 Clyde Leon (C) 6. Daniel Cyrus 5 Kern Cupid (14 Joevin Jones 76 mins) 7. Hughton Hector 9 Devorn Jorsling (13. Jacky Berdix 71 mins) 10 Kevin Molino 11 Anthony Wolfe 12 Julius James 18 Densil Theobald 19 Keon Daniel (16 Kendall Jagdeosingh 76 mins) Coach: Russell Latapy
 

Referee: Trevor Taylor ( Barbados) Assistant Referee 1: Adrian Goddard (Barbados) Assistant Referee 2: Venton Mars (Guyana) Match Commissioner: Colin Klass (Guyana)


Group H (third match)

Cuba vs Grenada - Tuesday, November 30th 2010 – Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique:

Cuba and Grenada qualified to the Digicel semi finals in first and second place respectively from Group H in what was the poorest display of the beautiful game in some years to remember.

With both sides knowing a draw was required to preserve their positions at the summit of Group H and with it automatic qualification, neither team seemed to want to over attack in the opening half.

Cuba made 4 changes from their hard fought win over Martinique, some of which were due to suspensions, but the quality of their side was intact as they showed with relentless passing between the midfield and the back four.

The patient build ups were not threatening Grenada as the Cubans waited for an opening which was unlikely to be presented easily with skipper Modeste not in a charitable mood at the heart of the spice boys’ defence.

Cuba did get a few shots away in the first half but they were long range efforts that did no more than require keeper Baptiste to request a new ball from the Digicel ball boys.

The half time whistle went bang on 45 minutes and the unusual situation of not one minute of injury time was displayed to be required to be played. The crowd jeered and whistled their dissatisfaction at both sides who seemed content to train rather than play.

While I doubted it was possible, the second half seemed to get worse. The Cubans knocked the ball from left to right across midfield and never looked as if they would try to move forward. Grenada were complicit in this spectacle as they simply sat back and allowed their opponents keep the ball for fun.

The training session the day before would have been more exerting.

The game ended to be greeted by jeers and whistles from the crowd as was fitting for how this game was played. The only resort for this game was for it to be forgotten as quickly as possible, which would not prove difficult based on both teams display.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com
Cuba: 1 Odelin Molina Hernandez 2 Carlos D. Francisco Serrano 3 Jeniet Marquez Molina (Captain) 5. Jorge Tejeda 6 Yoel Colome 17. J. Valencia 10. Roberto Balmaseda 11 Sander Fernandez Cervantes 14 Aliannis Urgelles Montoya 15 Armando Curumeaux Isidoro 16 Reysandri Cervantez Coach: Raul Gonzalez Triana

Grenada: 1 Andre Baptiste 2 David Cyrus (5. Cassim Langaigne 46 mins) 4. Curt Rennie 11 Benedict Modeste (Captain) 7 Byron Bubb 8 Delroy Facey 9 Ricky Charles (14. Marcus Julien 46 mins)10 Kitson Bain 12 Bradley Bubb 17 Craig Rocastle (20 Shane Rennie 61 mins) 19 Patrick Modeste Coach: Franklyn Simpson
Referee: Raymond Bogle (Jamaica) Assistant Referee 1: Steven Browne (Jamaica) Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (Jamaica) Match Commissioner: Dale Spencer ( Jamaica)
 

Group I (second match) digicelfootball.com Report

Guadeloupe vs Jamaica-Monday, November 29th 2010 – Stade de Riviere Pilote, Martinique:


Jamaica maintained their 100% record in the Digicel Cup tonight with a comprehensive performance against a strong Guadeloupe side that now assures them of winning Group I and qualifying to the Digicel Cup semi finals.

Jamaica played with the slight advantage of the wind in the first half and were nearly in front after only a minutes play when Dale Richards took advantage of the elements and let fly from all of 20 yards only for his shot to be well saved by an alert Bus in the French goal.

Richards continued to cause a huge amount of trouble down the left and when his cross was met by an inrushing Shelton from the left, his header shaved the far post when it seemed as if the Jamaicans were about to take the lead.

Richards almost went it alone soon after when he won a dash for the ball with French keeper Bus but when he turned to lob the ball back in the direction of the goal, Mocka had managed to scramble back and safely headed the ball away on the line.

Jamaica looked comfortable on the ball and moved it around with confidence and a growing swagger. It seemed more likely they would open the scoring soon but could not under estimate their technically sound opponents.

Guadeloupe were being out matched in most areas of the field but they still had to concede a goal which allowed their confidence grow more as the half wore on. With 4 minutes to half time Gotin had their best chance of the half when he turned and lashed out at his shot from the right side of the goal 8 yards out, but his effort went harmlessly wide and Miller was not troubled.

The French started the second half a lot brighter than they did the first and with Auvray making incise runs into the box they started to look a real threat. On 52 minutes the French should have scored when Mocka played a delicate chipped cross between the Jamaican defence for Auvray to launch himself at the ball with a flying header but his effort went inches past the post.

The Reggae Boyz took their warning seriously and went straight down the other end and scored. That man again Dale Richards was yet again the thorn in the side for the French and his beautiful cross was met 8 yards out with a firm header that Shaun Francis met and planted into the corner. The young Francis turned and celebrated ecstatically in the corner, and rightly so as he notched his first ever senior goal for Jamaica in this his fourth appearance in the famous yellow shirt.

Jamaica were presented a gift to end this match as a contest when on 62 minutes Richards beat everyone to the ball and cut back for top scorer Shelton who somehow blasted over from 5 yards when he seemed destined to extend his lead in his search for the Digicel Golden Boot award.

Guadeloupe kept searching for the equalizer and the introduction of Collet with his wicked left foot added an attacking impetus that the French lacked in the first half. The Jamaicans responded with a calculated substitute of their own with coach Whitmore bringing on the big target man Johnson who was causing all sorts of trouble up front as he combined well with Shelton. Johnson had a chance to finish it off on 88 minutes after his strength saw him through two challenges before he smashed his shot off the legs of Bus in the Guadeloupe goal.

With time running out Guadeloupe had a free kick 20 yards out and well within striking range for dead ball specialist Jean Luc Lamboude. But when his free kick hit the wall, the Jamaicans broke with speed and after the French dallied in possession Johnson took full advantage of their reluctance to clear the ball and gleefully stroked Jamaica’s second goal home in injury time.

The result now assures the Reggae Boyz of qualification to the semi finals of the Digicel Cup and in top spot from Group I no matter what the other results, will mean their automatic qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2011.

Guadeloupe must now win their final game against Antigua and hope that Jamaica keep their 100% record against Guyana.
The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on www.digicelgroup.com.

Guadeloupe: 1 Yohann Bus 4 Ulick Lupede 5. Dominique Mocka 6 Stephane Auvray (Captain) 9. Ludovic Gotin (15. Livio Nabab 67 mins)13 Jean Luc Lomboude 18 Eddy Viator 14 Julien Ictoi 17 Larry Hanany (8. Fabien Belson 52 mins)19 Larry Clavier 20 Loic Loval
Coach: Roger Salnot

Jamaica: 13. Dwayne Miller 4 Shavar Thomas (Captain) 6 Jermaine Taylor 7 Lovel Palmer 10 Keammar Daley 11 Dane Richards (2. Richard Edwards 82 mins) 14 Omar Cummings (9. Ryan Johnson 65 mins) 15 Shaun Francis (16. Troy Smith 75 mins) 17 Rodolph Austin 19 Adrian Reid 21 Luton Shelton Coach: Theodore Whitmore

Referee: Walter Lopez (Guatemala) Assistant Referee 1: Egbert Paesch ( Aruba) Assistant Referee 2: Ramon Louisville (Suriname) Match Commissioner: Hubert Isenia (Curacao)

Group I (second match) digicelfootball.com Report

Antigua and Barbuda vs Guyana- Monday, November 29th 2010 – Stade de Riviere Pilote, Martinique: Antigua & Barbuda got off the mark in these Digicel Cup Finals with their first win, first clean sheet and first three points in Group I in windy conditions in Martinique over a tough Guyana side.

With both teams without a win yet in the Digicel Finals, Guyana and Antigua started this game very lively and looked to try to gain an early advantage. The unmistakable Peter Byers of Antigua, with his dyed red hair, had the first golden opportunity of the match after only 7 minutes when put clean through on goal for a one on one by Josh Parker. The former Canadian league pro failed to beat Williams in the Golden Jaguars however as his timid shot was easy pickings to the reinstated net-minder.

Jacobs was looking lively down the right flank for Guyana and his trickery got him into a good crossing position on more than one occasion only for the strong wind to scupper his attempted cross.

The elements played their part again on 33 minutes when Mack of Antigua saw his attempted cross be taken by the wind and, but for the alert attention of keeper Williams in the Guyana goal, would surely have swerved inside the front post.

On 41 minutes Parker struck a beautiful dead ball from the right and drilled it across goal. Someone must have told the Antiguans there was a shortage of shampoo as no player took the opportunity to dive and connect with a great chance for a headed goal.

The second half took much the same shape as the first with neither side looking as if they would create a chance as the two defences were again coming out on top.

On 61 mins Byers yet again had a chance to shoot and score but his shot yet again failed to live up to its promise as it dragged wide.

Guyana’s best chance arrived on 64 minutes as Jacobs raced through after being put clear by Gregory only for the Guyanese player to follow the same vein as Byers and put his effort wide of the mark.

The deadlock was broken on 69 minutes when Gason Gregory tried his luck from 25 yards and his left footed strike seemed to take the slightest of deflections from the melee of players in front of him to divert that ball past a wrong footed Williams in the Guyana goal.

Advantage Antigua. Game on.

Antigua almost doubled their advantage on 79 mins when Gason Gregory connected with a delicate chested knock down from Peter Byers only for his first time effort to be well saved by Williams with a strong right hand.

Guyana had their best chance on 85 minutes when Abrams was quickest in a dash to the ball with Antiguan netminder James, and when he crossed for Millington to head into an empty net, the Golden Jaguar saw his effort rebound off the post and then cleared from danger by a grateful defence.

That was the last chance for Guyana as Antigua held on for a deserved win and their opening 3 points for these Digicel Cup Finals.

While all teams will still be in with a chance, Guyana must feel they now have a mountain to climb as they will have to beat Jamaica and hope for positive results elsewhere in their final days game next Wednesday.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live TV streaming, live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com.

Antigua & Barbuda: 1 Molvin James 4 Karanja Mack 6 Joshua Parker (10. Desmind Bleau 46 mins) 7 Gason Gregory 12 Justin Cochrane 13 Kieran Murtagh 9 Kerry Skepple (14. Randolph Burton 58 mins) 17 George Dublin (Captain) 19 Martin McCoy 20 Akeem Thomas 16 Peter Byers (2. Ranja Christian 90 mins) Coach: Rowan Benjamin

Guyana: 1 Ronson Williams 3 Howard Lowe (Captain) 4 Chris Bourne 5 Walter Moore (9. Dwight Peters 72 mins)6 Jake Newton 7 Dwain Jacobs 10 Anthony Abrams (15. Shawn Beveney 66mins) 11 Kester Jacobs 13 Charles Pollard 18 Devon Millington (17. Warren Gilkes 90 mins) 19 Nigel Codrington Coach: Wayne Dover

Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (Suriname) Assistant Referee 1: Dion Neil (Trinidad & Tobago) Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Brown (St Kitts) Match Commissioner: Patrick Beckles ( Barbados)

Group H (second match) digicelfootball.com

Cuba 1 vs Martinique 0 - Sunday, November 28th 2010 – Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique:

Cuba made certain of yet another semi final spot and the first Caribbean berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2011 with a solid performance with nine men and a 1-0 win over a lethargic Martinique here in Stade Aliker Dillon in Martinique.

In what was a clash of the titans for Group H, a large crowd turned up in Dillon Martinique to witness the contenders for a semi final berth in action.

Cuba seemed more threatening at the start and on 12 minutes Duarte Pla was through on goal only to be thwarted by a superb save from Heurlie in the French goal.

Martinique gave the home support some cheer by looking good in attack and moving the ball well between Gustan and Reuperne in particular, but never seemed likely to get in behind the Cubans well organized defence.

But it was the big Cuban centre half stalwart Molina who opened the scoring on 28 minutes when he rose between two defenders at the near post to power home a Isidoro corner kick to leave the home crowned stunned in silence.

Cuba looked in control and Cervantes brought the best out of Heurlie with a fine save at his near post on 33 minutes. Things seemed to heat up and the tackles started to fly in and on 38 minutes Cuban star Campanioni was sent off for an off the ball incident as Reuperne rolled on the ground as if shot in the leg by a sniper from the roof. This did gave the French the impetus they required and Clement whipped in two wicked crosses from the left that were unlucky not to be slotted home.

It was Carole who had the best chance for the French on the stroke of half time when he cracked his shot from the edge of the box but it couldn’t beat Hernandez in the Cuban goal.

The second half started brightly but on 54 minutes Cuba were reduced to nine men when Cantillo was sent off in bizarre circumstances after he remonstrated with the referee who booked him for time wasting as he cleaned the ball for a long throw in.

Cuba organized quickly making two substitutions and going into a 4-3-1 formation but with the heavy numerical advantage Martinique began to seize control of the flow of the game.

The Cuban players were working tirelessly while the French were wasteful and unimaginative with all their added advantages and seemed to lack any idea of how to get about creating a chance for an equalizer. Instead lone striker Balmaseda looked likely to score for Cuba on the breakaways.

With time running out, Martinique were looking more and more desperate and the sense of frustration was emanating from the large home support who demanded and expected an equalizer. With ten minutes remaining Martinique moved to a 2-3-5 formation and when Gustan knocked the ball square across goal with no Martinique player in sight, it summed up the lack of a killer instinct in this side.

The clock eventually ran down and coach Germe from Martinique would surely have to be asked some hard questions after failing to outsmart the tactical approach the Cubans took when they were reduced to nine men so early on in the second half.

The result now leaves the Cubans guaranteed of qualification to the Digicel semi finals, with Martinique hoping to beat Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday and another strong result from Cuba over Grenada to have a chance.

Group H takes shape in the Digicel finals while Group I will have a clearer picture tomorrow night.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com

Martinique: 24. Eddy Heurlie 3 Sebastien Cretinoir 4 Daniel Herelle 5 Patrick Percin (Captain )7 Steve Gustan 11 Ludovic Clement 12 Stephane Suedile (9. Manuel Mence 69 mins)14 Fabrice Reuperne (10. Jose Goron 57mins)15 Rodrigue Cesar 17 Kevin Parsemain 18 Gaetan Sidney 20. Sebastien Carole (18. Gaetan Sidney 47 mins) Coach: Jocelyn Germe
 

Cuba: 1 Odelin Molina Hernandez 2 Carlos D. Francisco Serrano 3 Jeniet Marquez Molina 4 Hanier Dranguet Cantillo 6 Yoel Colome 7 Marcel Hernandez Companioni 8 Jaine Colome Valencia (C) 11 Sander Fernandez Cervantes (16 Reysandri Cervantez 60 mins) 14 Aliannis Urgelles Montoya 15 Armando Curumeaux Isidoro (13 Adonise Soler 83 mins) 19 Leonel Duarte Pla (10. Roberto Balmaseda 63 mins) Coach: Raul Gonzalez Triana
 

Referee: Trevor Taylor (Barbados) Assistant Referee 1: Venton Mars (Guyana) Assistant Referee 2: Stanley Lancaster (Guyana) Match Commissioner: Dale Spencer (Jamaica)Monday, November 29th 2010 – Fort de France, Martinique: As the Digicel Caribbean Cup finals 2010 continue in Martinique, Cuba are the first qualifiers assured of a semi-final berth in the Digicel Cup 2010. However, one of the Digicel Cup pre-tournament favourites, Trinidad & Tobago, shocked fans when they crashed out of the tournament last night after a second consecutive loss in the Group stage of the finals. Despite a very convincing qualification from Group F, with three undefeated matches – including hammering 2006 Digicel Cup champions, Haiti – the Soca Warriors attempts for the championship title came to a premature end following their 1-0 loss to Grenada. The team’s Coach, Russell Latapy, spoke exclusively to www.digicelfootball.com about his team’s efforts, what went wrong and what the future is for Trinidad & Tobago football.

“We are very disappointed,” says Trinidad coach, Latapy

Monday, November 29th 2010 – Fort de France, Martinique: “Firstly, I’m very disappointed. I thought that we had a squad of players that would go further in this tournament. As the coach I can speak for them and we are all disappointed. Firstly, we are disappointed by our performance in our first game and, secondly, by the results of the second game. It is easy to point fingers but the reality is we were much more prepared for the Group stages compared to these games. We never had an opportunity to play a friendly game which would have helped and we only had four training sessions together as a team and I suppose that showed. However, that’s only one aspect, and then there’s the other aspect – if you don’t score goals, you don’t win matches. We created enough opportunities – but finishing them is another story.

“I think in the first game we didn’t play as well as we could have, we were very disjointed compared to the last three games in Trinidad when we played as a unit and delivered much better overall. In the second game, I think we were much better, we were much more compact and we created enough opportunities. Grenada did score a wonderful goal but if you look at the stats, so many goals hit the post and, from there, they go anywhere but the Grenada goal went in so there is an element of luck. And, although I think you make your own luck – with willingness, desire and approach – sometimes things just don’t go your way. But when you look at the Grenada goal – if you gave that player 20 more chances to score like that again, it wouldn’t happen, however the second goal against Cuba wasn’t great defending.

“For the second game, it was basically a change of system. In terms of personnel, we had a couple of knocks and injuries so we wanted to bring in players who were physically 100% fit. We went 4-4-2 against Cuba and we weren’t compact enough, so we went 4-5-1 against Grenada and were a bit more compact. Again, we created opportunities but didn’t finish.

“The Caribbean teams have improved for reasons such as the way the game has changed and the coaching methods. Everyone is playing to a better level and the physical fitness of most teams is on par which closes the gap even further. As far as Trinidad is concerned, we are in a transitional period. If you look at the team who went to the World Cup in 2006, they were older even then. Most of them played in the 2010 World Cup campaign and were all in their 30s. What I try to do is bring on the young players and that takes time. The older players who I could have chosen may have been too old or two slow. So, it is a case of giving these young guys a chance to play at international level, giving them the chance to see what it’s like. Like anything, it’s a learning experience – and that’s what we did, we learned. We have five or six guys under the age of 22 who all played. The thing is, little by little, you have to bring them in but for us there was not a gradual adjustment unfortunately.

“One way or another, it is my responsibility. I stand by my decision and I believe these guys all have a bright career ahead of them in football.

“I think in the Caribbean we have always been very talented as technical footballers. Maybe that’s because of the lack of facilities – kids just go out and play. However, the Digicel Kick Start Clinics are a great initiative because it teaches them the basics of the game as well as the tactical elements. You’re not going to see a change overnight in this region but eventually over time with programmes like these, we will develop better players over the long term.

“In football, like any other business you live or die by your results. It would be wrong of me to speak on what will happen going forward, but I will sit down with those involved when I get back and we will talk. In the meantime, we have one game left which we will play with pride and commitment and when I’m back in Trinidad, we will take things from there,” he concluded.

All matches from the Finals will be aired live throughout the Caribbean along with coverage on FOX Television in North America. Live streaming – as well as radio commentary – is available on www.digicelfootball.com.

For more information – as well as ways to win with Digicel – log onto www.digicelfootball.com, and get the very latest news, images and results as they happen. The site provides all the up-to-date information on every single match and event relating to the Digicel Caribbean Cup, including live match reports, team information and a comprehensive image bank from every match played. In addition, video highlights from stage one and two of the competition are available online showing some of the best action from the top teams throughout the tournament.
 

Group H (second match)digicelfootball.com

Grenada 1 vs 0 Trinidad and Tobago-Sunday, November 28th 2010 – Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique: The Soca warriors suffered their second defeat in a row in the Digicel Cup Finals after losing 1-0 to Grenada and leave themselves in real danger of being eliminated from the tournament. It seems a far cry from the glory they achieved only 4 years ago when they competed in the FIFA World Cup and contested the Digicel Caribbean Cup Final itself.

The Soca Warriors started the game with an almost completely new side from the one that competed against Cuba and with coach Latapy obviously in no humour to suffer any more setbacks the team started well. After 6 minutes Molino headed the ball onto Jorsling who controlled well on his chest on the edge of the box and smashed his first time volley toward goal, only for Baptiste to make a wonderful flying save for the spice boys.

Both sides seemed to be more cautious than adventurous and knowing that a loss could cause irrevocable damage to their hopes for progression to the Digicel semi finals. While Trinidad looked the side more hopeful in combining passes and moving the ball forward, Grenada looked a threat in long balls over the top for the experienced duo of Bain and Facey who looked as if their pace and strength might just get them a chance.

Grenada dangerman Bain was in on 41 minutes but as he waited for the bouncing ball to strike on the volley, Jones had enough time to get back to make a last ditch tackle and stop the lethal front man.

Two minutes later as Bubb raced through for a one on one, Wolfe somehow managed to get back and dispose the Grenadian striker despite the spice boys appealing to referee Cruz for a spot kick.

The second half took much the same shape as the first but when substitute Keon Daniel found himself with space on the left hand side Trinidad looked as though they may score, but unfortunately drilled his shot wide when he had more time to approach the goal that he thought.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, but in this instance cometh the 69th minute when Kitson Bain scored what must have been the goal of the tournament. As he collected the ball on the far left of the pitch, he cut inside his marker and with 4 defenders in front of him, he just let fly from all of 25 yards and watched as the ball screamed into the top right corner of the Trinidad net, in off the post.

Trinidad were now up against it, facing two losses in two games and almost certain elimination. They responded well and threw caution to the wind and were unfortunate to have a goal disallowed on 73 minutes when Julius James had his header ruled out after referee Cruz adjudged he unfairly challenged for the cross.

Latapy rang out the changes and brought in some experienced players, but even they could not forage any real opportunities and Grenada were able to soak up the few challenges that Trinidad tried to put their way.

In the end, the clock ran out and as Cruz called time on the game, he may just have called time on the soca warriors involvement in the Digicel Cup.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com

Grenada: 1 Andre Baptiste 2 David Cyrus 19 Patrick Modeste 11 Benedict Modeste (Captain) 6 Marc Marshall (4. Curt Rennie 53 mins) 9 Ricky Charles 10 Kitson Bain 16 Arkenson Neckles (3 Shanon Phillip 67 mins) 17 Craig Rocastle (5. Cassim Langaigne 75 mins) 12 Bradley Bubb 8 Delroy Facey Coach: Franklyn Simpson

Trinidad &Tobago: 21 Marvin Phillip 11 Anthony Wolfe 6. Daniel Cyrus 12 Julius James 14 Joevin Jones (18 Densil Theobald 74 mins)16 Kendall Jagdeosingh (19. Keon Daniel 58 mins) 2 Clyde Leon (C) 8 Trent Noel 7. Hughton Hector (13 Cornell Glen 65mins) 9 Devorn Jorsling 10 Kevin Molino Coach: Russell Latapy
Referee: Hugo Cruz (Costa Rica) Assistant Referee 1: Steven Browne (Jamaica) Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (Jamaica) Match Commissioner: Colin Klass (Guyana)
 

Reggae Boyz off to good start to defend title

Jamaica Reggae Boyz started the defense of their Digicel Cup title with a impressive 3-1 victory over Antigua & Barbuda in the opening match of their Group I Digicel Championship Final schedule, while  Guyana managed to salvage a 1-1 tie against Guadeloupe. This leaves the second round door wide open for the defending champions Reggae Boyz to enter but has to take care of Guadeloupe in its next match to secure its faith.
 

Group I (first match) digicelfootball.com Report

Jamaica vs Antigua and Barbuda Saturday, November 27th 2010 – Stade Riviere Pilote, Martinique: Jamaica started the defence of their Digicel Cup title by outclassing Antigua & Barbuda in wet and windy conditions in Martinique in the opening games of Group I of the Digicel Cup Finals.
The Reggae Boyz competing in their first game of the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup started brightly but were in a game against a lively and energetic Antiguan side who did not seem to be daunted by their opponents.

That confidence was soon knocked when after only 14 minutes play, Dane Richards turned the ball into the path of Luton Shelton who had the easiest of tasks by placing the ball past Decastro with a confident sidefoot into the Antiguan net.

Richards almost made it 2 five minutes later, when the pacey striker knocked the ball over the advancing Decastro after a long ball had put him through, only for Dublin to show his pace by outsprinting the Jamaican striker to clear what would have been a certain goal for the Reggae Boyz.

The reigning Digicel Cup champions looked to stamp their authority on this game and always looked the more likely to extend their lead as their pace and quick passing looked as if it would undo Antigua on a few more occasions at least.

On 37 minutes a long ball over the top from Shaun Francis allowed Luton Shelton to race clear and when confronted by keeper Decastro, he cleverly cut back across the retreating defenders and slotted home to make it 2-0.

Three minutes later and the Reggae Boyz were three up. This time Dane Richards was the scorer after another through ball caught the Antiguan defence flat once again and yet again the Jamaican striker took his opportunity at the first time of asking.

Antigua were given a lifeline at the start of the second half when substitute Gason Gregory on the pitch only 3 minutes, made an immediate impact when his thunderous free kick from 30 yards flew past a bewildered Dwayne Miller who could only palm at the thunderbolt but not prevent it crashing into the back of his net.

Antigua’s confidence now rose ten-fold and they took to their opponents with a new found purpose. On 55 minutes Byers looked odds on to pull another back for Antigua as he charged down on Jamaica’s goal only for a wonderful one handed flying save from Miller that turned the ball out for a corner preventing a second for the underdogs.

Antigua continued to play with purpose and were testing the Jamaican defence more and more with Byers growing in confidence after a wicked curling effort just flew past the post.

Richards then broke away on 66 minutes and with two defenders to beat, his trickery and pace got him around those but when faced with just the keeper, seemed to rush his shot and blasted over the bar, when he seemed odds on to score a wonder goal.

The game moved equally between both ends for the remainder of the game with Antigua certainly looking more purposeful and were probably ruing those lacklustre defensive frailties for a few mad moments in the first half which were now looking so costly to them.

Jamaica saw out the dying moments pinned back and while they were on the back foot they were comfortable enough to ensure that the three points were secured as they end their opening encounter of the Digicel Cup 2010 top of their Group I here in Martinique.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on  digicelfootball.com 


Jamaica: 13. Dwayne Miller 2 Richard Edwards 4 Shavar Thomas (Captain) 6 Jermaine Taylor 7 Lovel Palmer 10 Keammar Daley (5. O’Brian Woodbine 74 mins) 11 Dane Richards (8. Eric Vernon 81 mins) 13 Dwayne Miller 15 Shaun Francis 17 Rodolph Austin (18 Keneil Moodie 90 mins) 19 Adrian Reid 21 Luton Shelton Coach: Theodore Whitmore

Antigua & Barbuda: 18 Keita Decastro 5 Dave Carr 6 Joshua Parker 12 Justin Cochrane 13 Kieran Murtagh 14 Randolph Burton (2. Ranja Christian 70 mins) 17 George Dublin (Captain) 19 Martin McCoy 20 Akeem Thomas (8. Quinton Griffith 90 mins) 11 Jamie Thomas (7. Gason Gregory 46 mins) 16 Peter Byers Coach: Rowan Benjamin
Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde ( Suriname) Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Louisville (Suriname) Assistant Referee 2: Egbert Paesch (Aruba) Match Commissioner: Patrick Beckles (Barbados)


Group I (first match) digicelfootball.com Report

Guadeloupe vs Guyana Saturday, November 27th 2010 – Stade de Riviere Pilote, Martinique:

The Golden Jaguars stole a point in their opening Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals game against a dominant Guadeloupe side that should have secured the three points but for wasteful finishing in front of goal.
In a home from home, the larger brother of the French West Indies islands, Guadeloupe, started their opening Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals game brightly and should have been in front after only 2 minutes but Livio Nabab failed to stretch far enough to connect his header downward.

Despite being the only side to qualify from the first round proper of the Digicel Cup, Guyana had a heavy task in front of them to try and topple the French giants in their opening game of the Digicel Finals. This seemed worsened by the fact that Guadeloupe could afford to rest some of their key players such as Collet, who is enjoying his time in the Belgian league..

While the Golden Jaguars looked to contain the French, it was Livio Nabab who was again the man presented with a golden chance after 24 minutes when he cut in from the right after being found all alone by skipper Auvray, only to fail to hit the target when presented with a one on one situation.

After 30 minutes Belson forced Williams into a brilliant save as his tenacious tackle by the touchline allowed him a free shot on goal that forced the stopper down to his left and away. Williams was the savior again 3 minutes later when that man again Nabab still could not find a way past the Jaguars number 1 with his header from 6 yards out.

The second half picked up where the first ended with the French dominating. Guyana coach Wayne Dover resorted to shuffling his side up and replaced star players Codrington and Peters who were not being supplied with any quality and were struggling to find their form.

Big Centre half Jean Luc Lambourde was offered a chance on 63 minutes when a free kick from 35 yards out presented him with his trademark striking chance. The venom with which he catches the dead ball was shown to startling effect in the second round group games, and here again would have been a devastating result but for a full length save from Williams for yet another French corner.

Guadeloupe finally broke the deadlock in the messiest of circumstances when the delivery from the left by Ictoi eluded everyone, skidded off the wet surface and Loval was the only one who reacted by extending his long right leg and steered the ball over the goal line in almost a slow motion fashion.

The worsening weather did not help Guyana but Guadeloupe pressed on looking to kill the game off. With 6 minutes remaining Collet connected beautifully with another well placed cross from Ictoi only for what must have been the save of the tournament from Williams who somehow saved the thunderous volley.

Guadeloupe thought they had bagged the second when Lambourde connected with Ictoi’s cross from the left only for the linesman Dion Neil to rule it out for a very contentious off side call that incensed the French side.

As fate would have it Guyana then stormed down field and with their only shot in the second half, equalized. As the French pushed forward looking for the second, a long ball caught their defence flat and inspired substitute Dwain Jacobs ran through and slotted the ball over the advancing Bus in the Guadeloupe goal.

While Bus may have had only one thing to do in the entire second half, it was to pick the ball out of his net and with it his sides hopes of a perfect start to the finals competition were dashed.

Both sides may now hope for a similar result in the groups second game of the night which will see Jamaica take on Antigua & Barbuda.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com.

Guyana: 1 Ronson Williams 3 Howard Lowe (Captain) 4 Chris Bourne 5 Walter Moore 6 Jake Newton 9 Dwight Peters (12. Howard Newton 58 mins) 11 Kester Jacobs 13 Charles Pollard 16 Philbert Moffat 18 Devon Millington (10 Anthony Abrams 78 mins) 19 Nigel Codrington (Dwain Jacobs 58 mins)Coach: Wayne Dover

Guadeloupe: 1 Yohann Bus 2 Kevin Lacroix 4 Ulick Lupede 6 Stephane Auvray (Captain) 7 Mickael Nicoise (10 Gregory Gendrey 67 mins) 8 Fabien Belson (12. Cedric Collet 46 mins) 13 Jean Luc Lomboude 14 Julien Ictoi 15 Livio Naba (9. Ludovic Gotin 90mins) 19 Larry Clavier 20 Loic Loval Coach: Roger Salnot
 

Referee: Lee Davis (Trinidad & Tobago) Asst Ref 1: Dion Neil (Trinidad & Tobago) Asst Ref 2: Ainsley Rochard (Trinidad & Tobago) Match Commissioner: Hubert Isenia (Curacao)
 

Group H (first match) digicelfootball.com Report

Martinique vs Grenada Friday, November 26th 2010 Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique: Martinique fought bravely back to ensure an honours even result with Grenada in their opening Group H game in the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals 2010 on their own home ground in front of an energetic 6000 strong crowd.

Martinique, privileged hosts of the finals of the biggest Caribbean showpiece in football, were out of the traps early in front of their home fans. Steve Gustan looked a constant threat as he combined well with the front pairing and went close after only 14 minutes but to be thwarted by a confident Baptiste in the Grenada goal.

The spice boys seemed to soak up the early pressure well and they were lucky not to have conceded as the pairing of Gustan and the lively Percin threatened down the left flank.

Grenada, the runners up in 2008, were not to be discounted and only for a fabulous full length finger tip save from Herulie after a great strike from Charles they would have opened their account.

However it was the Grenadian super star Kitson Bain who did take that honour by turning his man on the edge of the box and firing an absolute scorcher into the corner of the net from all of 20 yards that would grace any finals.

Martinique were buoyed on by a large home crowd and it was Gustan again who led the charge, and, following a goal mouth scramble, the nippy midfielder blasted his shot inches over the bar for another close disappointment for the home side.

The half time team talk in the Martinique dressing room was obviously taking effect as the French side came out with all guns blazing and seemed odds on to score that elusive equalizer. After 54 minutes Reuperne sliced open the Spice boys down the right but when his cut back came, it eluded everyone who had rushed to the near post with no one dropping off to get the final touch.

It was all Martinique at this stage and as the crowd screamed louder accompanied by the carnival band the French boys grew in confidence. Grenada were hanging on at the back and coach Simpson astutely brought on some defending reinforcements as he looked to sure up a solid defence.

But Martinique continued to push forward and looked so close to scoring time and again but failed that killer instinct in front of goal. To add to this Baptiste made some fine saves from a number of good individual efforts from Suedile and Cesar.

Martinique coach Germe was forced into making a few changes but his were more of the attacking ilk and it was one of those who eventually broke the charmed life that Grenada’s goal lived.

After being taken down inside the box from a clumsy challenge, Goron stepped up to take responsibility and coolly side footed his effort into the bottom corner to make it honours even with 10 minutes remaining.

The home side demanded more from their heroes and the players did not disappoint in terms of effort as they pushed forward in search of a winner. They almost found that when Baptiste was yet again the saviour when he saved dramatically from another long range shot this time from Clement.

Honours even it ended and while Trinidad will be the happiest with that result, it means all teams in Group H still have it to play for as the curtain drew on the first opening days games of the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals 2010.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com  

Martinique: 24. Eddy Heurlie 3 Sebastien Cretinoir 4 Daniel Herelle 5 Patrick Percin 7 Steve Gustan 11 Ludovic Clement 12 Stephane Suedile 14 Fabrice Reuperne (9. Manuel Mence 70 mins) 15 Rodrigue Cesar 17 Kevin Parsemain (20. Sebastien Carole 59 mins) 18 Gaetan Sidney (10. Jose Goron 77 mins) Coach: Jocelyn Germe

Grenada: 1 Andre Baptiste 2 David Cyrus 3 Shannon Phillip (5. Cassim Langaigne 66 mins) 6 Marc Marshall 8 Delroy Facey (20. Shane Rennie 76 mins) 9 Ricky Charles 10 Kitson Bain 11 Benedict Modeste (Captain) 16 Arkenson Neckles (12 Bradley Bubb 57 mins) 17 Craig Rocastle 19 Patrick Modeste Coach: Franklyn Simpson,

 

Referee: Raymond Bogle (Jamaica) Assistant Referee 1: Steven Browne (Jamaica) Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (Jamaica) Match Commissioner: Colin Klass (Guyana)
 

Soca Warriors start on wrong foot

Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors start on the wrong foot in their opening match at the final stage of the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Championship. The Warriors opened its Group H match listless on Friday as Cuba dominated them for a 2-0 win.  Of great significance is the fact that host Martinique came back to draw with Grenada 1-1 in the second match of the Group H doubleheader to set up what could be a race down to the wire for the group title.

However, with the H group title now up for grabs, so is Soca Warriors Latapy's coaching job if the Warriors does not improve on their performance.


Group H (first match) digicelfootball.com

Trinidad and Tobago vs Cuba - Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique

Friday, November 26th 2010

Cuba opened the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals here in Martinique in fine style by beating Trinidad and Tobago 2-0. After comprehensively wining Group F, 2006 Digicel champions Trinidad and Tobago started brightly and after a well rehearsed short corner routine Keon Daniel worked his way to the edge of the Cuban box and smashed his shot across the goal and just wide.

Cuba then took the game to the Caribbean heavyweights and passed the ball with purpose, looking dangerous as they swept forward. Duarte Pla had managed to impress enough to keep his starting place in the Cuban team and was keen to justify his selection as he led the line well causing considerable trouble to Kern Cupid at the heart of the Trinidad defence..

It was the impressive midfield general and Captain Jaine Valencia who opened the scoring between these two giants when the ball broke kindly for him on the edge of the box and he smashed it past a flying Williams from 18 yards on the half volley to put the Cubans one up.

Rather than the expected immediate fightback the growing crowd expected, it was the Cubans who continued to dominate and looked more likely to increase their lead as the half wore on with Duarte Pla and Campanioni a constant thorn in the side of the Trinidad defence.

Half time saw coach Latapy ring out the changes as Cyrus and Gay came on to add more potency to the Soca Warriors attack.

The changes however seemed to have little effect as the Cubans steamrolled over the Soca boys in midfield and only for a previous infringement that ruled out a second goal for Cuba, things could have been a lot worse.

The game ebbed and flowed and two decisive changes from Cuban coach Triana paid dividends after only two minutes when the substitutes combined to score Cuba’s second and move the game beyond the reach of Trinidad.

After some neat build up play from the back, a lacklustre Trinidad defense was found missing when Balmaseda broke free and when left with a one on one with the keeper selflessly squared for Salor, whose initial shot, although blocked on the line by a retreating defender, was happily smashed into the roof of the net by a jubilant Balmaseda on the rebound.

Things turned from bad to worse for Trinidad after that as Peltier was given a straight red for an off the ball incident spotted by the watchful eye of the assistant referee Venton Mars.

With Cuban centre half Molina eating up any attempt of a Trinidad fightback, the Cubans were content to take the little that Soca Warriors had to offer and see out their opening Digicel Cup Finals game with a win.

For the Soca Warriors it would not have been the start they wanted or that their under pressure coach Latapy would have wished for but with the team looking less impressive and void of any real ideas in going forward, one worries for their future ambitions in the tournament.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on digicelfootball.com

Trinidad &Tobago: 1 Jan Michael Williams 2 Clyde Leon (C) 3 Yohance Marshall (6. Daniel Cyrus 46 mins) 4 Kerry Baptiste (17Jamal Gay 46 mins)5 Kern Cupid 8 Trent Noel (7. Hughton Hector 67mins) 9 Devorn Jorsling 12 Julius James 14 Joevin Jones 15 Lester Peltier 19 Keon Daniel Coach: Russell Latapy

Cuba: 1 Odelin Molina Hernandez 2 Carlos D. Francisco Serrano 3 Jeniet Marquez Molina 4 Hanier Dranguet Cantillo 6 Yoel Colome (17. JValencia 7 Marcel Hernandez Companioni 8 Jaine Colome Valencia (C) 11 Sander Fernandez Cervantes (13. Adonis Soler 78 mins) 14 Aliannis Urgelles Montoya 15 Armando Curumeaux Isidoro 19 Leonel Duarte Pla (10. Roberto Balmaseda 78 mins) Coach: Raul Gonzalez Triana
Referee: Stanley Lancaster Assistant Referee 1: Venton Mars Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Browne
Match Commissioner: Dale Spencer (Jamaica)

Reggae Boyz ready to defend Caribbean title by Aldwyn McGill

The Digicel Caribbean Championship is in its final stage (3) with eight teams placed into two groups (H and I). The final stage will be played in Martinique where the top two teams in each group will advance to the semi finals and automatically qualify for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

 

Guyana is the only team which has survived from stage one of the tournament, which makes this final stage a very interesting preposition for the current champion Jamaica and it competitors in Group I.

 

The Reggae Boyz is in the Group I with Guadeloupe, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda, and although favored, nothing is a given. Guadeloupe is tough and Guyana should be ready to compete after playing the most games.

 

Guyana has also moved up in the FIFA world rankings and in the CFU rankings which is added incentive for the team to do well. A win in their opening match against Guadeloupe will give Guyana a realistic chance to advance out of the group.

 

Jamaica under Coach Theodore Whitmore is ready and Whitmore voiced his sentiments in an exclusive with Digicel.com. “We are feeling confident about the upcoming games…. the boys are ready to go out and represent their country and defend their title’’ said the coach.

 

He acknowledges that there is pressure to retain the title but emphasize on his team’s anticipation of the pressure in its preparation for the tournament.

 

“Yes, we are reigning champions and there is a little bit of pressure there” Whitmore continued, “Jamaica – along with Trinidad & Tobago – is one of the top two teams in the Caribbean, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a walk over… but we have prepared physically and mentally

 

“We played a friendly in Florida last week against Costa Rica which we drew 0-0. It was a fairly good performance and I think we achieved most of what we wanted. We were more organized and, technically, we also improved in the second half…most importantly we didn’t lose the game.

 

Jamaica arrived in Martinique this week, and may have to touch down running to get a good start in its first game against Antigua and Barbuda, since the Reggae Boyz will be playing in its first competitive match of the tournament,

 

Teams will be without their European players since the tournament is not FIFA sanctioned. Meaning that the only overseas players available to play are the MLS players whose season is over and that favors Jamaica who has a wealth of local talent in the MLS.

 

The Reggae Boyz 2014 campaign is on track after opening with a 1-0 in January against Canada and closing off the year with its 0-0 draw against Costa Rica after beating El Ticos at the office in Kingston.

 

Trinidad and Tobago under Coach Russell Latapy have their story to tell and should not be taken lightly, nor should Guadeloupe Cuba, or Grenada.

 

Grenada qualified for the first time in the 2008 version of the Caribbean championship and there is nothing like the taste of success as a motivator. Guadeloupe heads into the final stage with an unbeaten record having defeated Grenada 3-0, Puerto Rico 3-2 and St. Kitts & Nevis 2-1.

 

But the team with the biggest motivation is T&T which has not won the title in recent years. In fact it has been 11 years since the Soca Warriors were Caribbean champions and there is no secret that coach Latapy is under pressure to produce with his job on the line.

 

Thus far Latapy’s and his troops have responded and the Warriors are unbeaten after defeating Haiti 4-0, St. Vincent & the Grenadines 6-2 and Guyana 2-1. But Grenada and Cuba have also enjoyed solid performances to advance in the tournament.

 

The tournament kicks off this Friday with Trinidad & Tobago in tough against Cuba and host Martinique taking on Grenada in Group H action. On Saturday, Guyana will play Guadeloupe and Antigua & Barbuda come face to face with Jamaica to open Group I.

Jamaica has beaten Trinidad and Tobago twice in its friendly matches, 3-1 in T&T and 1-0 in its return match at the Office in Kingston in preparation for the tournament. The two teams are favored to clash in the final for all the marbles, but no one told that to Cuba and Guadeloupe 

The full finals fixtures are as follows:

STAGE II
Group Date Time Venue Team A vs. Team B 
H 26/11/2010 18:00 Pierre Aliker,
Dillon
Trinidad & Tobago 0   Cuba 2 
H 26/11/2010 20:30 Martinique 1   Grenada 1 
I 27/11/2010 17:00 Riviere Pilote
Stadium
Guyana 1   Guadeloupe 1 
I 27/11/2010 19:30 Jamaica   Antigua & Barbuda 
H 28/11/2010 16:00 Pierre Aliker,
Dillon
Grenada   Trinidad & Tobago 
H 28/11/2010 18:30 Martinique   Cuba 
I 29/11/2010 18:00 Riviere Pilote
Stadium
Antigua & Barbuda   Guyana 
I 29/11/2010 20:30 Guadeloupe   Jamaica 
H 30/11/2010 18:00 Pierre Aliker,
Dillon
Cuba   Grenada 
H 30/11/2010 20:30 Martinique   Trinidad & Tobago 
I 01/12/2010 18:45 Riviere Pilote
Stadium
Guadeloupe   Antigua & Barbuda 
I 01/12/2010 21:00 Guyana   Jamaica 
SF 1 03/12/2010 17:30 Pierre Aliker,
Dillon
Winner H   Runner-up I 
SF 2 03/12/2010 20:30 Winner I   Runner-up H 
3rd Place 05/12/2010 16:00 Loser SF 2   Loser SF 1 
FINAL 05/12/2010 19:00 Winner SF 1   Winner SF 2 

 

Jamaica defeat Grenada 2-0 to win 2008 Caribbean Championship

                                                                                          Photos by Don Streete

 Jamaica Reggae Boyz King of the Caribbean

Jamaica Reggae Boyz defeated Grenada 2-0 to win the Digicel Cup and the 2008 Caribbean Championship. Luton Shelton provided the Reggae Boyz scoring from two penalties scored on both sides of the break. The Digicel final was played at the Jamaica National Stadium in Kingston, better known as  the “office” where only the strong can survive.

 

Jamaica received US$120,000 for their win while Grenada receive US70.000 as runners up. The final was the second meeting of the teams in the tournament, and although Jamaica made light work of Grenada in the first game, Grenada seem to be better prepared for the Boyz the second time around.

 

However in spite of their valiant efforts, the penalties at the 17th and 70th minutes left Grenada emotionally drained and seemed to remove any real prospects of a Grenada upset, especially against a Jamaica team that was no accommadating and leaving limited space for Grenada to exploit.

 

Jamaica proved to be King of this tournament and barring a few listless moments where the Jamaica fans found the Reggae Boyz play to be uninspiring, the Boyz deserve a lot of credit for digging deep to get their game back on track after an early exit from the 2010 W-C qualifiers.

 

The Boyz first glitch was on the Trinidad and Tobago group game when the Boyz struggled and allowed T&T to tie the score 1-1 towards the end of the game. At that time there were a few tremours but not enough to do any damage since T&T was out of the tournament.

 

Then came the unpleasantaries when the Jamaica fans felt that the Boyz was showing no urgency in their play in the first half of their semi final game against Guadeloupe and showed their displeasure by showering the Boyz with a chorus of boos at the end of the half for good measure.

 

The gesture worked as the Boyz responded with an inspired style of play after a listless 1-0 halftime lead to defeat Guadeloupe 2-0 and secure a spot into the final.

Cuba, the other team favored to reach the final, did not adjust and as a result was not as fortunate as Jamaica when they met Grenada. With their semi final spot secured heading into their last group game against Haiti, the Cubans opted to rest their starters for the semi final.

 

There plan backfired as Grenada stepped up the tempo and caused the Cubans to struggled to reestablish their defensively chemistry. Grenada gained confidence as the game progressed and managed to squeeze in a late equalizer to send the game into overtime tied at two goals apiece.

 

The score remained deadlock with no additional scoring in the overtime period as Grenada went on to defeat Cuba 6-5 on penalty kicks to set up a rematch with Jamaica for the final. 

Guadeloupe finished the Digicel tournament with a 5-4 win over Cuba again on penalty kicks for third place over Cuba after the teams finished scoreless. Guadeloupe received US50.000 for the win, while Cuba received US30,000 for their fourth place finish.

 

The 2008 Digicel tournament may mean different things to different people, but one thing that seem to be in the makings is that the four semi finalists of the Digicel Caribbean championship could make life very difficult for the top seeds at Gold Cup 2009.

The JFF and new coach and former England and Liverpool winger John Barnes and his staff also  deserves a lot of credit for putting their football program and the revitalized Reggae Boyz back on the good foot to win a championship in such a short space of time.

 

Barnes must have been made aware that technical and tactical improvements may not have been strong points of negotiation with the JFF since winning may have been the yard stick.

 

However with the Digicel Cup safely in Jamaica hands, Barnes exhaled and said "After the disappointment of the World Cup qualifying campaign recently, we needed this and we did it ".

 

In retrospect it was Barnes who needed the win and with his added ingenuinity he has now extended the Boyz undefeated streak to 8 games dating back to the beginning of October against Mexico.

 

Grenada is also making great strides in their football and if the 2008 Digicel Cup is any indication. The Spicey Greens created the biggest upset at the Cup after knocking Trinidad and Tobago out of Gold Cup 2009 and qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time as a result.

 

                       

                        

 

 

 
 

 

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