already winding road to the FIFA World Cup South Africa
2010 got a bit bumpy for some teams at the first stage
of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers after the half time
scores of most of the games turned out to be final
result. This means that some coachís tactical
adjustments are working to perfection to gain their
first final result of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers
was between the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The visiting
Cayman Islands pulled off a 1-1 tie with Bermuda at the
Hamiltonís National Sports Centre on February 2, after
tying the game towards the end of regulation time.
Tyrell Burgess opened the scoring at the 18th minute to
give Bermuda the lead, but Cayman Islands Allean Grant
scored the equalizer with only three minutes left to
give Cayman Islands the much needed tie heading into the
teams second leg game on March 26.
action turned to the Centro Deportivo Guillermo Trinidad
in Oranjestad where Antigua & Barbuda defeated host
Aruba 3-0 with goals from George Dublin and Grayson
Gregory at the 22nd and 27th minute respectively. Aruba
close the door on themselves when they score an own goal
at the 40th minute to seal the 3-0 win for
Antigua and Barbuda. The teamís second-leg game is
scheduled for the Antigua Recreation Ground in St.
Johnís on March 26.
Barbados and Dominica played to a 1-1 tie in yet another
game where all the scoring was done in the first half.
Barbados Jeffrey Williams tied the game at the 42nd
minute mark after Dominica Richard Pacquette opened the
scoring at the 20th minute. The teams will meet again at
the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on 26 March
in the second-leg.
Salvador demolished Anguilla 12-0 at the Estadio
Cuscatlan in San Salvador,
one of the less than competitive contest in the first
leg of the CONCACAF W/C qualifiers. Rudis Corrales
scored five times for his team goals while his teammate
Ronald Cerritos added another to give El Salvador the
record books opened as Turks & Caicos Islands outlasted
St Lucia 2-1 at the Providencialesí National Stadium
after hosting their first ever CONCACAF World Cup
Qualifying game. Gavin Clinton and David Lowery scored
for Turks & Caicos Islands, while Gilbert Nyhime scored
the lone goal for St. Lucia. The teams will meet again
at George Odlum National Stadium in Vieux Fort, St.
Lucia on 26 March in the second-leg match.
Belize also entered the record books when they
registered their first victory in the history of
CONCACAF World Cup Qualification with a 3-1 win over St.
Kitts & Nevis at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala
Belize opened the scoring at the seventh minute on a
Deon McCalauy goal, but St. Kitts & Nevis Gerard
Williams equalized six minutes later. Harrison Rochez
scored what turned out to be the game winner at the 22nd
minute while McCalauy provided the insurance goal four
minutes before halftime. The teamís second leg game at
Warner Park Stadium in Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis on
In yet another game that was decided by a fist half
score the Netherlands Antilles defeated the host
Nicaragua 1-0 on a goal scored by Anton Jongsma at the
15th minute mark. The game was played at the Estadio
Cacique Diriangen in Diriamba and the win was the first
for the Netherlands Antilles since 2004 which gives them
a distinct advantage for the second-leg at the Ergillo
Hato Stadium in Willemstad on 26 March.
British Virgin Islands will also visit the Bahamas at
the BFA National Centre in Nassau on 26 March for their
late first leg encounter. The first-leg encounters
single elimination game of the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup
Qualification for Puerto Rico match up with the
Dominican Republic, Grenada with US Virgin Islands, and
Montserrat with Surinam will take place during the
second-leg encounters of the stage 1 on 26 March.
year 2008 is upon us and my how quickly time has passed
when you are having fun. Although the FIFA World Cup is
played every four years, for some reason it seems like
it was just yesterday when packages were offered to
travel to World Cup Germany and the Soca Warriors was
the talk of the town.
However with the arrival of 2008 it is anticipated that
discussion for World Cup 2010 in South Africa will
continue with the fans of the Caribbean teams pondering
their decision to attend. Some Caribbean fans are
rationalizing the South Africa trip as an opportunity to
visit the mother-land, for what it is worth, while the
majority of fans are undecided and anxious to see if
their team secures one of the four CONCACAF spots before
making their plans.
Whatever the fans decide there is no doubt that the 12
top seed in the second stage of the CONCACAF qualifying
round is capable of securing one of the four CONCACAF
spots into the final grouping for South Africa based on
the showing of the teams at the 2007 tournaments within
the CONCACAF region. The two tournaments are the Digicel
Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Digicel Cup for Caribbean supremacy, Haiti defeated host
Trinidad and Tobago and won their first became the 2007
Caribbean Champions their first title since 1973.
Jamaica Reggae Boyz the defending champion at the time
was defeated by St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to
signal the start of the end for the Reggae Boyz in 2007.
Failure to make the final four at the Digicel Cup
automatically eliminated the Boyz from the Gold Cup USA
Although the Gold Cup tournament results were somewhat
predictable as host USA successfully defended their
title, Mexico the #1 ranked in CONCACAF was defeated not
once but twice at the Gold Cup. Their first loss was at
the hands of Honduras in Group C action and was ruled as
the biggest upset in Gold Cup history. Mexico their
second loss was to USA 2-1 after Mexico had a halftime
lead. Most importantly was the fact that Mexico
struggled with Cuba, Panama, and Costa Rica during the
should be noted that Panama was the best playing team at
the Gold Cup USA and Canada performance lead by Gold Cup
MVP Julian De Guzman signaled that they were not far
away from a World Cup berth. However the Canadian
Soccer Association would have to remedy the lack of
support shown at home at their last friendly game
against Costa Rica at BMO Field in September. Canada was
favored to replace Costa Rica for the third CONCACAF
spot to South Africa but with the lack of support and
their projected group of death with the likes of Mexico,
Jamaica, and Honduras, it seem like the wheel is still
turning and anything can happen.
Jamaica football is now on the upside, since their poor
showing in the 2007 tournaments. The Jamaica Football
Federation has turned their program completely around
with whole scale changes through out their system and
with a string of International victories at home, the
Reggae Boyz may be the dark horse with their feared 12th
Trinidad and Tobago football on the other hand seemed to
be under constant pressure since their World Cup Germany
and needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In
moving forward I think that it will become important for
the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation to sign an
agreement with the players involved in the outstanding
dispute, in the event that the arbitrator decision is
favorable to the players. The agreement document should
allow the affected T&T players to continue their
participation for the duration of the 2010 World Cup
qualifying rounds. The inclusion of Dwight York and/or
Russell Latapy or both into an assistant coaching
position would also jump start the T&T program and
provide the continuity that is required to instill and
reinforce the confidence in the Soca Warriors team.
Salvador is in a position to create upsets in the
CONCACAF beyond the first round and the last I saw of
Cuba, their team was only a couple of players away from
being a legitimate contender. Panama with Perez up front
will be dangerous and I suspect at the end of it all a
South American for the fourth spot would present
defensive challenges for the fourth place CONCACAF team
in the playoffs to South Africa.