East Zone winner Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines and defending champion Team Jamaica are on a collision course on the road to the 2014 Caribbean Cup title. Both former Caribbean Cup champions won their quarterfinal games last Sunday at the Jefferson High School Sports Complex in Flatlands, Brooklyn to move into the semifinal stage and could well meet at the final juncture on Sunday, Aug. 31.
These teams have a history of fierce battles between them over the years when Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines dominated the tournament in the early 1990s, and won its last Caribbean Cup title in 2000; the fierce competition continued as Team Jamaica since became the dominant force and last year won its ninth title in the last 12 years. In the quarterfinals, Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines defeated Team Trinidad and Tobago, 3-0, and Team Jamaica overwhelmed Team St. Lucia, 4-0, in a rematch of last year’s final.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines–Trinidad and Tobago game saw a first half that was a goalless stalemate despite Trinidad’s slight advantage in possession; the Trinidadians dominated the midfield and Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kareem Joachim always posed a threat to the Vincentians as his team created several scoring opportunities that could have seen Trinidad take the lead. One such opportunity came at the 24th minute when Joachim dribbled down the right wing and unleashed a 20-yard shot that hit the left upright goalpost and bounced downward, only inches from going over the goal line.
The more technically skilled Vincentians, led by new arrival Myron Samuel, owned the second period and in the 60th minute, Samuel, recruited from the Vincentian national team in the Caribbean, was on the ball and smartly switched the play from the left side to the overlapping right full back, Kemmy Christopher, who feathered the ball on his instep and in stride, pummeled a low, hard shot that settled in the far corner of the goal for the 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Samuel was at it again when he struck a low, hard shot from 24 yards that Team Trinidad and Tobago goal keeper Marcus Maurice failed to hold; Michael Collis put away the loose ball and put the Vincentians ahead, 2-0.
It was only fitting that Samuel be rewarded with a goal after all his work, and in the 80th minute, Samuel received a pass just beyond the midfield line on the left side and dribbled towards the goal, uncontested, he let fly a 20-yard left-footed bullet of shot that zipped past an unexpected Maurice and grazed the inside of the left goalpost for the final tally. Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the midst of a good year, will play the winner of this Sunday’s quarterfinal match-up between Team Haiti and Team Grenada.
Team Jamaica feasted on goals by Denzil Watson, Jermaine Christian, Christopher Banner and Daniel Shaw on the way to trouncing former champion Team St. Lucia. Watson and Christian gave Jamaica a 2-0 lead at half time as the winners dominated the game from the outset, while St. Lucia showed that it is not the team that was on top of its game the past three seasons when it won its first Caribbean Cup title in 2012.
The second half saw more of the same as the winners continued to dominate with former Jamaican international midfielder Jermaine Hue directing proceedings. Banner and Shaw completed the scoring in the second half and Jamaica will now await the winner of the last quarterfinal game between West Zone winner Team Guyana and Team Barbados. The other quarterfinals are schedule for this Sunday, Aug. 17. Semifinals are on Aug. 24.
SOUTH STARS, HAVOC IN BRONX FINAL
Defending champion South Stars FC and Havoc Soccer Club were semifinal winners last Sunday and will meet for the second straight year in the final of the Bronx New York International Soccer League (BNYISL) on Sunday, Aug. 24, at Evander Childs High School Stadium on Gun Hill Road near 233rd Street in the Bronx. South Stars, with predominantly Antiguan players, seemed poised to retain its BNYISL title as it defeated veteran club Kandia, 4-1, while Havoc got past Carib United, 1-0.
South Stars led, 3-0, at half time on goals by former MLS player Peter Byers, Anthony Abrahams and Joeski “Gerrard” Williams. In the second half, Tamarly Marley extended South Stars’ lead, while Ricardo Geddes pulled one back or Kandia.
The Havoc-Carib United game featured internationals and Jamaica Premier League (JPL) players on both teams and was a close contest as Havoc secured the winner in the 80th minute. Substitute Jamal Dawkins, who recently played with JPL club Cavaliers, combined with Jamaican international full back Xavian Virgo to execute a successful counter attack for the lone goal. The BNYISL will host its prestigious Marcus Garvey Tournament this Saturday and Sunday at Evander Childs Field.
Last weekend, Sigi Schmid (200-136-103) became the first MLS coach to win 200 games as his Seattle Sounders (13-6-2) defeated the Houston Dynamo (6-12-4), 2-0, behind goals from Marco Papa (69th minute) and Gonzalo Pineda (75th). Another record was set when Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando set an MLS record for shutouts with 113 in 361 games as RSL beat DC United, 3-0.
In other MLS games last week, the New York Red Bulls (6-7-10, 28 pt.) lost, 1-0, to the Chicago Fire (4-5-13) at Toyota Park last Sunday night when Mike Magee scored his seventh goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 38th minute. The Red Bulls next play on August 23 against the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena at 7:00 p.m.
Hosts Vancouver Whitecaps (7-4-11) beat Sporting Kansas City (11-6-6), 2-0; visiting Toronto FC defeated Columbus Crew, 3-2, and FC Dallas beat the Colorado Rapids, 3-1. The Philadelphia Union topped the Montreal Impact, 2-1; the Portland Timbers knocked off Chivas USA, 2-0; and the Los Angles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 2-2 draw.