The semifinal round in the New York Caribbean Cup, playing at Jefferson Sports Complex in Flatlands, Brooklyn, gets under way on Sunday, Aug. 30.
At 3:30 pm, the surprising Team St. Kitts and Nevis will take on defending champion Team Jamaica, before a surging Team Haiti meets Team St. Lucia in the second semifinal. The winners will battle for the 2015 Caribbean Cup title at the same venue on Sunday, Sept. 6.
In the first quarterfinal game last Sunday, defending champion Jamaica had a very easy time in defeating a decimated Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 4–0. Denzil Watson scored twice and Garfield Gillespie and Dannie Shaw added to the scoresheet.
The Vincentians have been in turmoil all season long; the team struggled to keep a full squad and have started at least two of its regular season games with less than a full squad. In Sunday’s game, St. Vincent and the Grenadines took the field with nine players, before a full squad eventually attempted to give Jamaica some competition. Under these circumstances, the Vincentians lost the game against the defending champion before the game started. The team was very disorganized and was an embarrassment to the league and the game and worst of all the reputation that the squad developed over the years.
The Jamaicans, on the other hand, came ready to defend their title,
“We are the best in the league and we are out to prove it, we will win again,” said manager Norbert Radjpaul.
In the second quarterfinal, Team St. Lucia beat Team Guyana 1–0 in a close battle. In the regular season, Team Guyana defeated Team St. Lucia, but it was a different story last Sunday. The St. Lucians were determined not to go down twice to the Guyanese and immediately put the opposition under pressure. Team Guyana was on the defensive from the outset as St. Lucia forged forward and created the better opportunities in the scoreless first half. The St. Lucians actually kept the Guyanese in the game with their poor finishing; and just before the halftime break, Guyana gained some momentum and had a few opportunities of their own.
At the midway point in the second half, Kevin Edwards took a long pass from the midfield, raced down the right wing and hit a hard shot that curled just inside the far post. Edwards’ goal stood as the winner after a tense second half battle. The goal put more urgency into the game as Guyana was in a do-or-die situation; the Guyanese forged forward in searching for the equalizer, and blasted away at the St. Lucian goalkeeper Chad Phillip, who had replaced the St. Lucia starting net-minder. Phillip came up big on numerous saves and was the man of the match. He withstood a barrage of shots from Team Guyana and prevailed to secure the win and put his team into the semifinal round.
Didier Drogba made his debut with host Montreal Impact last Saturday at Saputo Stadium awhen the Impact went down to the Philadelphia Union, 1–0. Drogba, the former Chelsea FC (English Premier League), entered the game in the 56th minute with the contest scoreless. And although Drogba’s entry lifted his team, it was Sebastian Le Toux who knocked in the lone goal from close range after a scramble in the goal area with 15 minutes to play to win the match.