Jamaica’s goalkeeper Devon Horton made the difference in an evenly match game in the local Caribbean Cup final to lead Jamaica to its ninth Caribbean Cup title in the past 10 years at Jefferson High School Field in Flatlands, Brooklyn last Sunday. The 4-2 penalty kick shoot-out win was revenge for Jamaica, which lost the title when St. Lucia defeated the then eighth-time champion in the same fashion, a semifinal penalty kick shoot-out, last year before going on to defeat Grenada in the final.
Sunday’s final was a tale of two halves. Two very good teams battled to the final whistle to a fitting goalless 90 minutes. Jamaica dominated the first half in a show of skill and precise short passing by midfielders Allan Maragh, Daniel Shaw and Jarvin Morris, while Asrick Samuels was a stalwart on defense for Jamaica; the defending champion St. Lucia turned the tables in the second half with urgency and exceptional midfield play. Both teams played well defensively as they withstood much pressure from each other.
The penalty kicks ensued and the stage was set for Horton to repeat what he did for his team the week before to set Jamaica on course for the semifinal win versus Guyana. In that semifinal, Horton saved a penalty early in the game when Jamaica got off to a slow start, but the goalkeeper’s effort inspired Jamaica to the win.
Jamaica’s Irvino English kicked first to put Jamaica ahead, 1-0 in Sunday’s shoot-out. St. Lucia’s first kicker step up to take his team’s first kick, but Horton worked his magic again and pushed aside St. Lucia’s attempt for a 1-0 lead after the first round – a lead Jamaica never relinquished. Jamaica went on to win 4-2 to regain the trophy after a year. Morris, Maragh and Luxley Thomas also scored for Jamaica, while Abel James and Nhyime Gilbert scored for St. Lucia.
Maragh commented on the victory, “We were prepared, we loaned them the trophy last year and we took it back.” Jamaica’s captain Desmond Breakenridge said that “it was good to win it (trophy) back, now we look forward to next year again.”
RED BULLS WIN
A fighting New York Red Bulls team came away with a 2-1 victory over an ambitious DC United squad at Red Bull Arena last Saturday night. The win puts the Red Bulls (12-9-6, 42 pts.) in a three-way tie for first place in the MLS Eastern Conference with the Montreal Impact (12-7-6, 42 pts.) and Sporting Kansas City (12-9-6, 42pts.).
Tim Cahill scored his eighth goal of the season and the game-winning goal on Saturday when he headed in a Jonny Steele cross from the left side about 10 minutes before the break to give the Red Bulls a 2-1 halftime lead that it did not relinquish.
New York scored early in the contest when midfielder Lloyd, getting a rear start, received a cross from Cahill and beat visiting goal keeper Bill Hamid at the left post for a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.