Jamaica wins Caribbean Cup

After one of the most scoreless exciting games played in a Caribbean Cup final, the contest went to a penalty kick shootout and the two defensive midfielders and stalwarts for their teams decided the outcome. The scored was tied at 3–3 with only the captains to kick in the fifth round; a player from each team had missed. Jamaican midfielder and captain Rudolph Austin stepped to the ball and placed is shot to the left of Soca Warriors goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams for the 4–3 lead, then Soca Warrior Khaleem Hyland strutted toward the ball to maintain the tie and keep the Soca Warriors chance alive, but his shot flew over the crossbar and the party started.

Both teams displayed a very high standard of play, but Jamaica, playing at home in the Montego Bay Sports Complex, was the better team and deserved to win. Reggae Boyz forward Darren Mattocks, who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS, gave the Soca Warriors defense problems throughout the night. He and teammate Trevor Dawkins created and squandered numerous scoring opportunities that could have decided the game in regulation, but despite the barren play, the free flowing Reggaes Boyz were a good sight to watch as they move the ball quickly and accurately around the pitch with attractive short passes. Trinidad and Tobago head coach Steven Hart said it best, stating that the Jamaicans got into their rhythm and were the better team and deserved to win.

Kevin Molino, Hyland and defender Carlisle Mitchell were among the top performers for Trinidad and Tobago, the eighth-time Caribbean champion, which played a very intelligent game but it just wasn’t enough to stop the dancing reggae Boyz. Jamaica’s Coach Winfried Schafer praised his players’ good play and said that the win wasn’t just for the players, but that the Jamaican people deserved the victory.

In the third-place match earlier in the evening, Haiti copped the third-place trophy by defeating Cuba, 2–. Jerome Mechack (56th minute) and Wilde Donald Guerrier (86th) scored for Haiti, while Ariel Gonzalez (89th) tallied for a free kick for Cuba. Both Haiti and Cuba garnered the other two automatic berths to next summer’s Gold Cup and French Guiana will play the Central American fourth-place finisher for a fifth berth.

Haiti was awarded the Fair Play Award; Jamaica’s Andre Blake was the best goalkeeper of the tournament and took home Golden Glove Award; three players shared the Golden Booth Award as all three – Mattocks, Kevin Molino of Trinidad and Tobago and Kervens Belfort of Haiti – each scored three goals. Jamaica’s captain Austin was the MVP of the Tournament….The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Team, the Soca Princesses, tied Ecuador in a goalless first-leg game in Quito in the home-and-away playoff series for a final berth to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next summer. The Soca Princesses are in the driver’s seat with the return match schedule for early December in Trinidad and Tobago.

More from Around NYC