St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana scored significant victories on May 29 in the New York Digicel Caribbean Soccer Cup at the Jefferson High School stadium in Brooklyn.
Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), a former Cup champion, massacred Colombia 7-0, in the second round of matches in the 2011 campaign, while Team Guyana upset last season’s runners-up St. Lucia, crushing them 3-0.
The Colombians were, clearly, no match for the rampaging Vincentians, who had captured the prestigious Cup five times in its 20-year history.
Defending champions, Jamaica, is the only other team, in the 12-team championship, which, over the years, have bettered the Vincentians’ performance. The Jamaicans have won the Cup for a record six times, including the last four years.
The Vincentians mauled the Colombians, with two goals each from Michael Collis and Jessie John, and one each from Darren Williams, Grayson Alexander and Rhenson Haynes.
Collis signaled SVG’s intention in the ninth minute, when he hammered a left-footer, from the right flank, past Colombian goal keeper Jonathan Martinez.
Eleven minutes later, he capitalized on an Alexander’s cross, from the left flank, eluding Martinez, in rocking the left up-right.
With Team SVG leading 2-0 by the half-time interval, Williams advanced the lead in the 49th minute, lofting the ball over Martinez’ head.
Two minutes later, Alexander took advantage of an Orande “Man Kemmie” Christopher pass, from the right flank, in continuing the rampage and giving the Vincentians their fourth goal.
In the 79th minute, Haynes nudged pass Martinez from a Garfield “Sprag-I” Cupid right flank cross.
Then, John sunk the nail further in the Colombians’ coffin, in the 81st and 83rd minutes, with forays through a much-weakened Colombian defense.
Even with such a trouncing, Team SVG’s head coach, Stanley “Luxie” Morris, a former national captain, said the margin of victory should have been greater.
“I think we could have played better,” he told Caribbean Life in a post-match interview. “We should have scored at least a dozen goals.”
A dejected Colombian head coach, Pablo Bermudez, said he felt “disgusted.”
“These young matches simply could not match the Vincentians,” he said.
Morris said Team SVG is determined this season to regain Caribbean football superiority in the Big Apple.
“While we are taking one game at a time, we’re going all the way to the finals,” he said.
“With hard work, and the players’ commitment and execution, we will win the Cup,” he added. “We’re more committed this year.”
Team SVG’s next battle will be against Haiti on Jun. 19.
After both teams found difficulty finding the back of the nets in the first half, the Guyanese broke away in the second half of the final double-header, with a hattrick of goals from the versatile Kevin Beaton.
Beaton gave Guyana the lead in the 78th minute, capitalizing on a mix-up in the penalty box.
Ten minutes later, he eluded the St. Lucian goal keeper, Enus St. Clair, with a blast 10 yards outside the penalty box.
With one minute before the final whistle, he sunk home the Guyanese advantage, dribbling through the St. Lucian defense, to score the third goal.
“We’re on the way trying to win our division and to go into the finals,” said Sam Bunbury, the Guyanese head coach, stating that a Guyanese Cup title is “long overdue.”
His St. Lucian counterpart, Vernantius Poyotte, blamed his team’s defeat on “missed opportunities.”
“We had good opportunities that we threw away,” he said. “We just have to learn from our mistakes and try to improve.”