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Antigua squeeze past Suriname in Group G opener

Suriname facing up-hill battle in Digicel Cup

Picture by: digicelfootball.com

Goal Scorer Cochrane looking for space

Statistics
Antigua and Barbuda Stat Suriname
12 Shots 9
17 Fouls 11
4 Corner Kicks 7
7 Offsides 4
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
Goals
(17') Randolph BurtoN (33') Roche Emanuelson
(63') Justin Cochrane  

Wednesday, November 10th 2010 – Antigua Recreation Grounds, Antigua: Antigua & Barbuda opened their Digicel Cup account with a hard fought 2-1 win over a strong Suriname side in front of a 4,000 strong crowd in this afternoon kick off of Group G, the final qualification round before the Digicel Cup Finals in Martinique at the end of November.
With both teams starting brightly the surprisingly large crowd for a Wednesday afternoon kick off were treated to a to and fro game of action with both Peter Byers of Antigua and Stefan Baneti for Suriname going close to opening the scoring in the early stages.

Antigua took the honours of opening the scoring on 17 minutes when the ball fell kindly to Randolph Burton who smashed into the open net from 7 yards after Gregory had rounded the keeper laid the ball to Byers, whose initial shot was blocked on the line by Abauna, with the rebound falling perfectly for the waiting Burton.

Suriname were playing nice football and looked a threat when they got on the ball moving forward decisively. On 33 minutes they deservedly drew level when Emanuelson came on to a poorly cleared header on the left and smashed his left footed effort first time from the edge of the box into the far corner of the net.

While the home fans had their cries for a penalty waved away from referee Morrison after Cochrane seemed to be felled inside the area by Felter, they were happier with their sides efforts who looked dangerous through Byers who was causing the Surinamese defence trouble with his big physical presence.

Just before half time Suriname were unlucky not to head into the interval in the lead when rising star and former Digicel Kick Start coaching recipient, Emilio Limon, saw his first time volley from the edge of the box smash down off the crossbar and away to safety.

The second half started brightly again with both sides taking the game to each other. On 54 minutes Antigua had the woodwork again to thank as the score-line somehow remained 1-1. Vlijter ran onto a long through ball which was played over the top of the Antigua defence, and as he reeled away to the corner flag to celebrate his goal-bound lobbed effort over Decastro’s head, he looked back in horror as the ball bounced back off the crossbar and in to the hands of the ever grateful Decastro.

As the old football saying goes, if you don’t take your chances it will be sure to come back to haunt you. And so it was on 63 minutes when Justin Cochrane held his marker off just inside the right side of the box, spun and turned and hooked his shoot over the helpless Huiswood into the far left corner of the net to send the large home crowd in this famous old stadium into raptures as Antigua & Barbuda went back into the lead.

Suriname tried to get back into the game but were contained to some long range shooting by a well versed Antiguan defence.

The home crowd were treated to some nervous moments with some last minute corners for Suriname but their heroes hung on for a hard fought 2-1 win to the delight of the large home crowd.

Antigua and Cuba now sit on top of Group G, joined by their single success, leaving Friday’s games delicately poised for all sides as Group G takes shape.

For more information, access to match images and live score updates, visit www.digicelfootball.com <http://www.digicelfootball.com>

Antigua & Barbuda: 18. Keita Decastro 17 George Dublin 5 Dave Carr 4 Karanja Mack (19. Roy Gregory 80 mins) 6 Joshua Parker 13 Mikele Leightwood 12 Justin Cochrane 20 Akeem Thomas (8 Quinton Griffith 72 mins) 16 Peter Byers 7 Gason Gregory (9. Kerry Skeeple 88 mins)  14 Randolph Burto

Suriname: 1. Obrendo Huiswoud 5 Foline Abauna 6 Roche Emanelson 4 Marlon Felter 3 Derrick Garden 15 Naldo Kwasie (14. Giovanni Waal 72 mins)10 Stefan Baneti (17 Germaine Van Dijck 68 mins) 11 Wensly Christopher 7 Emilio Limon (16. Gregory Rigters 81 mins) 8 Ives Vlijter 9 Stefano Rijssel

Referee:                                              Kevin Morrison
Assistant Referee 1:                           Dion Neil
Assistant Referee 2:                           Mentor Baptiste

Match Commissioner :                      Colin Klass (Guyana)

ENDS

ABOUT DIGICEL GROUP

After nine years of operation, Digicel Group Limited has 11 million customers across its 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Cup. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.

Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti and Papua New Guinea which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

In 2004, Digicel developed Digicel Rising Stars – an annual talent show to support aspiring young music artists in the Caribbean. The show has spanned the Eastern Caribbean, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago ranking as one of the top-rated shows.

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Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.