Digicel Caribbean Cup showpiece ends in draw
|(45') Armando Isidoro||(7') Germaine Van Dick|
|(65') Alain Ofarril||(49') Stefano Rijssel|
|(88') Adonis Soler||(81') Derrick Garden|
Friday, November 12th 2010 – Antigua Recreation Grounds, Antigua: In what was one of the games of the tournament, Cuba clawed their way back from the death three times to draw level with Suriname in this Group G thriller of the Digicel Caribbean Cup.
Knowing that a win was an absolute requirement for them, Suriname came out of the blocks taking the game to the pre match favourites Cuba. With the dynamic Limon stamping his authority in the middle of the park, Suriname took the initiative by going in front after only 7 minutes.
It was the midfield maestro Limon who brought the ball forward and slipped a delicate pass to Germaine Van Dick who took one touch on the left hand side composed himself and smashed his effort past the slightly suspect Guivert in the Cuban goal.
Cuba roared down the field and within 2 minutes were cursing their luck when Cervantes smashed his effort off the Surinamese crossbar.
It was all Cuba from then on and Isidoro was proving a real menace as he darted in and around the Suriname defence looking for that elusive equalizer. When he rounded Huiswood on 18 minutes, the angle he was left to try slot the ball into the open net after picking up on a loose back pass from Garden was just too tight and the side netting rescued Suriname.
Huiswood was the busier of the keepers as he saw off efforts from Isidoro, Ofarril and Cervantes, with a last gasp touch just flicking the ball off the toe of Campanioni when the midfielder seemed destined to score.
With such a strong constant attacking force, Cuba left themselves slightly open to the counter attack which Suriname almost took advantage of but for indecisive finishing from Christopher when put through by the ever impressive Limon.
Agonizingly for Suriname Cuba drew level with the last action of the first half. Ofarril’s inch perfect delivery from the corner found the towering centre half Molina, whose header was met by the predator goal poaching head of Isidoro who directed the ball into the Suriname net to the complete dismay of Huiswoud.
Suriname started the second half in the same manner as the first and restored their lead after only 4 minutes of the restart. With what could be one of the goals of the tournament, Limon yet again laid the vital pass on for Rijssel whose first time left footed drive from the edge of the box flew past Guivert and almost ripped the net from the stanchion.
Cuba were left in a groundhog day situation as they now had to go in search of that equalizer once again. Coach Triana made a daring move by putting on two strikers from the subs bench and deciding attack was now paramount. Fortunately for them, Cuba did not have to wait too long for parity as they equalized on 65 minutes.
If Suriname’s second goal was a cracker, Cuba’s goal had class written all over it. Former Captain and the tall centre half stalwart was again the provider when he picked up the ball in his first movement forward, and clipped a sublime pass over the top for Ofarril to take beautifully with his first touch and deftly lob it over the advancing Huiswood into the open net with his second touch.
With the two teams looking for that winner, Suriname’s hunger shone through as Limon fed Christopher down the left wing whose cut back found skipper Garden who had ventured forward, controlled the ball on the edge of the box and saw his effort rebound off the post but in to the net off the back of the unfortunate keeper Guivert.
Cuba were in catch up mode once again and coach Triana threw his last roll of the dice by bringing on Soler, which proved to be an inspired choice. From a free kick far on the right, the set piece was again the undoing of Suriname, as the unmarked Soler headed home from 6 yards to send the diminutive player off on his celebration.
It was heartbreaking for Suriname who had fought so valiantly and ensured the game of the group was an end to end thriller from start to finish. In the end Cuba showed their class and came away from the game with their unbeaten status intact. With English scouts Phil Stephenson and Pete Russell in the crowd joining Sunderland coaches and former Premier League Players Kevin Ball and Carlton Fairweather, the English clubs must surely have been impressed with the quality of players on display.
The final whistle was greeted by the football savvy Antiguan crowd hugely applauding both sets of players in what was a fantastic advertisement for the Digicel Caribbean football tournament.
For more information, access to match images and live score updates, visit www.digicelfootball.com.
Cuba: 12. Vismel Guivert 3 Yenier Molina 16 Reysnader Cervantes 6 Yoel Valencia 8 Jaine Valencia 14 Alianni Montoya 2 Carlos Francisco Serrano 15 Armando Isidoro (19. Leonel Duarte Pla 60 mins) 9 Alain Ofarril (13. Adonis Soler 80mins) 7. Marcel Campanioni (10. Roberto Balmaseda 60 mins) 11. Sander Cervantes
Coach: Yenietz Molina
Suriname: 1. Obrendo Huiswoud 3. Derrick Garden 5 Foline Abauna 6 Roche Emanelson 4 Marlon Felter 14. Giovanni Waal (15. Naldo Kwasie 38 mins) 17 Germaine Van Dijck 11 Wensly Christopher 7 Emilio Limon (16. Gregory Rigters 90 mins) 8 Ives Vlijter (10 Stefan Baneti 75 mins) 9 Stefano Rijssel
Coach: R Winter
Referee: Courtney Campbell
Assistant Referee 1: Dion Neil
Assistant Referee 2: Mentor Baptiste
Match Commissioner : Colin Klass (Guyana)
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.
Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and its markets comprise: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts in the Caribbean.
Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.