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Jamaica looking strong to retain Digicel title

Reggae Boyz start defence of Digicel Cup with a win

Picture by: digicelfootball.com

Parker attacks for Antigua

Statistics
Jamaica Stat Antigua and Barbuda
11 Shots 8
16 Fouls 14
4 Corner Kicks 4
7 Offsides 4
5 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
Goals
(14') Luton Shelton (49') Gason Gregory
(37') Luton Shelton  
(40') Dane Richards  

Saturday, November 27th 2010 – Stade Riviere Pilote, Martinique: Jamaica started the defence of their Digicel Cup title by outclassing Antigua &  Barbuda in wet and windy conditions in Martinique in the opening games of Group I of the Digicel Cup Finals.
The Reggae Boyz competing in their first game of the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup started brightly but were in a game against a lively and energetic Antiguan side who did not seem to be daunted by their opponents.

That confidence was soon knocked when after only 14 minutes play, Dane Richards turned the ball into the path of Luton Shelton who had the easiest of tasks by placing the ball past Decastro with a confident sidefoot into the Antiguan net.

Richards almost made it 2 five minutes later, when the pacey striker knocked the ball over the advancing Decastro after a long ball had put him through, only for Dublin to show his pace by outsprinting the Jamaican striker to clear what would have been a certain goal for the Reggae Boyz.

The reigning Digicel Cup champions looked to stamp their authority on this game and always looked the more likely to extend their lead as their pace and quick passing looked as if it would undo Antigua on a few more occasions at least.

On 37 minutes a long ball over the top from Shaun Francis allowed Luton Shelton to race clear and when confronted by keeper Decastro, he cleverly cut back across the retreating defenders and slotted home to make it 2-0.

Three minutes later and the Reggae Boyz were three up. This time Dane Richards was the scorer after another through ball caught the Antiguan defence flat once again and yet again the Jamaican striker took his opportunity at the first time of asking.

Antigua were given a lifeline at the start of the second half when substitute Gason Gregory on the pitch only 3 minutes, made an immediate impact when his thunderous free kick from 30 yards flew past a bewildered Dwayne Miller who could only palm at the thunderbolt but not prevent it crashing into the back of his net.

Antigua’s confidence now rose ten-fold and they took to their opponents with a new found purpose. On 55 minutes Byers looked odds on to pull another back for Antigua as he charged down on Jamaica’s goal only for a wonderful one handed flying save from Miller that turned the ball out for a corner preventing a second for the underdogs.

Antigua continued to play with purpose and were testing the Jamaican defence more and more with Byers growing in confidence after a wicked curling effort just flew past the post.

Richards then broke away on 66 minutes and with two defenders to beat, his trickery and pace got him around those but when faced with just the keeper, seemed to rush his shot and blasted over the bar, when he seemed odds on to score a wonder goal.

The game moved equally between both ends for the remainder of the game with Antigua certainly looking more purposeful and were probably ruing those lacklustre defensive frailties for a few mad moments in the first half which were now looking so costly to them.

Jamaica saw out the dying moments pinned back and while they were on the back foot they were comfortable enough to ensure that the three points were secured as they end their opening encounter of the Digicel Cup 2010 top of their Group I here in Martinique.

The Digicel Cup Finals will be played from November 26 through to December 5 in Martinique with live television broadcast worldwide courtesy of Digicel as well as live radio coverage, images and updates on www.digicelfootball.com www.digicelfootball.com.

For more information, access to match images and live score updates, visit www.digicelfootball.com.

Jamaica:
13. Dwayne Miller 2 Richard Edwards 4 Shavar Thomas (Captain) 6 Jermaine Taylor 7 Lovel Palmer 10 Keammar Daley (5. O’Brian Woodbine 74 mins) 11 Dane Richards (8. Eric Vernon 81 mins) 13 Dwayne Miller 15 Shaun Francis 17 Rodolph Austin (18 Keneil Moodie 90 mins) 19 Adrian Reid 21 Luton Shelton

Coach: Theodore Whitmore

Antigua & Barbuda:
18 Keita Decastro 5 Dave Carr 6 Joshua Parker 12 Justin Cochrane 13 Kieran Murtagh 14 Randolph Burton (2. Ranja Christian 70 mins) 17 George Dublin (Captain) 19 Martin McCoy 20 Akeem Thomas (8. Quinton Griffith 90 mins) 11 Jamie Thomas (7. Gason Gregory 46 mins) 16 Peter Byers

Coach:            Rowan Benjamin

Referee:                                             Enrico Wijngaarde ( Suriname)
Assistant Referee 1:                         Ricardo Louisville (Suriname)
Assistant Referee 2:                        Egbert Paesch (Aruba)
Match Commissioner:                      Patrick Beckles (Barbados)


 

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.

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.