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Guadeloupe do just enough to put themselves in pole position for 2nd spot

Antigua and Barbuda do their Country proud in the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

Picture by: digicelfootball.com

Close control from Nicoise

Statistics
Guadeloupe Stat Antigua and Barbuda
12 Shots 5
13 Fouls 16
7 Corner Kicks 4
10 Offsides 2
4 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 1
Goals
(41') Jean Luc Lamboude  

Wednesday, December 1st 2010 – Stade de Riviere Pilote, Martinique: Guadeloupe needed a win whereas a draw would have been enough to see Antigua and Barbuda obtain a semi-final berth. With Guadeloupe requiring all three points it ensured we would not have to endure the stale mate of last night’s opener, and the crowd certainly turned out in Riviere Pilote to witness the occasion.

Guadeloupe opened the brighter side and asserted most of the early pressure with Belson gaining control of the middle of the park, the tactic of bringing their wide players into play was evident right from the start.

The first real action came after 15 minutes when a great pass was sprayed diagonally from the Guadeloupe defense to the right winger Nabab, who played a neat interchange with Loval but then strayed offside for the return pass, it was a tight call and prevented a clear chance on goal.

Antigua relied mainly on set pieces in the opening exchanges to create their danger moments, while Guadeloupe coped well you could sense Antigua’s anticipation when the chances arose as they pushed their big men forward.

There was a penalty shout for Guadeloupe on 20 minutes, when good work down the right side again, resulted in a low cross being delivered across the face of the goal and just when attacker was going to strike, he was bundled to the ground. Fair challenge judged the referee.

On 33 minutes Guadeloupe won good possession in midfield and had a chance to break, they created an opening down the inside left channel only for the attacker’s first touch to let him down. Had he managed to get it under control he would have had a very good shooting chance. An opportunity wasted one felt.

Guadeloupe continued to dominate possession and pile on the pressure. It paid off when on 41 minutes a cross from the left hand bye line from Cedric Collet into a crowded penalty area was diverted goalwards by the Jean Luc Lamboude. It was a vital touch as no defender in a yellow shirt was able to prevent it reaching the back of the net. A crucial intervention from the central defender who was in the right place at the right time.

Antigua came out in the second half and posed a more attacking threat from the beginning. It was now up to them to force the issue if they wanted to stay in the competition.

However this tactic was going to allow space at the back for Guadeloupe to exploit and this they very nearly did on two occasions in the opening 15 minutes of the half. Both chances were set up by Collet down the left. The first one fell to the head of Gendrey when he managed to climb highest at the back post but could not divert the chance goalward. The second chance came on 60 minutes when the left hand cross was headed back across the goals for Mickael Nicoise to control well inside the box and shoot low toward the goal only to be denied by the post. It was a very good sequence from Guadeloupe which deserved better.

The mid period of the second half was even, with neither side creating a clear cut chance. Antigua pushed more men forward as the half wore on and it was Guadeloupe who was relying on the counter attack now.

With 7 minutes remaining Antigua had their best chance of the match when from a long ball Peter Byers was in a race to the ball with the Guadeloupe keeper Yohann Bus, luckily for Guadeloupe Bus was brave and got down well at the feet of the Antiguan striker.

With 5 minutes to go Antigua made life a little more when Dave Carr got sent off for his second bookable offense.

Antigua continued to throw men forward in the remaining minutes especially from set piece opportunities. On 90 minutes they had Bus in trouble from a well delivered cross when he failed to claim the ball and appeared to collide with the Antiguan attacker inside the box. The referee gave a free out when many thought it could have been a penalty. This was the last opportunity from Antigua and Barbuda who did their nation proud in the competition. Guadeloupe had to hope that Jamaica would not lose to Guyana. If Guyana could claim three points in the next match they would qualify ahead of Guadeloupe. An intriguing tie in store.

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

Guadeloupe:

1 Yohann Bus 4 Ulick Lupede (46 mins 2. Kevin Lacroix) 6 Stephane Auvray (Captain) 7. Mickael Nicoise (79 mins 5. Dominique Mocka) 10. Gregory Gendrey 12. Cedric Collet (69 mins 19. Larry Clavier) 13 Jean Luc Lomboude 14 Julien Ictoi 15. Livio Nabab 18 Eddy Viator 20 Loic Loval

Coach:  Roger Salnot

Antigua & Barbuda:

1 Molvin James 2. Ranja Christian (61 mins 14. Randolph Burton) 4 Karanja Mack 5. Dave Carr 6 Joshua Parker 7 Gason Gregory 10. Desmind Bleau (74 mins 9. Kerry Skepple) 16. Peter Byers (90 mins 11. Jamie Thomas) 17 George Dublin (Captain) 19 Martin McCoy 20 Akeem Thomas

Coach:  Rowan Benjamin

Referee: Walter Lopez (Guatemala)

Assistant Referee 1 – Dion Neil (Trinidad & Tobago)

Assistant Referee 2 – Graeme Browne (St. Kitts & Nevis)

Commissioner – Hubert Isenia (Curacao)

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.

Visitwww.digicelgroup.com  for more information.