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Reggae Boyz advance but get their toughest test yet

Heartache for the Spice Boyz

Picture by: digicelfootball.com

The Winner

  JM Jamaica 2 - 1 Grenada GR  
Statistics
Jamaica Stat Grenada
20 Shots 9
14 Fouls 8
8 Corner Kicks 1
5 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
Goals
(7') 11. Dane Richards (13') 10. Kithson Bain
(96') 16. Troy Smith  

Friday, December 3rd 2010 – Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique: The Reggae Boyz advance to the Digicel Caribbean Cup Final but get a stern test from a resilient and resolute side from Grenada. No doubt Jamaica came into the game as firm favourites but Grenada kept it very tight in the opening exchanges. It was Grenada who created the first shooting chance of the match. They had a free kick from about 30 yards but did not manage to trouble Miller in the Jamaica goal as the ball drifted harmlessly wide.

In the 7th minute a good long ball from the Jamaica defense found Ryan Johnson out on the right wing for Jamaica’s first real attack. Johnson controlled brilliantly which enabled him get his head up to pick the perfect slide rule pass splitting two Grenada defenders to find Dane Richards - Samsung Man of the Match. Richards made no mistake with the finish, he slotted the ball home from 10 yards out. An early goal for Jamaica is just what the favourites needed and in the few minutes after the goal they proceeded to stroke the ball around the park with a great deal of confidence.

In the 13th minute Grenada got the ball forward and there didn’t appear too much danger for Jamaica when Kithson Bain collected ball on the edge of the box, there was a number of Reggae Boyz in close proximity, but Bain shot quick on the turn from 20 yards, the ball had enough pace and direction to beat Miller in his bottom left corner. Jamaica who had appeared very confident after their early opener found themselves with it all to do again.

In the 26th Minute Jamaica were after number two, this time it was Lovel Palmer in space down the right, he played a low cross that was sure to find a yellow shirt but for the timely intervention of Baptiste in the Grenada goal. Just after this chance Jamaica suffered a blow when, Ryan Johnson, their San Jose Earthquakes striker had to go off injured.

When Grenada managed to find their front men Bain and Delroy Facey, they caused Jamaica problems. On 37 Minutes, a good move from Grenada resulted in a great right footed effort from their danger man Bain that just barely missed the target.

While Jamaica had the majority of possession both teams looked to attack at every opportunity which made for an exciting spectacle. In one such attack Jamaica created another opening from a determined run by Rodolph Austin down the right, he got to the bye-line and delivered a great cross to the back post. However, Baptiste again did very well to take it off the head of the onrushing Luton Sheldon.

Just before the interval the Reggae Boyz came forward again with Dane Richards – the New York Red Bulls star – who created a glorious opening with a defense splitting pass to Sheldon on the left, Sheldon played it across the face of the goal but could not direct it to a yellow jersey.

Jamaica signaled their intent at the start of the second half when after just 3 minutes Omar Cummings was put through by a delightful pass. Cummings with only the keeper to beat slipped the ball past him only for it to be cleared off the line by Shanon Philip who showed great hustle to make the clearance.

After 13 minutes of the half, Jamaica designed a super passing move where the spread the ball from left to right to find Richards in space on the right side of the penalty area, he played a looping cross come shot that rebounded off the crossbar. On 67 minutes they had Grenada on the back foot again. This time Shaun Francis went on a mazy run down the left wing, created a very good opening but just took one touch too many.

Jamaica was dominating proceedings but not able to find that decisive touch in the final third to make the all important breakthrough. With 6 minutes remaining another great chance fell to the Reggae Boyz and their main man Dane Richards, but even he could not find the target, and when almost immediately afterwards Troy Smith went close from a curling effort from the left their fans must have been wondering if it was going to be one of those nights where things just don’t go your way. 90 minutes ended all square at one each

The first few minutes of extra time saw Jamaica get even closer as Lovel Palmer dispatched a sensational right footed curling shot that was headed for the top corner only to be denied by the woodwork. The tension was rising with the Jamaican’s.

After 6 minutes of the first period, Rodolph Austin attacked down the right again, he got to the bye-line but this time turned back onto his left foot to send a cross deep to the far post. When the Grenadian defender missed the header Troy Simmons found the ball at his feet with a good shooting chance, he drove the ball low back across the keeper and found the bottom corner of the net much to the relief of the dominant Jamaican side.

With 5 minutes remaining Sergio Campbell from Jamaica, who was not long on the pitch, got a straight red card which provided a huge boost to Grenada. They threw everything at Jamaica in the final few minutes but a well organized Jamaican defense stood firm. The Reggae Boyz did just enough to make the Final.

Jamaica versus Guadeloupe in the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals.

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

13. Dwayne Miller 2. Richard Edwards (106 mins 3. Sergio Campbell) 4 Shavar Thomas (Captain) 6 Jermaine Taylor 7 Lovel Palmer 9. Ryan Johnson (27 Mins Omar Cummings) 11 Dane Richards 15 Shaun Francis (72 mins 16. Troy Smith) 17 Rodolph Austin 19 Adrian Reid 21 Luton Shelton

Coach: Theodore Whitmore

Grenada:

1 Andre Baptiste 2 David Cyrus 3. Shanon Philip 5. Cassim Langaigne (101 mins 16. Arkenson Neckles) 6. Marc Marshall  7 Byron Bubb (99 mins 4. Curt Rennie) 8 Delroy Facey 10 Kitson Bain 11 Benedict Modeste (Captain) 17 Craig Rocastle 19 Patrick Modeste (76 mins 12. Bradley Bubb)

Coach: Franklyn Simpson

Referee:                                             Trevor Taylor (Barbados)

Assistant Referee 1:                         Adrian Goddard (Barbados)

Assistant Referee 2:                         Venton Mars (Guyana)

Match 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.

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Visit www.digicelgroup.com  for more information.