Cuba win third spot in the Digicel Caribbean Cup
|(12') 16. Roberto Balmaseda|
Sunday, December 5th 2010 – Pierre Aliker Dillon, Martinique: Cuba eased their pain somewhat, of losing their semi final for the third consecutive Digicel Cup, by beating Grenada 1-0 in the third and fourth placed play off of the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals being held in Martinique.
With both sides having played a stale 0-0 draw in their Group H encounter previously, Cuba and Grenada owed a lot to the competition to make amends and from the start both sides seemed a lot more intent on goals.
Cuba took the initiative and started the game well. They were rewarded after 12 minutes when Balmaseda cut in from the left and when his attempted cross took a wicked deflection off the unlucky Rennie and a further wicked bounce off the unsteady surface, Grenada found themselves behind as the ball hopped over a helpless Baptiste in the spice boys goal.
Campanioni was unlucky not to double that lead 4 minutes later when his bullet header went inches the far side of the post after a wonderful cross from Yoel Valencia on the right.
Grenada just could not get going and it really should have been 2-0 to the Cubans when Balmaseda and Campanioni yet again combined to set up Yoel Valencia whose header flew wide when he was positioned perfectly to double the lead.
Soler was next up on the shooting list for Cuba as Grenada remained pinned to their half with no chance of being allowed out. Yet Baptiste was in fine form and he was not about to let the Cubans have an easy ride.
The second half was the same story, Cuba dominated and after 64 minutes Grenada had the woodwork this time to thank for the scoreline not being extended. Soler went down the left hand side and when everyone expected the cross, he thundered his shot goal wards and with Baptiste beaten all ends up the ball bounced off the cross bar and away, much to the relief of the spice boys netminder.
On 73 minutes the move of the match saw Valencia and Campanioni combine for the latter to audaciously scoop the ball over all the defenders for Balmaseda to control and be left with a one on one from 10 yards. But the striker failed to beat Baptiste and it was his last action of the game as his coach rightly had enough of his wasteful misses and brought in Duarte Pla.
Grenada, having not had a shot to date, suddenly had an incredible gift to equalize. Kithson Bain made space and maneuvered down the left and his cross–come-shot saw the ball bobble across the face of the goal for substitute Lancaster Joseph to have the simplest of tasks of converting from 2 yards at the back post. Amazingly the novice somehow managed to miss, albeit under some pressure from Cantillo, but nonetheless it was a woeful miss.
That was Grenada’s one and only chance of the game and despite some further opportunities for the Cubans the score remained 1-0.
Cuba picked up their cheque for USD$50,000 and have the honour of receiving the bronze medals.
Grenada runners up in 2008, had the pride of being fourth, picking up a cheque for USD$30,000 and being the final qualifier to the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2011.
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.
For more information, access to match images and live score updates, visit www.digicelfootball.com.
1 Andre Baptiste 3. Shanon Philip 4 Curt Rennie 5. Cassim Langaigne 7 Byron Bubb 8 Delroy Facey (18. Lancaster Joseph 71 mins) 10 Kitson Bain 11 Benedict Modeste (Captain) 17 Craig Rocastle 19 Patrick Modeste 20 Shane Rennie (Rimmel Daniel 58 mins)
Coach: Franklyn Simpson
1 Odelin Molina Hernandez 2 Carlos D. Francisco Serrano 3 Jeniet Marquez Molina 4. Hanier Cantillo 6 Yoel Colome 7. Marcel Companioni 8. Jaine Valencia (Captain) 13. Adonis Soler (11. Sander Cervantes 69 mins)14 Aliannis Urgelles Montoya 10. Roberto Balmaseda (19. Leonel Duarte Pla 75 mins) 16 Reysandri Cervantez
Coach: Raul Gonzalez Triana
Referee: Walter Lopez (Costa Rica)
Assistant Referee 1: Dion Neil ( Triniad & Tobago)
Assistant Referee 2: Egbert Paesch (Suriname)
Match Commissioner: Patrick Beckles (Barbados)
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.