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Warriors into Caribbean Cup final after dull draw with Cuba

The Trinidad and Tobago national football team will compete for its first Caribbean Cup title in 13 years on Tuesday after the “Soca Warriors” finished their Group A assignments tonight with a goalless draw against Cuba in Montego Bay.

If coach Stephen Hart is looking forward to Tuesday, he might want to forget Saturday.

The Warriors, who rested in-form attacker Kevin Molino, did not manage a single shot on the Cuban goal over 90 minutes while goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams was forced into three sharp first half saves to preserve the clean sheet. It was the first goalless match of the 2014 Caribbean Cup tournament.

Photo: Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams has established himself as one of CONCACAF's top goalkeepers in 2013. (Courtesy Mysanantonio.com)
Photo: Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams has established himself as one of CONCACAF’s top goalkeepers in 2013.
(Courtesy Mysanantonio.com)

Cuba was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty too as Trinidad and Tobago defender Carlyle Mitchell escaped censor for bundling opposing striker Armando Coroneaux to the ground in the 23rd minute.

Mitchell and Yohance Marshall did not distinguish themselves in central defence; but then few players did in the red, white and black outfits.

Perhaps a disjointed performance was not entirely unexpected considering Hart made nine changes to the team that downed French Guiana 4-2 in a bid to keep his players fresh, even though team captain Kenwyne Jones played over 80 minutes.

Cuba, who travelled with a smaller squad than its opponents and might have been struggling with the rigours of the competition, needed at least a draw to qualify for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. And the final 10 minutes were a farce as the Warriors stroked the ball around in defence while the Spanish-speaking islanders retreated to their own half.

The result meant that French Guiana, who needed a Trinidad and Tobago triumph to advance to the Gold Cup for the first time, was eliminated.

The Trinidad and Tobago squad, which has not been paid match fees in six months, will now face either Jamaica or Haiti in the Caribbean Cup final as the two top Group B teams meet in a showdown tomorrow evening. And Hart might have the last laugh as the majority of his squad, including Molino, will have almost five days rest before the final while the Jamaican and Haitian players might just have a day and a half off.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfield ace Kevin Molino (centre) flicks the ball around Dominican Republic midfielder Heinz Barmettler (left) during the Caribbean Cup qualifiers while coach Stephen Hart looks on. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfield ace Kevin Molino (centre) flicks the ball around Dominican Republic midfielder Heinz Barmettler (left) during the Caribbean Cup qualifiers while coach Stephen Hart looks on.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The Caribbean Cup winner will also qualify automatically for the 2016 Copa America tournament, which will be hosted by the United States.


Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 2.Justin Hoyte, 18.Yohance Marshall (6.Daneil Cyrus 65), 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 3.Joevin Jones; 5.Kevan George, 17.Leston Paul (14.Andre Boucaud 78); 13.Cordell Cato, 11.Ataulla Guerra, 16.Shahdon Winchester; 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain) (27.Jonathan Glenn 82).

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 24.Adrian Foncette (GK), 7.Hughtun Hector, 8.Khaleem Hyland, 10.Kevin Molino, 12.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 15.Jamal Gay, 23.Lester Peltier, 26.Aubrey David.

Coach: Stephen Hart


2014 Caribbean Cup

Group A

(Sat Nov 15)

French Guiana 4, Curaçao 1 at Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica;

Cuba 0, Trinidad and Tobago 0 at Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica.

(Thu Nov 13)

Trinidad and Tobago 4 (Kevin Molino 17, 58, Lester Peltier 60 pen, Ataulla Guerra 90+4), French Guiana 2 (Brian Saint-Clair 64, Jean David Legrand 83) at the Montego Bay Sport Complex

Cuba 3 (Jorge Luis Corrales 15, Yasmany Lopez 51, Orisbel Leiza 90+5), Curaçao 2 (Prince Rajcomar 45, Gevaro Nepomuceno 69) at the Montego Bay Sport Complex

(Tue Nov 11)

Trinidad and Tobago 3 (Kenwyne Jones 25 pen, 38, Kevin Molino 50), Curaçao 2 (Rihario Meulens 18, Gianluca Maria 48) at the Montego Bay Sport Complex

French Guiana 1 (Mickael Solvi 90), Cuba 1 (Ariel Martinez 57) at the Montego Bay Sport Complex


Group B

(Wed Nov 12)

Haiti 2 (Jean Sony Alcenat 23, Kervens Belfort 36), Antigua and Barbuda 2 (Myles Weston 58, Peter Byers 60) at the Montego Bay Sport Complex

Jamaica 1 (Darren Mattocks 13), Martinique 1 (Yoann Arquin 29) at the Montego Bay Sport Complex

(Fri Nov 14)

Martinique 0, Haiti 3 (Wilde Guerrier 52, Kervens Belfort 63, 90) at Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica;

Jamaica 3 (Kemar Lawrence 29, Darren Mattocks 44, Rodolph Austin 85), Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica;


Upcoming fixtures

Group B

(Sun Nov 16)

Antigua and Barbuda v Martinique, 6.30 pm, Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica;

Jamaica v Haiti, 9 pm, Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica;


Third Place Play Off

(Tue Nov 18)

Cuba v Group B runner-up, 6 pm (TT time), Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica;



(Tue Nov 18)

Trinidad and Tobago v Group B winner, 9 pm (TT time), Montego Bay Sport Complex, Jamaica.

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  1. We will Lasana. Keep the faith. These fellas playing their hearts out against all odds. Think Hart will want to go out with a bang. I’m just surmising.

  2. That’s right Prince. And I agree Mervyn. The Jamaica coach was under a lot of pressure to get to the final. So he pushed his team flat out.
    Jamaica looked like the team of the tournament. But hopefully T&T benefits from being smarter.

  3. Sheldon I think jam took their spot this year. If I am not mistaken they are competing for 2016

  4. Lasana Liburd does this mean T&T qualifies for Copa ? because i believe Jamaica has taken Japan spot already

  5. Based on what you are saying, means the best JA team should be tired, therefore switching players at this crucial time could also unsettle the team. The coach could have a cash 22 on his hands. Let’s hope he does.

  6. That is the most creative Jamaican team I have ever seen. But Trinidad and Tobago players should be fresher. Jamaica did not rotate players and has less time to recuperate as well.

  7. He has to start the best X1 available….fresh legs available to him. Losing is not an option.

  8. If hart can pull off beating jam 2 times on jam. Big ups

  9. Group “A”. T&T – 7pts… Cuba – 5pts……Group “B” – Jam. – 7pts…Haiti – 4pts.
    T&T plays Jamaica in final…GOOD LUCK T&T, you can do it again.

  10. Haiti had most of the ball in this one. We should have an advantage with fresher legs. Home-field advantage is huge though

  11. They didn’t come out to play tonight

  12. Lasana like is Jamaica we’ll be playing come Tuesday. Hmm!! We have to beat them at home again!!! What happen to Haiti?

  13. Those rules might have been passed on. But not to the media. It is hard to tell what is going on.
    There were changes to this tournament within a week of kick off.
    Teams were allowed more players, rules were changed about how many players could sit on the bench. The start and end days were changed.
    They have been making it up as they go along.
    Hopefully there is a winner so it doesn’t end in farce.

  14. LOL!!! I was once involved in sports at National/International level…at different levels within that discipline. my experiences have been that when teams compete at national level and especially at International level, rules of the tournament are distributed to participating countries and officials for perusal so that every country will be on the same page…seems as though that has gone through the window. Thanks Lasana for the explanation.

  15. Mervyn, it is usually based on goals scored. But recently CFU went by head to head. If that fails, they eliminate the score against the bottom team.
    If so, then it depends on if Antigua or Martinique wins.
    If Antigua wins and Jamaica and Haiti draw, then presumably Jamaica goes into the final because Haiti’s win over Martinique no longer counts.
    Simple enough? No?
    Blame the CFU then. I have no idea whether that rule is still in place or not. The CFU is not very efficient at responding to emails or having knowledgeable people answer the phone.
    But that was in place for last CFU youth tournament when I asked.

  16. True that but you would have thought by now they would have realized that we have great sports men and women in this country and if it was they had given them the support and resources we could have reached much further. Having your country’s name called in a international event is free advertising that you cannot pay for and that could go a long way for Tourism etc

  17. Jonathan sports in Trinidad is a hobby to the politicians and business sector, hence their attitude towards our athletes. every now and again an athlete or team will rise and put us on the map and the honorables come crawling out

  18. Just pay them their money too please let’s not have a repeat from the world cup team and the recent embarrassment of the woman football team. All of this enables motivation

  19. Feels good to have a coach who is in sync with the available talent. Don’t think we have had that for a while, and the players are responding largely in a positive way. Feels (and looks) like we are on the “up”..

  20. Stephen Hart has shown his shrewdness in the way he has rotated the team to steer them into the final. Some of the players on the other hand have let him and themselves down with their performances.

  21. Point is, if the Haiti/Jamaica game ends in a draw, would who goes thru to play T&T depends on who scored more goals? I am not sure if the rules….HELP. I know going in to this last game they are tied on points, but Haiti scored 1 more goal than Jamaica, also had 1 more goal scored against them than Jamaica …so?..shootouts?

  22. Also does he plan on sitting Jones?

  23. That game was extremely boring. Haven’t seen them play for a while and was very disappointed.

  24. Why is it still that our sports men and women representing our country ALWAYS have an issue with payments? I wish that the media will do a basic story to find out if the powers that be in charge of issuing/organizing payments if they get paid because I can’t understand why the players and coach has not been paid for 6 months.

  25. But that was then and now is now!

  26. We have the advantage of fresh legs for the final. And we will need it.
    Jamaica looked really good against Antigua and Haiti has had our number in recent tournaments.

  27. Thank God his tactics worked. Geez ah real sweat through that game. Now understand why Cuba retreated in the last 10 mins or so. Thanks for your explanation as i was baffled by the move. So on to the Finals. That Cup will be returning home. Plenty prayers needed but i think our players have the ability and will power to do the necessary. Go Soca Warriors. We’re already proud of your accomplishments.