Haiti won their second successive Under-17 Caribbean Cup title yesterday evening at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, as the French-speaking islanders routed Cuba 5-0 in the CFU final.
Steeve Moondestin put the Haitians ahead with an item in the 36th minute. But the game really swung open in the second half, as team captain and tournament MPV Steeve Saint-Doc doubled their advantage in the 55th minute before goals from Jean Danley, Louidon Cassues and Nael Elysee completed the rout.
Haiti finished the competition unbeaten with four wins over hosts Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, Curacao and Cuba and one draw against Jamaica. And the champs scored an impressive 15 goals with just one conceded over the course of the tournament.
Haiti’s lone goal conceded came in the semifinal when Curacao had the temerity to score first before being whipped 3-1.
The young “Reggae Boyz” rebounded from a 1-0 semifinal loss to Cuba on Friday night to finish third in the CFU competition, after 3-0 win over Curacao on Sunday afternoon.
Striker Raewin Senior opened the scoring for Jamaica in the 21st minute before a second half Nicque Daley double put the result beyond doubt.
Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and Curacao all advance to the 2017 CONCACAF Championship in Panama alongside Suriname, who finished as the best third place group stage team.
Trinidad and Tobago finished sixth from the eight competing teams, as their 2017 Under-17 World Cup campaign ended after just three matches.
Two years ago, Haiti went to the CONCACAF tournament in Honduras as Caribbean champions but ended up as cannon fodder for their North and Central American rivals.
Haiti lost all four group matches against Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Panama and conceded 16 goals while scoring just twice in those clashes.
They will hope for a better showing next year in Panama with Saint-Doc steering their offence.
Haiti have never qualified for a youth World Cup while Trinidad and Tobago got to the 2007 Under-17 World Cup and 2009 Under-20 World Cup in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
CFU Under-17 Final
(Sunday 26 September)
Haiti 5 (Steeve Moondestin 3, Steeve Saint-Doc 55, Jean Danley 65, Louidon Cassues 78, Nael Elysee 90), Cuba 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Third Place Play Off
(Sunday 26 September)
Jamaica 3 (Raewin Senior 21, Nicque Daley 48, 70), Curacao 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium.