Jamaica retains Caribbean Cup

Jamaica won its second straight Digicel Caribbean Cup and fifth overall Sunday, outlasting Guadeloupe 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. Jamaica prevailed when Guadeloupe captain Jean Luc Lamboude – whose 78th-minute goal beat Cuba 2-1 in the semifinals on Friday and put Gwada Boys into the title match — shot wide left on the last attempt of the shootout.

For Jamaica, it was their fifth straight victory and gave them a third crown in five years, moving them closer to Trinidad & Tobago, which was won the Caribbean Cup eight times. It came despite a reported player revolt in the past week over compensation, a situation averted when Jamaican Football Federation President Horace Burrell said he would meet the demands out of his personal funds.

Both teams were playing their fifth game in nine days and Jamaica its second extra time match in three. Lamboude typified what appeared to be growing fatigue, twice missing easy balls in regulation, one deep in his own end that looked like it could result in a goal for Jamaica. Guadeloupe had the better of play for the first 20 minutes of the first half but failed to generate anything that seriously tested Jamaica keeper Dwayne Miller.

Jamaica then started to create some danger and took the lead on a quick break that Omar Cummings finished with a notable individual effort in the 32nd. Rodolph Austin sprint down the right and his cross to e back post was headed back in front of the goal by Luton Shelton. Cummings had to retreat to the six-yard line, turn his back to goal and then spin to hit a twisting, falling shot with his right foot that beat Guadeloupe keeper Yohann Bus just under the crossbar.

Jamaica replied less than five minutes later when Lery Hanany sent a looping ball into the penalty area. Jamaica’s Jermaine Taylor tried to intercept with an extended foot, but could not make contact and the ball bounced in front of Ludovic Gotin, who volleyed a powerful blast from 10 meters. It was Gotin’s second goal of the tournament and first since a second-round victory over Puerto Rico on October 24.

Guadeloupe again showed better to start the second half with Cedric Collet floating a left-footed attempt wide in the 59th and Stephane Auvray, back after missing the semifinals, shooting high from distance a minute later. Both teams had moments in the extra periods, with Larry Clavier’s free kick deflecting off the wall in the 96th minute and bounding wide of the right post, while Austin’s effort from distance had to be blocked wide low at the right post in the 101st.

Austin, Luton Shelton, O’Brian Woodbine, Eric Vernan and Troy Smith converted their penalty shootout attempts for Jamaica, which allowed only three goals in its five games of the Caribbean Cup finals. Earlier, Cuba claimed third place for a second time in four years with a 1-0 victory over Grenada. Roberto Balmaseda scored his first goal of the tournament in the 12th minute and Cuba earned some consolation for a third straight semifinal elimination. Cuba has never won the title but finished runner-up three times.

It beat Guadeloupe in to finish third 2007 and then lost to Guadeloupe a year later on penalties to finish fourth. All four teams will head to the CONCACAF Gold Cup June 5-25.

Source – Concacaf.com