• Friday Dec 07, 2012

    Caribbean Cup - Group A Preview

    St. JOHN'S, Antigua -- To label Group A at the 2012 Caribbean Cup finals as "challenging" would certainly be a dramatic understatement. Moreover, the frequently used term "Group of Death" fails to capture appropriately what is in store for the four participants.

    Group A, in fact, is incredibly competitive and the two sides that advance to the semifinals -- as well as obtain CONCACAF Gold Cup berths -- will have more than earned their rewards.

    The group contains all three of the second-round group winners (Dominican Republic, Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago), plus a team that advanced to the semifinals of 2014 World Cup Qualifying, which by the way, is also hosting the tournament (Antigua and Barbuda).

    It is hard to imagine that a group, at any competition, could possibly be more demanding or even.

    All the action kicks-off on Friday with a doubleheader at the Antigua Recreation Ground. In the opener, 2007 titlist Haiti meets record eight-time champion Trinidad & Tobago, followed by a match-up between Antigua and Group 7 winner Dominican Republic.

    Here's a look at today's games:

    Antigua Recreation Ground -- St. John's Antigua and Barbuda

    Haiti v Trinidad & Tobago (5:00 pm ET)

    * One of only four countries to have won the Caribbean Cup (accomplished that feat by overcoming Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 in the 2007 final)
    * Qualified for finals by winning second round Group 6
    * CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifications: 4

    2012 Caribbean Cup - Qualifying Stats
    Record: 5 wins, 0 draws, 1 loss (15 GF, 3 GA)
    Leading Scorer: Jean-Philippe Peguero (5 goals)

    * Won the Caribbean Cup a record eight times, but none since defeating Haiti 3-1 in the 2001 final
    * Qualified for finals by winning second round Group 8
    * CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifications: 7

    2012 Caribbean Cup - Qualifying Stats
    Record: 5 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses (20 GF, 2 GA)
    Leading Scorer: Jamal Gay (5 goals)


    Antigua and Barbuda v Dominican Republic (7:00 pm ET)

    * Has never won the Caribbean Cup...best finish came in 1998 (4th place)
    * Qualified as host
    * CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifications: 0

    Antigua and Barbuda did very well to reach the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014, where it was eliminated from contention. It finished the competition with an overall record of 5 wins, 1 draw and 6 losses (32 GF, 18 GA). Peter Byers was the top scorer for the Benna Boys during the campaign with 10 goals in 12 games.

    * Has never won the Caribbean Cup
    * Qualified for finals by winning second round Group 7
    * CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifications: 0

    2012 Caribbean Cup - Qualifying Stats
    Record: 4 wins, 2 draws, 0 losses (11 GF, 5 GA)
    Leading Scorer: Jonathan Fana Farias (6 goals)

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