• Thursday Nov 11, 2010

    Cuba qualifies for U-20 finals

     KRALENDIJK, Netherlands Antilles - Yaudel Lahera scored a pair of goals and led Cuba to a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands Antilles on Thursday, sending it to the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship.
     
    With its third straight victory, Cuba finished atop Caribbean qualifying Group A and joined fellow regional qualifiers Guadeloupe and Jamaica, host Guatemala and North American entrants Canada, Mexico and the United States in the 12-team field.

    The loss finished the Netherlands Antilles in second place, sending it to a playoff round with Bermuda, Guyana and the yet-to-be determined Group D runner-up to decide the Caribbean's last of five berths in the CONCACAF finals. The playoff round is expected to be in January.

    The Dutch islands ended tied with four points and a plus-18 goal difference with St. Kitts and Nevis - which defeated the British Virgin Islands 19-0 in the early game of the doubleheader - but finished ahead by one goal scored.

    Lahera, who had the lone goal in Cuba's 1-0 victory over St. Kitts and Nevis in their group opener on Sunday, tallied in the third and 54th minutes.

    Both Cuba and the Netherlands Antilles had overwhelming victories over the British Virgin Islands earlier in the week.

    Jizhar Santiroma and Lisandro Trenidad scored five goals apiece in the Netherlands Antilles 20-0 victory over BVI on Sunday. Cuba eclipsed that two days later with a 29-0 victory, led by eight goals by Yurizan Beltran.

    St. Kitts jumped ahead of BVI in the seventh minute on a goal by Shaquille Adams and got six more from Devaughn Elliott to pace its rout.

    BVI, whose senior team was eliminated in the first round of the Caribbean Cup by an aggregate 27-0 in October, lost all three U-20 games by a combined 68-0.

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