• Sunday Jun 25, 2017

    Curacao’s van Kessel on Caribbean Cup: “This is the final we all wanted”

    Gino van Kessel (pictured) gives the ‘thumbs up’ sign after Curacao defeated host Martinique in the Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinals on June 22, 2017, in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

    FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique – In 2013, Curacao was hovering around 178th place in the FIFA rankings. 

    Four years later, the Curacaoans find themselves in 70th place and on the verge of a first-ever Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup title, when it meets defending champion Jamaica in the 2016/17 final Sunday at the Stade Pierre-Aliker.

    Striker Gino van Kessel, who has scored seven goals in the competition, wants to see his country – which will also play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time next month -- take the next step in its football evolution.

    "Reaching the final of the Caribbean Cup is as good a moment as qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup,” said the 24-year-old, speaking about Thursday’s 2-1 semifinal win over host Martinique.  “We were the underdogs, but the two chances we got, we ensured we scored them.

    “Now we advance to the final and the one message I will say is watch out Jamaica we are coming for you.  We are coming for your title.  This is the final we all wanted."

    This is Curacao’s first-ever appearance in the Caribbean final, while Jamaica is looking for its seventh crown.

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