The Montego Bay Sports Complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica, will be home to the 2014 Caribbean Cup finals from November 11-18, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – With places at next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup at stake, the final round of the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Cup kicks off on Tuesday.
Idyllic Montego Bay is the backdrop as eight national teams will battle for regional football superiority over the course of eight days at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Trinidad & Tobago -- winner of a record eight Caribbean crowns -- will launch the event with a Group A encounter against Curacao, while Cuba will open defense of its title against French Guiana immediately afterwards.
CONCACAF.com takes a look at the happenings in Jamaica with the first installment of Caribbean Cup notebook:
Curacao v Trinidad & Tobago, 5:30 p.m.
- Curacao went unbeaten in five of six qualifying matches (2-3-1) with its only loss coming against St. Vincent & the Grenadines (1-0) in the second round on October 10, 2014.
- Curacao has scored one goal or fewer in its last four Caribbean Cup matches, while conceding one goal or fewer in five of its six qualifiers.
- Trinidad & Tobago went a perfect 3-0-0 in qualifying, conceding one goal or fewer in each game, including shutouts in its last two matches
- Kevin Molino was Trinidad’s top scorer in qualifying with four goals, including three in a 6-1 win over the Dominican Republic on October 8, 2014
Cuba v French Guiana, 8:00 p.m.
- Cuba is the Caribbean Cup’s defending champion, defeating Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 after extra time in the 2012 final on a 113th minute goal by Marcel Hernandez
- Cuba defeated French Guiana, 2-1, in the final round of the 2012 Caribbean Cup. Ariel Martinez (74’, 76’) scored twice after Gary Pigree (16’) had given French Guiana a 1-0 lead.
- French Guiana is making its second straight appearance in the final round.
- French Guiana is the only to team to advance to the final round after opening the competition in the preliminary round.
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- The ability of Curacao’s solid defense to contain a potentially high-flying Trinidad & Tobago attack led by Kenwyne Jones and Kevin Molino.
- French Guiana’s Gabriel Pigree, who was the top overall scorer in qualifying with eight goals.
- Stephen Hart (Head Coach, Trinidad & Tobago): "We came here with an understanding that we want to qualify (for the CONCACAF Gold Cup), that is the priority. After that we set our ambition to be in the final and that is the ambition."
- Shelton Martis (Defender, Curacao): “The players we got have a good fighting mentality. I think we can qualify for the Gold Cup.”
- Etienne Siliee (Technical Director, Curacao): "If you look at the FIFA ranking, Curacao is the lowest rank of most of the 8 teams. Therefore, we may be looked at as underdogs. That is something I like as it means you have to strive to compete with the best.”