Action from the Caribbean Cup second round game between host Haiti and St. Kitts & Nevis on October 12, 2014, in Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Yonel Louis)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – After an opening day that produced a pair games decided by one goal or fewer, a last-second equalizer and seven goals, how can the Caribbean Cup duplicate that level of excitement, when Group B play kicks off on Wednesday?
There should be no shortage of thrills, however, as host Jamaica launches its campaign against Martinique at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. An encounter between Haiti and Antigua & Barbuda will precede that battle of past champions.
In 2012, the Reggae Boyz failed to get past the final round’s group stage and missed out on a place in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Looking to make amends for that misstep, the five-time Caribbean Cup winner has called upon its deep reserve of talent this time around. Its original 23-man roster consisted of 18 foreign-based players, but defender Wes Morgan, who has started in each of Leicester City’s 11 English Premier matches this season, will miss the competition due to a foot injury.
CONCACAF.com takes a look at the happenings in Jamaica with the second installment of Caribbean Cup notebook
Haiti v Antigua & Barbuda, 5:30 p.m.
- Haiti is one of only five teams to win the Caribbean Cup, defeating Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 in the 2007 final
- Haiti went unbeaten in qualifying with a 1-2-0 record, scoring six goals and conceding four
- Jean Alcenat and Kervens Belfort were Haiti’s top scorers in qualifying with two goals each
- Haiti defeated Antigua & Barbuda 1-0 in 2012 Caribbean Cup final-round play
- Antigua & Barbuda went unbeaten in five of six qualifying matches (4-1-1) with its only loss coming against Trinidad & Tobago (1-0) in the second round on October 12, 2014.
- Antigua & Barbuda conceded one goal or fewer in each of its six qualifiers, including two shutouts
- Keiran Murtagh was Antigua & Barbuda’s top scorer in qualifying with three goals, including two in a 6-0 win over Anguilla
- Peter Byers scored two goals in qualifying and has struck 10 times in 17 all-time World Cup qualifiers.
Jamaica v Martinique, 8:00 p.m.
- Jamaica qualified for Caribbean Cup finals as the host
- Jamaica has won five Caribbean Cup titles (1991, 1998, 2005, 2005, 2008, 2010)
- Forward Dane Richards shared the Golden Boot award with Grenada’s Kithson Bain in the final round of the 2010 Caribbean Cup on three goals each
- Martinique has one Caribbean Cup title, outlasting Jamaica 6-5 on penalty kicks in the 1993 final after a 0-0 draw
- Martinique went unbeaten in qualifying with a 4-2-0 record, scoring 16 goals and conceding seven
- Julien Faubert (5), Gael Germany (4) and Jose Goron (4) combined to score 13 of Martinique’s 16 goals in qualifying
- Julien Faubert scored 1 goal in his only international appearance for France … the 31-year-old currently plays for Bordeaux in France and had previously for Real Madrid and West Ham United
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Haiti’s ability to put the ball into the net against a solid Antigua & Barbuda defense. The Haitians were shutout by St, Kitts & Nevis in their last qualifier, while Antigua has not conceded more than one goal in its six qualifiers
- Martinique’s Julien Faubert, who scored five of Martinique’s last seven goals in qualifying
- Jamaica’s opening minutes against Martinique. Can they keep their nerves in check before the home crowd?
Kevin Molino (Forward, Trinidad & Tobago) on win against Curacao: "I feel great for the three points, but our overall performance wasn’t the best. At the end of the day it’s a tournament and we take three points and move on to the next game.”
Walter Benitez (Head Coach, Cuba) on the draw with French Guiana: "Yes it was a difficult result because we played well. I thought we did what we intended to. We followed the game plan, but in the last few minutes we moved back and it that moment the rival was able to take advantage.”
Marvin Torvic (Defender, French Guiana) on draw with Cuba: “It was a tough game because right after they (Cuba) scored, they sat back. We had to push numbers up and create as much as we could.”