Antigua & Barbuda's Zaine FrancisAngol tries to hold off Dane Richards of host Jamaica during their Caribbean Cup match on November 14, 2014, in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – If you’re fan of football or drama, then the Montego Bay Sports Complex is the place to be Sunday evening, when Group B play in the Caribbean Cup concludes.
Remarkably, each of the four sides are still in contention for the runnerup spot – at a minimum with the top two earning places at next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
From a local perspective, all eyes will be on the topofthetable clash between host Jamaica (1-1-0, 4 points) and Haiti (1-1-0, 4 points). A draw will be enough to earn Gold Cup berths for both regardless of the result in the opener between Antigua & Barbuda (0-1-1, 1 point, GD -3) and Martinique (0-1-1, 1 point, GD -3). However, since they are level on goal difference (+3), a deadlock would see Haiti advance to Tuesday’s final against Trinidad & Tobago by virtue of scoring more goals.
The battle for third place is another attentiongrabbing sidebar. The team with the best thirdplace record from the two groups will advance to a playoff against Honduras for the 12th and last Gold Cup spot. On Saturday, French Guiana (1-1-1, 4 points, GD +1) staked its claim for that lifeline by posting a 41 win over Curacao. A draw in the AntiguaMartinique encounter (neither of which can finish first in the group) would be good enough for the French Guianese to progress.
CONCACAF.com takes a look at the happenings in Jamaica with the sixth installment of Caribbean Cup Notebook:
Antigua & Barbuda v Martinique, 5:30 p.m.
- Myles Weston (58’) and Peter Byers (60’) scored for Antigua & Barbuda in its 22 draw with Haiti on Wednesday, while no player got on the scoresheet in Friday’s 30 loss to Jamaica
- Antigua & Barbuda is winless in four straight Caribbean Cup games (0W, 2D, 2L) and was shutout in three of those outings
- Antigua & Barbuda went unbeaten in five of six qualifying matches (411) with its only loss coming against Trinidad & Tobago (10) 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 60 win over Anguilla
- Peter Byers scored two goals in qualifying and has struck 10 times in 17 alltime World Cup qualifiers
- Yoann Arquin (29’) scored Martinique’s only goal in a 11 draw against Jamaica on Wednesday, while no player got on the scoresheet in Friday’s 30 loss to Haiti
- Martinique has one Caribbean Cup title, outlasting Jamaica 65 on penalty kicks in the 1993 final after a 00 draw
- Martinique’s sevenmatch unbeaten streak in 2014 Caribbean Cup games (qualifying & finals) came to an end in Friday’s 30 loss to Haiti
- Julien Faubert (5), Gael Germany (4) and Jose Goron (4) combined to score 13 of Martinique’s 16 goals in qualifying
- Martinique has scored two or more goals in four of its eight 2014 Caribbean Cup games
- Julien Faubert scored 1 goal in his only international appearance for France … the 31yearold currently plays for Bordeaux in France and had previously for Real Madrid and West Ham United
Jamaica v Haiti, 8:00 p.m.
- Darren Mattocks (13’) scored Jamaica’s only goal in a 11 draw against Martinique on Wednesday, while Kemar Lawrence (30’), Mattocks (43’)and Rodolph Austin (88’) netted in Friday’s 30 win over Antigua & Barbuda
- 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
- Jean Alcenat (23’) and Kervens Belfort (36’) scored for Haiti in its 22 draw with Antigua & Barbuda on Wednesday, while WildeDonald Guerrier (52') and Belfort (63’, 90’) netted in Friday’s 30 win over Martinique
- Jean Alcenat and Kervens Belfort were Haiti’s top scorers in qualifying with two goals each
- Haiti is one of only five teams to win the Caribbean Cup, defeating Trinidad & Tobago 21 in the 2007 final
- Haiti went unbeaten in qualifying with a 120 record, scoring six goals and conceding four
- Haiti has conceded two goals in three of its five 2014 Caribbean Cup games (qualifying and finals), posting shutouts in the other two
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- The final result of the Antigua & BarbudaMartinique match. A draw will give French Guiana the best thirdplace record in the competition and setup a playoff against Honduras for a spot in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Martinique’s ability to bounce back from its first loss in the 2014 Caribbean Cup.
- Antigua & Barbuda goalkeeper Molvin James, who has been outstanding in the competition.
- The size of the crowd at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. The home supporters will not only want the Reggae Boyz earn a Gold Cup berth, they also would want to see them in the final on Tuesday against Trinidad & Tobago.
- Haiti’s Kervens Belfort. The 22-year-old striker’s hard-driving, committed approach has been a revelation.
Walter Benitez (Head Coach, Cuba) on what qualification to an eight straight CONCACAF Gold Cup means to Cuban football: “This is extremely important that we qualified for the Gold Cup. It is something that we came in with as the objective. Of course, we wanted to retain our (Caribbean) title as champions since this is one of the most prestigious competitions that we have in our region. However, we are still very happy to make it to the Gold Cup for an eighth straight time.”
Winfried Schafer (Head Coach, Jamaica) on his team’s improved performance in Friday’s 30 win over Antigua & Barbuda: "The players played open, free with many good combinations."
Marc Collat (Head Coach, Haiti) on the tournament schedule and is squad: “It has been tough with the rhythm of the games for the players with this many matches coming consecutively. In the next match, perhaps we’ll take advantage of the 20 players on the roster. The idea is to rotate the squad a little bit. The objective is to qualify for the Gold Cup.”