Action from the Caribbean Cup match between host Jamaica and Haiti (white jersey) on November 16, 2014, in Montego Bay.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago have long been the standard bearers for Caribbean football.
Over the course of the last 25 years, they have each qualified once for the FIFA World Cup finals and captured Caribbean titles on 13 of the 16 occasions that a champion has been crowned.
Thus, it may seem somewhat unusual that their meeting on Tuesday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex will be only the fourth between the long-time rivals in a Caribbean Cup final. After those previous encounters, the Jamaicans lifted the trophy twice (1991: 2-0; 1998: 2-1), while Trinidad won the 1992 championship, 3-1.
Both sides advanced to this year’s final by finishing first in their respective groups with the same 2-1-0 records. Their paths, though, differed as the competition progressed.
Trinidad topped Group A table, opening with wins over Curacao (3-2) and French Guiana (4-2), before playing 2012 champion Cuba to a 0-0 draw. Conversely, Jamaica started Group B play with a stalemate, 1-1 with Martinique, and closed with impressive victories against Antigua & Barbuda (3-0) and Haiti (2-0).
Sporting incentive should not be an issue for either squad. The Trinidadians have not won the Caribbean Cup since 2001, whereas the Reggae Boyz did not advance past the group stage two years ago in Antigua. Additionally, the winner will earn an automatic spot in the 2016 Centennial Cup America.
What’s sure to be a fascinating evening of football will open with the match for third place between Cuba and Haiti.
All four teams have already qualified for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
CONCACAF.com takes a look at the happenings in Jamaica with the seventh installment of Caribbean Cup Notebook:
MATCH FOR THIRD PLACE
Cuba v Haiti, 5:00 p.m.
- Cuba (1-2-0, 5 points) was dethroned as Caribbean Cup champion by virtue of finishing second in Group A, a placement, though, that earned the Lions of the Caribbean a spot in the match for third place
- Cuba’s final round results & scorers: 1-1 draw v French Guiana (Ariel Martinez 57’); 3-2 win v Curacao (Jorge Luis Corrales 15', Yasmany Lopez 51', Orisbel Leiva 90'+5); 0-0 draw v Trinidad & Tobago
- Cuba won the 2012 title by defeating Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 after extra time in the final on a 113th minute goal by Marcel Hernandez
- Cuba has qualified for eight straight CONCACAF Gold Cups
- Haiti (1-1-1, 4 points) earned a spot in the match for third place by finishing second in Group B
- Haiti’s final round results & scorers: 2-2 draw v Antigua & Barbuda (Jean Alcenat 23’); Kervens Belfort 36’); 3-0 win v Martinique (Wilde-Donald Guerrier 52'; Kervens Belfort 63’, 90’); 2-0 loss v Jamaica
- 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 2-1 in the 2007 final
- Haiti went unbeaten in qualifying with a 1-2-0 record, scoring six goals and conceding four
- Haiti has conceded two goals in four of its six 2014 Caribbean Cup matches
- Haiti has appeared in five previous CONCACAF Gold Cups
Trinidad & Tobago v Jamaica, 8:00 p.m.
- Trinidad & Tobago has won a record eight Caribbean Cup titles (1989, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001)
- Trinidad & Tobago (2-1-0, 7 points) earned a place in the final by topping Group A
- Trinidad & Tobago’s final round results & scorers: 3-2 win v Curacao (Kenwyne Jones 26' pen, 38'; Kevin Molino 52'); 4-2 win v French Guiana (Kevin Molino 17', 58'; Lester Peltier 62' pen; Ataullah Guerra (90'+2); 0-0 draw v Cuba
- Kevin Molino is Trinidad & Tobago’s top scorer in the 2014 Caribbean Cup with seven goals (four in qualifying, 3 in finals)
- Kenwyne Jones has scored five goals in the 2014 Caribbean Cup (three in qualifying, two in finals)
- Trinidad & Tobago has conceded one goal or fewer in four of its six 2014 Caribbean games, including three shutouts
- Jamaica has won five Caribbean titles (1991, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2010)
- Jamaica earned a place in the final by topping Group B
- Jamaica’s final round results & scorers: 1-1 draw v Martinique (Darren Mattocks 13’); 3-0 v Antigua & Barbuda (Kemar Lawrence 30’; Darren Mattocks 43’; Rodolph Austin 88’); 2-0 win v Haiti (Simon Dawkins 13’; Darren Mattocks 20’)
- 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
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- The fatigue factor. This will be the fourth game for each team since the competition opened on November 11.
- Trinidad & Tobago’s ability to contain Jamaica in the first half. Five of Jamaica’s six goals have scored before the half-time whistle.
- The final and how both teams handle the rush of adrenaline and manage nerves.
Walter Benitez (Head Coach, Cuba) on Cuba falling short in defending its title: “Of course, we wanted to retain our title as champions. This is one of the most prestigious competitions that we have in our region. However, we are still very happy that we have made it to the Gold Cup for an eighth straight time.”
Marc Collat (Head Coach, Haiti) on qualifying the CONCACAF Gold Cup: “That was our objective from the beginning to qualify for the Gold Cup. It was our main objective and we accomplished it. We are satisfied by our qualification for the Gold Cup.”
Alberto Gomez (Midfielder, Cuba) on qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup: “It is extremely important to us as Cubans that we have been to qualify (for the Gold Cup). Of course, we wanted to qualify for the World Cup, we didn’t, but this is almost as if we qualified for the World Cup. We are extremely happy that we have qualified for the Gold Cup.”