Jamaica, Martinique draw in Caribbean Cup

Jamaica's Jamar Loza (#14) looks to hold off Remi Mareval of Martinique during their Caribbean Cup match on November 12, 2014, in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Host Jamaica and Martinique played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in the 2014 Caribbean Cup finals opener for each at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.  

Darren Mattocks gave the Reggae Boyz a 1-0 lead early in the encounter, but Yoann Arquin equalized just before the half-hour mark.

The Jamaicans had a pair of second-half goals disallowed for offside, while Martinique suffered the same fate with the last kick of the game by Dominique Pandor.

After a high-intensity start to the encounter, Mattocks struck in the 13th minute.  A left-sided corner kick was headed back across the Martinique penalty area by Jermaine Taylor and fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps forward, who steered his effort into the back of the net.

In the 29th minute, a long ball was played into the Jamaican box that was not dealt with cleanly by the defense.  Arquin used his strength to hold off a defender and slip a shot underneath goalkeeper Andre Blake to make it 1-1.

Deshorn Brown nearly brought to home supporters to their feet in the 38th minute, when he found himself alone in the right side of the box, only to hurry his attempt and blaze over the crossbar from 11-yards out. 

The final 15 minutes ushered in a flurry of activity that embodied the pace at which the game was contested.

Mattocks’ bid for a brace was thwarted in the 76th minute as the flag was raised for offside before his shot crossed the line.  Jamar Loza also was stymied by an identical call earlier in the half.

Rodolph Austin offered Jamaica’s last chance in 80th minute, but his vicious drive from 30-yards out was punched away by motionless Martinique goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa.

Following a 2-2 draw between Haiti and Antigua & Barbuda earlier in the evening, all four teams in Group B level on one point.

They return to action on Friday with Martinique-Haiti and Jamaica-Antigua & Barbuda on the fixture list.