Cuba defeats grenade in CONCACAF and qualified.
Cuba moved into the Concacaf final round of qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after they secured a hard fought 2-1 victory over Grenada yesterday at the Mavin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
The Cuban hero was burly striker Roberto Balmesada, who scored in the first and second half.
The lone item from Grenada came from Lyndon Antoine.The result has virtually ended all hopes for T&T to advance from Group G after the local team was beaten 3-0 by Cuba at the same venue on Tuesday.Cuba had the first clear chance on goal when Leonel Pla Duartes snap shot was parried away for a corner by goalkeeper Denroy Richardson in the 12th minute.
Three minutes later the Cubans went ahead after a well-timed run from Balmaseda caught the Grenadian defence napping and he deftly chipped the ball past the advancing 'keeper Richardson to give his team a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes.
In the 24th minute Grenada right side corner was played to the near post, the ball found its way to an un-marked Lyndon Antoine, who beat custodian Jose Boudy Miranda with his low shot to level the score.
Seconds before the interval Jose Boudy Miranda was forced to pulled off a save low to his left to keep out a shot from Shane Rennie to deny Grenada from taking a 2-1 lead.
In the second half the Cubans created and wasted countless scoring opportunities with Pla Duarte, in particular spurning a handful of clear chances.
The Cubans finally regained the lead in the 66th minute, from a right side corner by Armando Isidoro which found the head of Balmaseda, whose powerful header ricocheted between the keeper and a defender on the line before going to secure his teams ticket to the next round.
Shane Rennie had a golden chance to draw Grenada level in the 75th minute but he shot over-bar from inside the area.
T&T will next play Grenada on tomorrow from 5 pm at the same venue in a meaningless match to round off play in the group.
Source: Grenade Broadcasting Network