Cuba defeat St Vincent and the Grenadines 3-0
Cuba picked up their first win in the finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup with a deserved win over tricky opponents St Vincent and the Grenadines.
As with Guyana in the preceding match before them, Cuba had to win this game if they had any chance of staying in this years Digicel Caribbean Cup finals. They showed why they are the number one ranked side in the CFU rankings when they started brightly and took the game to SVG.
The Cubans were wary of the threat SVG posed through their notorious quick breakouts which had worked so well for them in previous games and especially against the bigger sides in the Caribbeans principal tournament.
While the Cubans showed intent they were professional enough to keep possession and look for the opening that they deserved.
This arrived on 26 minutes and in fairness Lester More could not hope for an easier goal when he simply stroked the ball into an empty net from 5 yards when Ariel Martinez had cut the ball back to him across the box and cut keeper Melvin Andrews out on the front post.
On 35 minutes More turned provider when his run and cross from the right flank found Osvaldo Alonso who should have done much better when he ballooned his shot over the SVG bar from 14 yards out.
St Vincent and the Grenadines finally did get a shot on goal but they had to wait until the 42nd minute and it wasnt a chance that was to cause any real concern to the Cubans. Shandel Samuels hopeful lob was easily caught by the Cuban custodian Hernandez and the Cubans were back in control.
Cuba started the second half in the same form as they held in the first and dominated SVG. On 58 minutes they took a deserved two goal lead.
Lester More received a long defensive clearance and played Ariel Martinez down the right flank while continuing his run into the middle of the SVG goal. Martinez turned his marker and crossed to the waiting More who headed into Melvin Andrews goal from point blank range to make it 2-0.
SVG had a rare chance when on 69 minutes Dexter Walkers cross from the right found Andrew Douglas who only had time to take one touch and try to connect properly. Unfortunately for the Vincy Heat it proved too difficult for him and his shot spun harmlessly wide.
SVG could find no answer to the dominant Cubans who looked comfortable for the rest of the game and never seemed as if they were likely to have anything other than a positive result and 3 points.
This was made certain when on 89 minutes Cuban substitute Leonel Duarte ran clear, held off vincy defender Wesley Charles, and clinically finished past the advancing Andrews in the SVG goal to make it 3-0.
This leaves all teams in the Bobby Sookram group now level on 3 points each and sets up a fantastic climactic day on Thursday January 18th in the Mannie Ramjohn stadium when the last two teams through to the semi finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup will be decided.
Cuba: Odelin Hernandez, Silvio Minosa, Jenier Molina, Jose Clavelo, Osvaldo Alonso (Gesovanys Ayala 77), Ariel Martinez, Alain Cervantes, Lester More (Leonel Duarte 79), Jaine Colome, Reysander Fernandez, Pedro Faife
St Vincent and the Grenadines: Melvin Andrews, Wesley John, Ezra Hendrickson, Wesley Charles, Benford Joseph, Shandel Samuel (Marrian Grant 81), Kendall Velox (Darren Francis 74), Andrew Douglas, Greg Myers (Sean Glynn 65), Dexter Walker, Bevan Burgin
Source: Caribbean Net News