Basseterre, St. Kitts-It was a ‘must win’ situation for St. Kitts & Nevis, having already lost their opening game on Thursday to Suriname, and without hesitation, the home team came out on Saturday night, (26th November, 2011), to deliver a superb performance that resulted in an impressive victory over Trinidad & Tobago. This triumph has now strengthened the chances of the “Sugar Boys” to move forward to the next stage.
It took only 17 minutes in the first half, for St. Kitts and Nevis to open its scoring account, when Javiem Blanchette struck the first blow, with a marvellous footer that rocked the back of the opponents net causing the crowd to jump to its feet in celebration, while the Trinidadians sunk their heads in disbelief.
However, nine minutes after the jubilation by the Kittitians/Nevisians, Trinidad & Tobago struck back when Shahdon Winchester found his mark in the 26th minute, thereby levelling the scores 1-1. The teams went into half time with scores tied at 1-1.
At the start of the second half, despite a little surge and rejuvenation, it did not take very long for the writing to be placed on the wall for Trinidad & Tobago, because Romaiine Sawyer of St. Kitts & Nevis dug deep into his reservoir of talents to score a hat-trick in the 48th, 60th & 89th minute. Once Sawyer had gotten in his second goal, Javiem Blanchette went to seal the faith of the visitors with his 68th minute goal that took the wind out of the sails of the oil rich southern Caribbean twin-island Republic.
The final goal for Trinidad came in the 89th minute, but it was too late and meaningless, because with only injury time remaining thereafter, it was all over for the “Junior Soca Boys”. When the final whistle was sounded the Trinidad & Tobago team had already been swallowed by the jaws of the powerful Kittitians/Nevisians, resulting in a 5-2 score line that many felt should have been as much as 7-2, given the missed chances by the home side.
Again this small Caribbean nation of only 104 square miles with a population of 50,000 has proven that “small pin does prick hard”…(it does not matter your size, it is the talent and determination that truly counts; and it is a small axe that is needed to cut down a big tree).
The only yellow card in the match was issued to Kendale Liburd (SKN) in the 89th minute.
For St. Kitts & Nevis, it was a victory that was needed because fans were already feeling depressed after the local team was defeated by Suriname, in a game that should have produced for the Sugar Boys, at least three goals; but on that night, they failed to capitalize on the opportunities that were presented, thereby giving the visitors a one nil result.
In the earlier game played between Cuba and Suriname, Cuba emerged the victors, coming from behind to win by an impressive 4-2 margin, after a half time score that saw Suriname leading 2 nil.
Donavon Loswilk scored in the 17th minute and Evani Rsperance in the 42nd minute. Instead of allowing this early setback to deter their efforts, Cuba pulled back and started their parade of goals in the 58th minute when Heviel Cardoves Ganzalez struck. He did the same again in the 90th minute. His efforts were backed by the goals that came from Dalain Aira Fernandez (62nd minute) and Maikel Chang Ramirez (79th minute).
Yellow Cards were issued to Yosvany Vinent Morejon (Cuba) in the 40th minute Stefan Beneti in the 65th minute and Dalian Aira Fernandez in the 87th minute.
The stage is now set for a dramatic final day on Monday 28th November, when all four teams go on the hunt for goals and a positive result that favours them. From the points standings so far however, Cuba must be considered the front runners, having secured one victory and a draw. St. Kitts & Nevis has now had one loss and one victory. Suriname also has one victory and one loss. Trinidad & Tobago however, must be concerned with their one loss and one draw.
It is now down to the results of Monday, to determine which two teams will qualify to move on to the CONCACAF FINALS in the United States, in March/April next year.
One of the special guests witnessing the matches this weekend in St. Kitts is the President of the Football Federation of the United States, so it seems like they too are paying very close attention to the teams in the this CFU finals, who could eventually graduate to the next round.