Defending champions Cuba would salvage a draw with Trinidad & Tobago in the evenings featured match. Although the Soca Warriors went into the game top of the group A win from Cuba would have made team exchange positions.
The first half saw both team showing caution and also some good counter attacking. Cuba would get two clear chances on Trinidad and Tobago's goal but Jan-Michael Williams was equal to both of the strikes as both team would go into the half scoreless.
The second half showed less attacking intent from both team as Trinidad carefully keep possession searching for a safety goal as Cuba kept compact.
The match would end as a goalless draw which saw Trinidad & Tobago top Group A which will see them face the first place team from Group B for the Championship on Tuesday.
Cuba will play the second place team from Group B as they have qualified for the Gold Cup a record 8th time.
Today host nation Jamaica will face Haiti for a chance to top Group B and also secure qualification for the 2015 Gold Cup, while Antigua & Barbuda and Martinique will feature in the early kick off at 5:30PM.
Trinidad & Tobago 0 v Cuba 0
French Guiana 4 v Curaçao 1
St. Clair 18 Meulens 84
Trinidad and Tobago: - 21.Jan-Michael Williams; 2.Justin Hoyte, 18.Yohance Marshall (6.Daneil Cyrus 65th), 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 3.Joevin Jones; 5.Kevan George, 17.Leston Paul (14.Andre Boucaud 78th); 13.Cordell Cato, 11.Ataullah Guerra, 16.Shahdon Winchester; 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt) (27.Jonathan Glenn 82nd).
Unused substitutes: - 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 24.Adrian Foncette (GK), 7.Hughtun Hector, 8.Khaleem Hyland, 10.Kevin Molino, 12.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 15.Jamal Gay, 23.Lester Peltier, 26.Aubrey David.
Coach: - Stephen Hart.
Cuba: - 1.Diosvelis Guerra; 2.Orisbel Pascual, 3.Yénier Márquez (capt), 4.Yasmani López, 5.Renay Malblanche, 8.Alberto Gomez, 10.Ariel Martinez, 11.Yaandri Puga, 13.Jorge Luis Corrales, 14.Armando Curoneaux, 16.Hanier Dranguet.
Subs From: - 18.Felix Guerra, 6.Jesus Rodriguez, 7.Thomas Rodriguez, 9.Jose Alfonso Pita, 12.Arael Rodriguez, 15.Yannier Perez, 17.Dairon Blanco.
Coach: - Walter Benítez.
P W D L F A Pts
T&T 3 2 1 0 7 4 7
Cuba 3 1 2 0 4 3 5
French Guiana 3 1 1 1 7 6 4
Curacao 3 0 0 3 5 10 0
Through to the final but Hart not pleased with showing vs Cuba.
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFA).
Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s team advanced to the final of the Caribbean Cup for a second straight time but were a shadow of the team that had scored previous victories over French Guiana and Curacao, as they played to a 0-0 draw with Cuba on Saturday night.
Already through to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, T&T needed to avoid defeat to advance to the final and knock the defending champions out as a point would leave the “Soca Warriors” atop Group A. Head Coach Stephen Hart made eight changes to his line up from the one that played previously in the tournament.
T&T got the needed point but the team’s performance was less than inspiring and Hart later expressed his disappointment over their lackluster display. But to get to the final was by no means an easy achievement to accomplish and skipper Kenwyne Jones and his men have vowed to lift their game for Tuesday’s final.
Due to the overload of matches in less than a week, Orlando City standout Kevin Molino was rested along with Andre Boucaud, Aubrey David, Hughtun Hector, Lester Peltier, Khaleem Hyland, Daneil Cyrus and Radanfah Abu Bakr.
Cuba didn’t make any significant changes to its starting team and looked more likely to steal a winner as the game progressed. T&T custodian Jan Michael Williams had to pull off two good saves to keep the scores level.
T&T looked organized in the first half despite being unable to penetrate the opposition’s defence. But Cuba made a match of it with no intentions of gifting T&T a place in the final and giving up their own title in the process.
Cuba’s Armando Coroneaux was bundled over by defender Carlyle Mitchell in the 23rd minute and seemed unlucky not to have the penalty call in his favour. T&T later found themselves set on keeping possession in their half to see out the closing minutes of the match.
Hart later said he was far from pleased with the team’s performance.
“We really didn’t follow the game plan at all. We lacked any sort of emergency. We didn’t move the ball with any kind of speed. Quite frankly we just abandoned what we had panned to do. We were technically too slow,” Hart said.
Hart said he has no preference of opponent for the final on Tuesday.
“We are in the final and I don’t care who we have to play. Whoever comes up you have to be ready to play them.”
“A draw was never the plan. I don’t know about the players because I don’t know what is in their head. But we talked about winning we talked about playing this like a final.
I made eight changes so you might say that I disrupted the squad entirely but you are brought here in a squad of 23 because you can play and you have to come out and play.
This was a great opportunity for us. I expected a lot more urgency from the players and I am a little disappointed in that standpoint,” Hart added.
Soca Warriors in Caribbean final
T&T Express Reports.
It is now two successive Caribbean Cup finals for Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s national footballers, after not getting to the previous two in 2008 and 2010.
Beaten in the final 1-0 by Cuba in 2012, the Soca Warriors moved into the 2014 final after a goalless draw on Saturday night in Montego Bay against the defending champions. The draw saw them top Group A with seven points. Cuba finished the group second on five and are dethroned, but will play in tomorrow’s third-placed match.
“For us it is well-deserved,” captain Kenwyne Jones remarked on his team getting to the final, “although the performance tonight did not deserve it.”
Likewise, head coach Stephen Hart felt the main missions had so far been accomplished, despite a lacklustre showing of his side against Cuba.
“We came here with two objectives,” Hart said. “One was to qualify for the Gold Cup and the second was to was to get into the finals and give ourselves an opportunity to win the Caribbean Cup.
No Soca Warrior boasted about Saturday night’s result, although there were loud sounds of celebration coming from the Cuban dressing room. The match saw Cuba counter-attacking effectively, and looking the more dangerous team in a first half, where they forced three match-saving stops from T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, including when he pushed one onto the upright.
T&T had not a single shot at Cuban keeper Diosvely Guerra, although Cordell Cato and captain Jones were quite lively in the first half.
In contrast, neither team did much in a drab second half that offered little. The Cubans still looked to go forward when able to, but the Warriors seemed far too contented with the point, and drew boos from those on hand after a period of negative play where they played the ball aimlessly around the back and refused to go forward.
The Warriors went on the field getting a loud cheer from the French Guiana team, which would have advanced to the Gold Cup, had T&T managed any margin of victory over Cuba.
French Guiana had earlier beaten Curacao 4-1 and had temporarily taken second spot on goals scored, prior to Cuba getting the point against T&T. However, French Guiana can still qualify for a Gold Cup spot playoff against Central American fifth-place qualifiers Honduras, if they emerge as the overall best third-placed Caribbean Cup team.