Trinidad and Tobago national men's football team has made it to the 2012 Caribbean Cup finals after beating Martinique 5-4 from the penalty spot to advance into the finals for the first time since 2007.
Martinique took the lead in the 76th minute through Rivière-Pilote striker Kevin Parsemain before Defence Force striker Richard Roy equalising goal in injury time for the Warriors that sent both teams into extra-time, however, either team could find the back of the net and had to go to the penalty spot to settle the score.
Skipper Jan-Michael Williams came up big to deny Martinique 4th kicker while Guerra, T&T's last penalty taker made no mistake from the spot as he held his nerves and buried the winner to seal it for the Soca Warriors.
Martinique 1 (Kevin Parsemain 76) v T&T 1 (Richard Roy 90+)
Martinique 4 - Trinidad and Tobago 5
Jacky Berdix (scores) - Densill Theobald (scores)
Sebastien Cretinoir (scores) - Kevin Molino (scores)
Steeve Gustan (scores) - Carlyle Mitchell (scores)
Kevin Parsemain (scores) - Curtis Gonzales (scores)
Frederic Piquionne (saved) - Ataullah Guerra (scores)
Coaches: - Hutson Charles & Jamaal Shabazz (Trinidad & Tobago).
Martinique: - Emmanuel Vermignon, Stanley Anglio, Daniel Herelle (Fabrice Reuperne 87th), Steeve Gustan, Sébastien Cretinoir, Jacky Berdix (Yellow 50), Jordi Delem, Romain Bannais, socawarriors.net, Stéphane Abaul, Lionel Ravi (Yellow) (Kevin Parsemain 68th), Josué Joseph-Rose (Frédéric Piquionne 68th).
Coach: - Patrick Cavelan (Martinique).
Venue: - Antigua Recreation Ground.
T&T returns to Caribbean final on penalties.
Trinidad & Tobago will aim for its ninth Caribbean Cup title and first since 2001, advancing to this year's championship by overcoming Martinique 5-4 on penalties after the teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first of two semifinals on Friday.
It will meet the Haiti-Cuba winner, who are also playing at the Antigua Recreation Ground.
The stunning result and the way in which it was achieved will live in the region's football lore, as the Soca Warriors' Richard Roy leveled on the stroke of regulation to send the encounter into extra time.
Martinique started the game without its prized attacking duo of Kevin Parsemain and Frederic Piquionne, who combined to score three of Les Matinino's four goals heading into the semifinals . Perhaps, their absence led to a lackluster first half that saw both sides assume a defensive posture.
The second half saw a more entertaining brand of football and the game opened up thanks to some clever midfield play from both sides.
Parsemain did enter the game as a substitute and he made an impact. His superb strike put Martinique ahead in the 76th minute.
While in possession, the 24-year-old striker stopped suddenly and turned sharply on his marker, creating significant separation. With a clear look at the goal, he fired the ball past Trinidad goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams from inside the 18-yard box.
Piquionne came on in the second half as well and his contributions were meaningful. After Parsemain had another shot hit the left post, a Piquionne attempt from close range was saved well by Williams.
Those misses proved to be costly.
Trinidad finally got it right, though, when a brilliant pass from Kevin Molino with precious little time left on the clock found Roy for the equalizer. The 25-year-old hammered the ball beyond the reach of Martinique goalkeeper Emmanuel Vermignon, leaving no doubt that the back of the net was its ultimate destiny.
After a highly defensive 30 minutes of extra time, penalties decided who would advance.
Martinique kicked first and got goals from Jacky Berdix, Sebastien Cretinoir, Steeve Gustan, and Parsemain, but Piquionne's effort was saved by a diving Williams.
For the Soca Warriors, Densil Theobald, Molino, Carlyle Mitchell, Daniel Herelle and Atullah Guerra all converted to start a celebrations on the pitch.
The tournament's third-place match and final will take place on Sunday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago’s senior football team is through to Sunday’s Caribbean Cup Final after their valiant effort saw them come from a goal down to defeat Martinique 5-4 on penalty kicks in Friday’s semifinal at the Antigua Recreation Ground, St John’s after both teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after extra time.
The “Soca Warriors” led by heroic captain Jan Michael Williams will clash with Cuba from 5pm at the ARG as both nations go after the US$100,000 first prize. The runners up will take away US$75,000.
This will be T&T’s second trip to the final in eleven years, last winning it with a 3-0 win over Haiti in 2001 before losing to the same opponents in the 2007 final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The surviving members of that squad, Williams, Densill Theobald and Seon Power will aim to put an end to what they described as a Caribbean Cup “tabanca” after also missing out on Gold Cup qualification in 2009 and 2011.
Cuba, 1-0 losers to T&T in the previous round in Tobago, took care of Haiti 1-0 in Friday’s second game. The Haitians went into the match after threatening to withdraw on the day over money issues.
T&T gave perhaps one of its strongest and more disciplined matches in the tournament to date and had only themselves to blame for not completing a win before the end of regulation time.
Willis Plaza was left out of the T&T after being taken to hospital on Thursday, suffering from Hematemesis, which meant that T&T had only sixteen players available for the match with Aubrey David suspended and Hughtun Hector and Lester Peltier injured out.
Despite that setback, T&T stood firm throughout, restricting their French-speaking opponents who had looked much more fluent in their three previous matches.
Goalscoring opportunities were few for either team in the opening half but T&T looked the more settled side with Ataullah Guerra having a rare opportunity to break the deadlock in the opening 45. Martinique had a couple looks at T&T’s goal but nothing threatening.
The second half was played in similar fashion with T&T stroking the ball around and looking to find their way through a stubborn Martinique defense.
But it would be the 1993 champions who got the go ahead goal against the run of play. Substitute forward Kevin Parsemain controlled well and turned onto his right foot before sending one over Williams to give Martinique 1-0 ahead in the 76th minute. The goal came just as T&T midfielder Kevin Molino was getting ready to enter the match.
Martinique got some spark after the goal and West Ham United forward Frederic Piquionne almost doubled their lead when his effort was denied by Williams and Parsemain had another effort which narrowly missed the mark.
But T&T were persistent and kept going at their opponents in search of the equalizer. It would come on the stroke of full time when Molino threaded one through for substitute striker Richard Roy and he kept his composure before hitting a left footer into the right corner of the net to keep T&T alive.
“This is the most important goal of my career,” Roy told TTFF Media.
“I told the coaches that I would come on and do something big and help the team. I was just waiting for the chance and I’m happy that I could do that tonight. This goal was everybody in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Following’s Roy goal which forced the game into extra time, T&T became leg weary but held their nerves and kept Martinique at bay.
Densill Theobald was excellent in the middle of the park and Guerra provided that bit of flair going forward for T&T while Kevon Carter put in a decent effort on the right.
Theobald’s partner in the middle Keyon Edwards was also a workhorse to compliment the solid back four of Seon Power, Carlyle Mitchell, Daneil Cyrus and Curtis Gonzales.
Lone forward Devorn Jorsling was under guard for much of his time on the pitch and neither he nor his second half replacement Jamal Gay could muster any clear cut chances on goal. Still, the effort was commendable.
Theobald stepped up to coolly convert T&T’s first kick after Martinique went one through Jacky Berdix.
T&T’s Molino, Carlyle Mitchell and Curtis Gonzales all got it right before Williams’s match winning stop, diving to his left to deny Piquionne set up Guerra’s chance to calmly slot home to give T&T the 5-4 win.
“A fantastic win for the team. This is what you called a determined and valiant effort from a squad of players that have showed that they are in no position to buckle under pressure or give in when the battle seems beyond them,” Shabazz said.
“We went into the game hoping for a win like any other team but we had looked at Martinique and felt maybe they could pose a difficult challenge. We fought head and head with them and we showed true fighting spirit to come from a goal down after we thought we were having the better of the game.
And then to score the equalizer just when it seemed we would run out of time. But this one was ours and now we will try to keep this momentum going into the Final on Sunday.”