Monday, November 29, 2010

Thomas and Jamaica Top Auvray and Guadeloupe

Shavar Thomas and the Jamaican national team got the best of Stephane Auvray and the Gaudeloupe national team tonight in the second group game of the Digicel Caribbean Cup. With the win, Jamaica qualified for the semifinals and got their ticket to this summer's Gold Cup as well. Throughout the first half, Jamaica was the better side and could have been up at least one if not for some poor finishing by the Jamaican forwards. Guadeloupe came alive late in the half and had some half chances.

In the second half, Guadeloupe started as the more dominate side and had some good chances to grab the lead. The best two chances fell to their captain, and SKC midfielder, Stephane Auvray. The first after a ball was knocked away from Guadeloupe's forward, Auvray blasted a shot that was well saved by Jamaica's keeper. Shortly after a cross came into the box where Auvray laid out for a diving header at the six yard box. Auvray though couldn't direct the header on goal though and it went wide.

That miss proved costly as about 30 seconds later, Dane Richards played a cross in to the back post where Shaun Francis met it with his head and put it away to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead. Throughout the rest of the second half, both teams had chances, Jamaica missed some very good chances to double their lead but again poor finishing hurt their chances. Guadeloupe also had some chances but couldn't find a leveler. In second half stoppage time they had a free kick 30 yards out. The free kick was blasted into the wall and Jamaica was on the break. Guadeloupe looked to have the play covered a few times in their box, but poor defending led to the ball falling to Ryan Johnson who buried his shot past Guadeloupe's stranded goalkeeper and into the net for the 2-0 win.

Both Thomas and Auvray went 90 minutes for their team. Guadeloupe now needs to win their final game against Antigua and Barbuda and need Jamaica to beat Guyana to qualify for the semifinals and the Gold Cup. Tomorrow Craig Rocastle and Grenada need a draw against Cuba to qualify for the semifinals.

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