Curacao qualify to Round 2 of Digicel Caribbean Championships – Hosts Curacao beat Grenada 2-0 to win Group A of the DCC
John Bacuna 35 mins
Joshua Bicintini 38 mins
2 – 0
Shots on target
Shots off target
Netherlands Antilles Curacao avenged the poor first outing they had at a similar stage two years ago in the last Digicel Cup when they defeated Grenada 2-0 to win the opening Group A of the Digicel Caribbean Championships and qualify to the second round of the Digicel Championships for the first time.
In front of a boisterous home crowd the Curacao team took the match to Grenada from the start knowing a win was a must against the spice boys of Grenada who were sitting pretty on 3 points at the summit of Group A prior to kick off.
It was Dutch league import Eugene Martha who fashioned the first chance for Curacao when he controlled the ball magnificently on his chest on the edge of the box swivelled and struck only to see his shot sail harmlessly over Desmond?s bar.
Curacao escaped a potential disaster when referee Geoffrey Hospedales adjudged keeper Pisas Marcello?s clash with Grenada?s Marcus Julien as unintentional as the diminutive striker lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper on the edge of the box only to feel the full weight of the keeper land on his much smaller frame. With everyone watching the ball fall harmlessly short of the goal, the cries for foul from the Grenada bench could be heard clearly.
Curacao did look to be the more dominant side and were denied taking the lead on 43 minutes by a magnificent one handed save from Desmond whose one handed save from Benjamin Martha?s volley rolled along the line and bounced off the post falling harmlessly away from goal.
Curacao came out with a sense of urgency in the second half knowing they had to really raise the tempo and secure the 3 points if they were to get through to the second round.
The hosts had Shayron Anastasia to thank for the score line remaining goalless as he managed to scramble the ball away to safety as Marcello could not hold onto a pile driver from Grenada?s Marcus Julien.
Some anxious faces were beginning to grow in the stands of the home crowd until on 80 minutes John Bacuna put his name up in headlines when he latched onto Bicinitini?s cross after some good approach play by captain Ascencion, and drilled the ball high into the roof of the net from 6 yards.
The crowd were just beginning to settle down 3 minutes later when on 83 minutes they were sent into hysterics as Joshua Bicintini scored the goal of the tournament to date when he cut inside from the left and from 22 yards drove an unstoppable right footed shot which Desmond could only grasp at as it flew into the top right corner.
A goal fitting to round off Group A and one which will be talked about fondly all week as Curacao celebrated in style on the final whistle with the hysterical home crowd as the nation now regain pride after their cruel exit to Haiti in the World Cup and they progress to the second round of the Digicel Championships for the first time.
Grenada must wait and hope that their 3 points are good enough to claim one of the 4 available second placed spots while Aruba will have to wait patiently for 2 more years to avenge their defeat.
Curacao: 18.Pisas Marcello, 3 Danielo Trenidad, 2. Doran Rihenel, 7 Joshua Bicintini, 4 Shayron Anastatia, (15 Stallone Isenia 77mins) 12 Curly Hooi, 6. Eugene Martha, 8. Djuric Ascencion, 17. Benjamin Martha, 16. John Bacuna, 10 Toreilly Chirino (11. Djarston Torbed 63 mins)
Subs: (5. Curtly Hooi), (9. Everon Espacia) (11. Djarston Torbed) (15 Stallone Isenia) (14. Soranley Tomsjangen), (1 Raymar Revierre)
Grenada: 18. Desmond Noel, 4. Cassim Langaigne, 6. Marc Marshall, 11. Anthony Modeste, 9. Ricky Charles, 25. Shane Rennie, (5. Devon Roberts 87 mins) 17. Nickson Baptiste, 23. Junior Williams (14. Wendell Rennie 46 mins) , 30. Marcus Julien (27. Kimron Redhead 86 mins)19. Jake Rennie, 2. Eric George
Subs: (5. Devon Roberts) (13. Marvin Federick) (27. Kimron Redhead) (14. Wendell Rennie) (1. Ken Searless)