Digicel Caribbean Cup: Match 26 – Puerto Rico, 0 vs. St Kitts & Nevis, 1
St Kitts and Nevis won the battle for pride with a last gasp winner from Jevon Francis in their final game of Group E of the Digicel Cup.
With both sides going into the game knowing that it would be their last in this year’s Digicel Cup, the sides showed great attitude by providing a growing crowd in the National Stadium in Grenada with some attractive attacking football.
In the early moments of the first half it seemed to be all St Kitts with Lewis and Mitchum both going close with early efforts. On 25 minutes it was Kittitian Orlando Mitchum who was again the main danger man when his header flew inches past the post with Perez rooted to the spot in the Puerto Rican goal.
With Hanley missing the target from 8 yards in the last attacking move of the first half, St. Kitts had to settle for a half time goal less position.
The second half brought more attacking play from St Kitts and with Mitchum looking more and more likely to break his duck and grab a winner but Puerto Rico held strong with some fantastic defending by Morales.
It was the tall centre half Morales who had Puerto Rico’s best chance on 61 minutes when he latched onto a great right wing ball from Ortiz, only to see his pile driver rocket past the post and harmlessly wide.
Francis finally got the ball in the net for St Kitts on 74 minutes only for assistant referee Adrian Goddard to rule his effort out for an offside infringement, much to the dismay of the celebrating Kittitian players.
As the game entered injury time at the end of the regulation ninety minutes, it seemed both sides would go home winless but with a point to show for their efforts, until Francis finally popped up to grab the winner.
Mitchum showed again why he should have started every game to date, and showed calmness beyond his years as he went through 4 Puerto Rican defenders effortlessly before laying off to Francis, who didn’t need to be asked twice as he smashed his effort past Perez and spun away to celebrate with the entire squad at the corner flag.
While St Kitts & Nevis now return home to reflect on their campaign, they can be proud of their heroic efforts in winning their last game so dramatically and in topping Group B when all odds seemed against them.
Puerto Rico go home winless from Group E but as winners of Group A have something to reflect positively on for the future.
Puerto Rico: 1 A. Salvatore Perez (GK) 2 Raphel Ortiz 3 Carlos Morales 8 Andres Cabrero (4 Elliot Velez 78 mins) 9 Elroy Matos Velez (19 Hector Ramos
64 mins) 11 Chris Megaloudis 12 John Krause 13 Gadiel Figieroa 14 Joan Morales 16 Isaac Nieves(15 Chris Feigenbaum 56 mins) 17 Christian Arrieta
Coach: Jack Stefghowski
St Kitts & Nevis: 1 Akil Byron (GK) 2 Keithroy Richards 3 Shashi Isaac 4 Kareem Mitchum 5 Tishan Hanley 6 Orlando Mitchum 11 Stephen Clarke (7 George Isaac 46 mins) 12 Austin Lewis (17 Gerard Williams 74 mins) 13 Thrizen Leader (Capt) 14 Tiran Hanley (9 Jevon Francis 46 mins)15 Errol O’Loughlin
Assistant Referee 1: Adrian Goddard (Barbados)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Moses (Barbados)
Match Commissioner : Maurice Victoire (Martinique)