Fri, Oct


The record books will show that Trinidad and Tobago beat Martinique 1-0 Saturday night, but the hotly disputed goal will also hit the books as one of the most controversial of the 1991 Shell Caribbean Cup finals.

Russell Latapy ran onto a ball pushed forward by Anton Thomas, and as the Martinique defenders raised the offside appeal, Latapy made his way around goalkeeper Marc Lagler and slotted home in the 37th minute.

Jamaican linesman, Lancelot Livingston had his flag up when Latapy made the break, and the flag stayed up until the little man scored. However, fellow Jamaican Ezra Samms ruled the goal legal and pointed to the centre.

Several Martinique players, led by captain Jose Marie-Rose openly protested the goal, thus delaying the second kick-off by two minutes.

The Trinidadians marched into the semi-finals with four points from two matches, and can only be nosed out on goal difference at the top of the group two by St. Lucia whom they oppose in tonight's feature match.

St. Lucia must win by nine clear goals in order to achieve that feat.

Trinidad and Tobago, the defending champions, clearly missed prolific striker Leonsen Lewis as their forward line lacked imagination without him. Lewis was sidelined because of an ankle injury sustained in the match against the Dominican Republic last Thursday night.

Latapy, the midfield wizard, again emerged the hero of the night, despite being closely marked at times.

In a match dubbed the 1990 finals that never was, Trinidad and Tobago got more of the scoring chances, but goalie Lagler reported in businesslike manner to stop shots from Latapy, Philbert Jones, Marvin Faustin, and Anton Thomas.

Lagler's miraculous save came in the 64th minute when Jones crossed a ball from the left to Latapy, who chested-controlled, shifted closer to the middle, and unleashed a left-footer which Lagler went full stretch to push for a corner.

Martinique, who won majority shares of cheers from the crowd, exhibited slick play and attractive build-ups and also got their share of chances to score.

Midfielder Jean Claude Linere got the simplest, but hit straight to goalkeeper Michael Maurice from about five meters. 

Maurice was later fully extended to push overhead a shot by midfielder Patrick Cadol, which seemed headed for goal.

Martinique will be in action again tonight against the Dominican Republic at 6pm, two hours before St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago play.

A win for the French-speaking men would almost certainly hand them a semi-final spot, as St. Lucia are not expected to beat Trinidad and Tobago.