Hughtun Hector scored a pair of first-half goals as T&T Soca Warriors blitzed Haiti 4-0 to top their Digicel Caribbean Cup Second Round Group F qualifiers at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella last night.
With the win, the Russell Latapy-coached Soca Warriors ended with maximum nine points from three matches to top the group and secure a spot in Group H of the eight-team Finals in Martinique later this month alongside the host country, Grenada and the winner of Group G (Antigua & Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Suriname).
The Soca Warriors, seven-time Caribbean champions (1989, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999) have now qualified for the tournament finals a record 11-times.
Going into the final match of the group series, T&T only needed a draw to top the group while the Haitians, needed a draw also to advance after Guyana defeated St Vincent and The Grenadines 2-0 in the opening encounter.
However, just as Tropical Storm Tomas ravaged their homeland earlier in the week, the Haitians suffered a first-half pounding from the Soca Warriors and could not recover. As early as the fourth minute Hector put T&T ahead and three minutes later, the inform Devon Jorsling made it 2-0 with his fifth goal in three matches.
Kerry Baptiste extended the lead to 3-0 in the 29th minute and three minutes Hector all but wrapped up victory for the Soca Warriors and top spot in the group with his second of the match for a 4-0 cushion at the half. In the second-half, the Soca Warriors eased up a bit against the Haitians, who despite trailing could have qualified by losing by a one goal margin.
In the end, the deficit was too much for the Haitians to overcome as T&T avenged a 2-1 loss in the finals four years ago on home soil with its biggest win over their opponents since a 6-1 triumph in 1999.
The 4-0 loss meant Haiti slipped to third spot on the four-team table, behind Guyana on goal-difference after the Golden Jaguars blanked St Vincent and The Grenadines 2-0 in yesterday’s opener thanks to second-half goals from Devon Millington and Sean Cameroon to end with four points as well.
Guyana will compete in the Group I of the Finals with defending champion and four-time winners’ Jamaica, Guadeloupe and the Group G runner-up. The Group G series gets going in Antigua on Wednesday with the top two teams advancing to the Finals from November 26 to December 5.
T&T: - 21.Marvin Phillip, 3.Yohance Marshall, 7.Hughtun Hector, 10.Anthony Wolfe, 9.Devon Jorsling (capt) - (12.Shahdon Winchester 46th), 16.Julius James, 20.Kevin Molino, 5.Kern Cupid, 4.Kerry Baptiste, 18.Densill Theobald, 19.Keon Daniel (13.Kendall Jadgeosingh 46th).
Substitutes: - 1.Jan Michael Williams (gk), 6.Daneil Cyrus, 15.Lester Peltier, 17.Jamal Gay, 8.Trent Noel, 14.Joevin Jones, 2.Clyde Leon.
Haiti: - 12.Steward Ceus, 4.Harold Milord (capt), 8.Sony Norde, 11.Ricardo Charles, 13.Constant Monuma, 14.Jacqueson Jean (9.Eliphene Cadet 71st), 7.Fabien Vorbe, 15.Pascal Millien (10.Leonel Saint Preux 34th), 17.Rubin Jean Garry, 18.Wildedonald Guerrier, 19.Junior Clairssainvil.
Substitutes: - 1.Occenat Peterson (gk), 2.Mechack Jerome, 3.Parnel Guerrier, 5.Versailles Kenold, 6.Joseph Beauge, 16.Jean Charles, Tony Charles, 20. Jackinto Jean.
Referee: Courtney Campbell – Jamaica
Assistant Referee 1 – Stephen Brown - Jamaica
Assistant Referee 2 –– Mark Sullivan - Jamaica
Commissioner – Patrick Beckles - Barbados
Guyana 2 (Devon Millington 57th, Sean Cameron 81st) vs St Vincent & The Grenadines 0, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
T&T (Hughtun Hector 4th, 32nd, Devon Jorsling 7th, Kerry Baptiste 29th) vs Haiti 0, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
Final Group F standings
P W D L F A Pts
T&T 3 3 0 0 12 3 9
Guyana 3 1 1 1 3 2 4
Haiti 3 1 1 1 3 5 4
SVG 3 0 0 3 3 11 0
Warriors put away Haiti
By Ian Prescott (Express)
Trinidad and Tobago will go into the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals in Martinique later this month with an unbeaten Group F qualifying record after destroying Haiti 4-0 last night at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
T&T won the match in the first half, but failed to press home their advantage in the second session. The "Soca Warriors" got a flying start, opening up a two-goal advantage after just seven minutes before leading by four at the halfway stage.
They got goals from Hughtun Hector (fourth & 32nd), Devon Jorsling (seventh) and Kerry Baptiste (29th) to top the group with a maximum nine points.
And in beating Haiti, T&T also ensured that Guyana grabbed the second qualifying spot on goal-difference. Earlier in the evening, the Golden Jaguars joined Haiti on four points with a 2-0 victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines.
T&T head coach Russell Latapy shuffled his pack again last night, giving starts to goalie Marvin Phillip, Hector, Baptiste, Anthony Wolfe, Keon Daniel and young Kevin Molino.
Latapy also had the luxury of dropping his top-scorer Jorsling and Puerto Rico Islanders left midfielder Daniel at the start of the second half, and giving young W Connection striker Shahdon Winchester and another Islanders man, Kendall Jagdeosingh a run.
For T&T, Hector, Molino and Theobald had good performances, while the defence of Yohance Marshall, Cupid, Wolfe and Julius James held firm. Hector was named Man-of-the-Match.
Earlier, he made the most of his first start by scoring in just the fourth minute with a low shot from outside the penalty area. The attempt seemed routine, until it squeezed through the hands of Haitian goalkeeper Stewart Ceus.
In-form striker Devon Jorsling then got his fifth goal in three matches when he walked in Keon Daniel's teasing low cross at the back post in the seventh minute.
After the early shock, Haiti settled.
Striker Sony Norde had a crack from distance in the 18th minute and had T&T keeper Marvin Phillip scrambling as the ball flew wide. Jorsling came even closer to getting his second with a similar shot from distance which the Haitian keeper just touched away in the 22nd.
Baptiste made it 3-0 in the 29th when he ripped Kern Cupid's cross into the top of the net on the second attempt. Baptiste's low pass then found Hector at the back post in the 32nd.
The T&T midfielder strolled the ball into an open net for his second goal of the night. Jagdeosingh had the chance to put the Soca Warriors further ahead 10 minutes into the second half, when accelerating clear of the last man but the Haitian keeper brought off a good save.
Haiti came closest to scoring in the 60th when the T&T goalie only just succeeded in parrying a powerful downward header from Wildedonald Guerrier. Neither team would get a second half goal.
Meanwhile, in the first match Guyana needed to beat SVG by a few goals to have any chance of qualifying, but hardly showed the desire to score one. However, they eventually won 2-0.
Striker Devon Millington got them on the scoresheet in the 57th when he beat the SVG keeper to the ball and scored from close-in. Midfielder Sean Cameron made it 2-0 with a powerful half-volley in the 81st after Philbert Moffatt chested down a cross towards him.
The Guyanese then sat down and hoped that close neighbours T&T would be kind to them by beating Haiti handsomely. They were not disappointed.