Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cuba conquer Caribbeans

Leading up to the end of 2012, the Caribbean Cup continued and reached its conclusion with Cuba crowned champions for the first time. Group 2 hosts St Lucia Hammered Curaçao 5-1  and defeated St Vincent and the Grenadines 1-0 but were eliminated on the head-to-head rule after suffering a 3-0 loss to Guyana who had earlier lost 2-1 to St Vincent and the Grenadines the 4-0 conquerors of Curaçao. The biggest shock came when group 7 hosts Guadeloupe lost 2-0 to Dominican Republic who finished top with a 3-1 victory over Puerto Rico while the hosts bowed out with a 3-3 draw against Martinique. Eventual group 6 winners Haiti, were stunned by a single French Guiana goal while group hosts Grenada overcame Guyana 2-1 before going out 2-0 the Haitians. In group 8 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines earned 1-1 draws against group hosts Trinidad & Tobago and eventual champions Cuba before going out to a single goal by Suriname. In the final round, hosts Antigua and Barbuda endured a demoralising defeat 2-1 to Dominican Republic before putting 2 past Trinidad and Tobago, but finishing bottom of the group after a 1-0 loss to Haiti. Jamaica were humiliated 2-1 by French Guiana and held to a goalless draw by Martinique before losing 1-0 to Cuba. Martinique topped their group after French Guiana surrendered 3-1 but runners-up Cuba went on to lift the cup with  1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in the final. Cuba end 2012 in 98th place having moved up 36th positions in the football rankings.
In November Uzbekistan upset their Iranian hosts 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier while among friendly matches Venezuela fell 3-1 to Nigeria in Miami and Chile lost by the same scoreline to Serbia in Switzerland.