Haiti claim third place
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Haiti captured third place from dethroned champions Cuba yesterday evening, capping their 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup with a 2-1 win at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
A dull and goalless first half was brushed aside as Marc Collat's men turned in a much-improved second half to come away with a close victory. They now turn their attention to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is to be staged in the United States next year.
"I am happy [about] the result, especially after that loss to Jamaica in our previous game," said Collat of France.
"We took a chance with some fresh legs, players who had not played before in the championship and it paid off for us. Now we need to tighten up some areas as we look towards to the Gold Cup," Collat added.
The Haitians took the lead in the 56th minute through defender Jerome Mechack's strike, as he rolled the ball past the out-of-position Diosvely Santiesteb in goal for Cuba.
Their second goal came five minutes from the full-time whistle when Wilde Donald Guerrier fired in from an angle in the 85th minute.
Cuba did get a goal back, but that was too little, too late. Ariel Pedro Gonzalez scored a beauty from a free kick that flew past the keeper in the 89th minute of play.
Cuba's head coach, Walter Benitez, said his players were a little flat in the first half.
"We had to change things a little from the first half where we were a little bit lethargic. We gave up two goals in the second half and scored one to finish fourth. And in truth, it's not a bad position to be," he said at the post-match press conference.
Both countries, along with Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica - who were engaged in the final at press time last night - qualified directly to next year's Gold Cup. The fifth-place CFU team, French Guiana, will play off against the fourth-place team from Central America, Honduras, for a spot at the Gold Cup.