'We had one goal' - Jamaica top T&T in penalty shoot-out to win sixth Caribbean Cup title
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
It was sweet, sweet victory for the Reggae Boyz and vindication for their under pressure head coach Winfried Schäfer, who punched the air in celebration after Trinidad and Tobago's Khaleem Hyland sent his team's final penalty kick over the crossbar.
"I am very delighted for the win," a clearly relieved Schäfer told the post-match press conference.
"I hope everyone knows just how good this team really is. I hope that now that we have won that everyone will see that we have a strong team."
Schäfer added: "The team was very disciplined. We had one goal and that was to win the Cup and I am very proud of the medal I have won with this group of players."
It took the Reggae Boyz all of 120 minutes of action and a dramatic penalty shoot-out, inspired once again by their outstanding goalkeeper, André Blake, to lift their sixth CFU Men's Caribbean Cup title and their second on home soil, following Tuesday night's thrilling 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over archrivals Trinidad and Tobago at Montego Bay Sports Complex.
"I believe from the first match in this tournament (that we'd have won). It could not have been any better in the way we took on this championship," Schäfer said.
"Now we have the Gold Cup and the Centro-Americana tournament to think about, but this was good for us," he added.
Finishing among the top four earned Jamaica an automatic qualification spot to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Finals, which will be staged in the United States next year.
Winning the CFU Caribbean Cup gave Jamaica a bonus, qualification to the 2016 Centennial America, a combination of the Copa America (South American championship) and Gold Cup (CONCACAF championship), which will also be staged in the United States.
Jamaica's goalkeeper, Blake, who was
hardly tested during regulation and extra-time, was at his imperious
best in the shoot-out, getting down low to save Trinidad and Tobago
captain Kenwyne Jones' kick - giving the Jamaicans the advantage in the
Jermaine Taylor, Jobi McAnuff, Demar
Phillips and captain Rodolph Austin all scored from the spot, while
18-year-old striker Michael Seaton had his kick saved by Jan Michael
Williams, the Trinidadian keeper.
shared the Golden Boot Award with Trinidad's Kevin Molino and Kervens
Belfort of Haiti - each scoring three goals in the
Blake was awarded the Best Goalkeeper
award, while Austin was selected as the Most Valuable Player, his second
overall, after copping the achievement in 2010, when Jamaica won the
tournament in Martinique.
Trinidad's head coach,
Stephen Hart, offered congratulations to their conquerors, hailing the
championship as excellent and of a good quality.
finished third and Cuba fourth to also qualify directly to the Gold Cup
with Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.