Caribbean: Puerto Rico progress to next stage
Puerto Rico became the first team to progress to the second qualifying round of the 2010 CFU Caribbean Cup on Wednesday after their 2-0 victory over the Cayman Islands saw them top the group. All of the matches in Group A of the first qualifying round took place in the Puerto Rican city of Bayamón thus giving the host nation a clear advantage over the rest of their group opponents. Nonetheless it was the only place deemed suitable of hosting matches of this magnitude.
The action got under way on Saturday with the Cayman Islands droppoing two points in a 1-1 draw against Saint-Martin, thus allowing Puerto Rico to get a grip on the group straight away. Chris Megaloudis was on the score sheet twice for Puerto Rico as they withheld a late fightback from opening match opponents Anguilla to seal the game by three goals to one. Anguilla would then go on to lose their next group match against the Cayman Islands by four goals to one, this despite taking the lead through Adonijah Richardson, and were effectively eliminated from the competition. Saint-Martin’s fate was also sealed went they went down to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Puerto Rico and the host nation would then await the Cayman Islands in a winner-takes-all match.
Chris Megaloudis would add to his tournament tally by giving Puerto Rico the lead midway through the first half in front of a 3,800 crowd but it wasn’t until two minutes from the end of the tie when the hosts sealed the three points and the group leadership after Gadiel Figueroa scored his first goal of the competition to give Puerto Rico a 2-0 victory. Puerto Rico will face off against Guadeloupe, Grenada and the winner from Group B of the first quali-round at the next stage which begins October 22nd in Grenada. For the Cayman Islands they must wait and see if their four points is good enough to claim one of the two best runner-up spots. The final match of the group saw Anguilla claim third place in the group with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Saint-Martin.