Congratulations to Haiti who have won back-to-back Caribbean titles at U-17 level after beating Cuba 5-0 in the final. Here’s my mini report on the final round of India 2017 qualifiers…
Note: [Q] means qualified and () indicates the number of points that country has accumulated.
**All Group A matches were played at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva**
- Haiti [Q] (7) 2. Jamaica [Q] (7) 3. Trinidad & Tobago (3) 4. Bermuda (0)
16/09/16: Bermuda 2-6 Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago 0-2 Haiti.
18/09/16: Jamaica 0-0 Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago 3-2 Bermuda.
20/09/16: Haiti 5-0 Bermuda, Trinidad & Tobago 2-3 Jamaica.
**All Group B matches were played at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain**
- Cuba [Q] (9) 2. Curacao [Q] (4) 3. Suriname [Q] (3) 4. Guadeloupe (1)
17/09/16: Suriname 2-0 Guadeloupe, Cuba 2-1 Curacao.
19/09/16: Guadeloupe 0-6 Cuba, Curacao 3-1 Suriname.
21/09/16: Curacao 0-0 Guadeloupe, Cuba 2-1 Suriname.
Semi-finals (23/09/16): Haiti 3-1 Curacao, Cuba 1-0 Jamaica.
Third-place playoff (25/09/16): Jamaica 3-0 Curacao.
Final (25/09/16): Haiti 5-0 Cuba.
Goals from Steeve Moondestin, Steeve Saint-Duc, Jean Jacques Danley, Louidon Casseus and Nael Elysee gave Haiti a resounding 5-0 victory over Cuba and back-to-back Caribbean U-17 titles. The side’s captain, Saint-Duc, enjoyed a terrific tournament: he won the Golden Boot (5) and Golden Ball awards for his stand-out performances. Indeed, Haiti is a hotbed for young football talent but as former Haitian manager Edson Tavares has previously said, there aren’t always the necessary structures in place so that talented youngsters can fulfill their potential. The CONCACAF Championship should provide a bigger platform for these Haitian players to express themselves on. As for Cuba, they will be disappointed to have lost so heavily in the final – their first final round defeat after winning all three group matches and the semi-final – but a runners-up finish is still a solid achievement.
Caribbean representatives at next year’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship to be staged in Panama: Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Curacao, Suriname.
By Nathan Carr