DILLON, Martinique, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago were eliminated from the Digicel Caribbean Cup on Sunday night after they slumped to another shock defeat, this time at the hands of Grenada.
The lone strike from Kitson Bain sent the Soca Warriors tumbling from a tournament for which they were one of the pre-tournament favourites.
Their defeat was their second in a row following their 2-0 loss to Cuba on the opening night, leaving them at the bottom of Group H without a point to their credit.
With coach Russell Latapy opting for wholesale changes to the starting line up that lost to Cuba, it was hoped that T&T could have transformed their fortunes.
And they might have delivered for their coach when Devorn Jorsling chested down a gift on the edge of the Cuban penalty area but his rushed volley was saved by Grenada’s goalkeeper Andre Baptiste.
The Soca Warriors’ stylish pattern play and passing game was matched by Grenada’s swift counterattacks during a cagey middle period of the match.
Bain, Grenada’s target man throughout, broke well in the 41st but hesitated on a bouncing ball and had his effort thwarted.
After a goalless first stanza Bain delivered an outstanding match winner in the 69th minute, perhaps the goal of the tournament.
He received the ball on the left flank, nipped inside his marker and amidst four dazed defenders, unleashed a ferocious shot from 25 yards out that rocketed in off the woodwork.
Desperation soon turned to despair as the 2006 FIFA World Cup debutants had a goal disallowed on 73 minutes when Julius James had his header ruled out after the referee ruled he unfairly challenged for the cross.
Cuba, meanwhile, assured themselves a semi-final berth when they edged the hosts 1-0 in the second game of the doubleheader.
Jeniet Molina’s 28th heartbreaker secured Cuba their second win of the campaign, to take them top on six points.
Molina rose between two defenders at the near post to power home a corner kick to stun the home crowd into silence.
Despite being reduced to nine men after the 54th minute Cuba held on for the win.