ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – England forward Calaum Jahraldo-Martin struck twice to fire Antigua and Barbuda to a crushing 5-1 victory over Grenada 5-1 and into the third round of the Caribbean Cup qualifiers.
In a game which burst to life in the second half following a goalless opening stanza at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium here Tuesday, Antigua sealed the points in the must-win contest following a loss to Puerto Rico in their opening game last weekend.
Veteran Peter Byers gave the hosts the all-important lead in the 52nd minute before the 23-year-old Jahraldo-Martin added a second in the 68th. England-based pro Keiran Murtagh netted the third for Antigua in the 73rd minute and three minutes later, Tevaughn Harriette put the game to bed with the fourth goal of the game. Jahraldo-Martin, who represents Hull City which recently won promotion back to the English top flight, performed the final rites with his second goal five minutes from time.Grenada’s lone goal came in the 73rd minute through Jamal Charles.
The victory put Antigua second in Group One on three points behind winners Puerto Rico, who played unbeaten to cruise into the next round.
In Group Five, meanwhile, St Kitts and Nevis ended St Vincent and the Grenadines’ hope of progressing with a narrow 1-0 victory at Arnos Vale Sports Complex in Kingstown.
Having lost to Suriname last Saturday in Paramaribo, SVG needed a win in Tuesday’s contest but instead succumbed to Javeim Blanchette’s fifth minute strike.
St Kitts finished top of the group with six points following their 1-0 victory over Suriname in Basseterre last week, while the Surinamese grabbed second spot in the group.
In Group Two, Dominica also had their slim chances of qualifying completely erased when they were hammered 4-0 by Martinique in Roseau.
The most emphatic win of the evening came in Willemstad where Curacao whipped the US Virgin Islands 7-0, with Gino van Kessel smashing a hat-trick.
The five group winners along with the four best second-place finishers will advance to the next round.