Jamaica, Trinidad clash

Audley Boyd
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Shell Cup/Umbro Cup reaches semis

NUMBER ONE ranked Jamaica and number one performing Trinidad and Tobago come face to face in a Shell-Umbro Cup semi-final matching of arch-rivals always eager to prove their status.

Distinguishing the better country is enough reason to motivate these teams who are fittingly the best championship game pairing, but their desire to win is driven by other reasons and only one shall advance from today's match-up, which is set to kickoff at the Antigua Recreation Ground (AGRG), Antigua-Barbuda, at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. Jamaica time).

The Trinidadians won their three-team group playoff in this six-team Final Competition by virtue of a superior goal difference, after they and the other teams in their pool, St. Kitts and
Martinique, had won and lost a game apiece.

St. Kitts ended second and plays the winner of Jamaica's pool, Grenada, in today's other semi-final at Warner Park, St. Kitts, at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. Jamaica time). Grenada earned group
honours ahead of Jamaica on goal difference as both teams had drawn one-all and beaten
Antigua-Barbuda (Grenada 3-1, Jamaica 2-0).

Winners only shall play in Sunday's final that is scheduled for Antigua-Barbuda. With that
country totally out of contention for either the championship prize or a third-place finish, and St. Kitts still in the runnings, the co-hosts' role may be changed by tournament organisers Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

That though, places no bearing on the outcome or mindset of a Jamaican team looking to castigate the miseries of failing to make the top four in the last two competitions and add to its only regional title, that wrestled from the Trinidadians here in 1991. Jamaica followed through that 1991 first time appearance with two championship game matches the following years to make a trio of consecutive finals appearances.

Trinidad and Tobago have a lot more to boast about. They have won this regional championship on successive occasions for the last three years. They won the inaugural competition in 1989 and they were champions again in 1992, when they beat Jamaica.

That pretty much marked the end of Trini football dominance against Jamaica and besides a controversial loss on a Russell Latapy penalty three years ago, Jamaica have emerged by far the better with victories, and a draw earlier this year, in five other contests.

Significantly [illegible] teams have been able to [illegible] against each other [illegible] once in matches over the last four years so success [illegible]taining the tight defensive nature exhibited throughout that period will bear heavily [illegible] team's chances of making the final.

Today, it is up to top players Paul Hall, Theodore Whitmore, Andy Williams and other new additions since then, and also the Trinis David Nakhid and Jerren Nixon, to extend n
and quality to the never ending rivalry that could well decide the Caribbean's 1997 football champion.