St. Kitts and Nevis wins Group B on FIFA tie breaker…moves on to the second round

St. Kitts Nevis VS Montserrat

ZIZ Sports News…Oct 11, 2010 – St Kitts and Nevis finished their participation in Group B of the Digicel Cup with a hard fought 4-0 win against an improving Montserrat side.

As was the case on Friday, Montserrat started the brightest and after 5 minutes Steve Stewart somehow let the ball run into the keepers hands after Julian Wade had connected with a corner from Kenneth Dyer to present the most golden of chances for Stewart from 2 yards which he somehow squandered.

Sure enough the leaky defence of Montserrat was opened up on 17 minutes after a beautiful passing move when George Isaac found Jevon Francis who had dropped off the back 4, turned and passed into Alexis Saddler who came racing in from the left to confidently strike past Sweeny in the Montserrat goal.

If the first was a good team goal the second which arrived 3 minutes later was individual brilliance when Keith Gumbs smashed a 20 yard free kick past a poorly position Sweeny and it all seemed so easy.

The third came ironically enough after Montserrat had their best shot on goal from Julian Wade but the pace of the St Kitts break led to Isaac squaring to saddler from the right to slide in and pick up his second of the game rolling the ball under Sweeny.

Barbados VS St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The second half was the finest display by Montserrat of the tournament to date as they kept St Kitts at bay for 45 minutes but let their concentration lapse at the death as Ian Lake converted with a right foot volley from a beautifully flighted Joel Jeffers cross from the right in injury time at the end of the first half.

While Montserrat did have chances through Farrell and Wade to break their duck and register a goal for the team in the tournament, in the end some good goal keeping, bad luck and woeful finishing kept them at bay.

Meanwhile St Vincent and the Grenadines failed to overcome Barbados and lost topping Group B by the slightest of margins after a three way split for top spot brought the all important FIFA tie breaker rule into play for the first time in the Digicel Cup 2010. In what was a tight game that controversially ended with both sides being reduced to nine men each, St. Vincent lived to fight again as they qualify to the next round of the Caribbean’s biggest football tournament.

Nil all it ended which meant that Barbados would be going home and out of this year’s tournament. Despite the fact that none of the big three of St Vincent, Barbados, or St Kitts could beat each other, it was down to the FIFA regulations on tie breakers which came into effect in the CONCACAF region in 2007 on the question of qualification.

The three teams were level on total points, level on points on the games against each other, level on goal difference in games played against each other, but finally differentiated on the fourth circumstance where St Kitts scored more than the other two in the games between each tied team. St Vincent then came second in the Group by the fifth level of tie breaker when they scored more goals in the competition in its entirety. Knowing Cayman finished second in Group A on 4 points, it is guaranteed that St Vincent qualify as one of the top two sides from Groups A, B or C.

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