LE LAMENTIN—Host Martinique topped Group Three of the Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup First Round qualifiers after a 2-2 draw with Suriname in their final match at the Pierre-Aliker Stade Municipal, Fort-de-France, Le Lamentin, Martinique on Sunday. For the host, who entered the match only needing a draw, Kevin Parsemain opened the scoring as early as the third minute for his 11th strike in three matches, while Djenhael doubled the lead in the 22nd minute. However, Suriname, which needed maximum points to top the four-team group, pulled a goal back three minutes later through goalkeeper, Ronny Aloema, before Donovan salvaged a draw with a goal on the stroke of full-time. With the drawn result, both Martinique and Suriname ended with seven points each, but the host, which clobbered British Virgin Islands 16-0 and Montserrat, 5-0 in its other matches, ended with a superior goal-difference of plus-23 to Suriname’s plus-ten. The runners-up also defeated BVI and Montserrat, 4-0 and 7-1 respectively. Montserrat ended third after beating BVI 7-0 in Sunday’s first match.
Host Haiti and Puerto Rico were to meet in a Group One decider late last night after both teams won for the second time in as many outings on Sunday at Sylvio Cator Stadium, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following its 2-1 win over Bermuda on Friday despite playing the final few minutes with ten men, Puerto Rico punished Saint Martin 9-0 led by a beaver-trick from Hector Ramos. Joseph Marrero added a pair while Noah Delgado, Cristian Arrieta and Alex Oikkonen got one each for the winners to improve to six points from two matches—the same as Haiti—but with a superior goal-difference of plus-ten, to Haiti’s plus-nine. The Haitians, meanwhile, registered a come-from-behind 3-1 spanking of Bermuda to add to its 7-0 mauling of Saint Martin. Antwan Russell stunned Haiti when he fired the visitors ahead after only nine minutes before Olrish Saurel got the host even on the half-hour mark.
Nine minutes later, Maurice Jean-Eudes handed Haiti the lead while Peguero Jean-Phillipe added the third, two minutes later. Today, Haiti needs to win to top the group while Puerto Rico requires only a draw. Group Four, in Bridgetown, Barbados, is set for September 23 to 27 involving the host country, Aruba, Dominica and Dominican Republic. Dates are yet to be confirmed for Group Two, which will be contested in St Lucia between Curacao, Guyana and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Eight-time champions, T&T Soca Warriors plays host St Kitts/Nevis, Anguilla and French Guyana from October 10-14 in Group Five. The winners and runners-up from Groups One to Three as well as the best runner-up from Group Four or Group Five will advance to a second, three-group round in late October, when Grenada, Guadeloupe and Cuba will join the fray. The top two teams from each second-round group will qualify for the Caribbean Cup finals set for December 3-15 along with two-time defending champion Jamaica and host, Antigua & Barbuda. The top four teams from the final round qualify for the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup.