Vincy Heat advances in Digicel Cup
December 3, 2004
Vincy Heat advances in Digicel Cup

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football team, affectionately dubbed “Vincy Heat” will have another chance to show their potential when they face Grenada in home and away matches December 12 and 18. This will be as the race for places in the Caribbean Federation Union (CFU) Digicel Caribbean Cup intensifies. {{more}}

BVI with former Vincentian defender Avondale Williams like a stone wall in that line up, served as a measure of inspiration to the rest of his lads. And with support from goalkeeper Monty Butler, the BVIslanders turned out to be a deceptive unit.

BVI takes on Concacaf final round qualifiers Trinidad and Tobago in the continuing showdown for a spot in the Gold Cup final.

That will be a test of the fortitude of the BVI. Visibly lacking in firepower, the BVI proved still to be the giant killers in the Group in which they were expected to have been eliminated early.

The Vincentians earned their spot in near dramatic fashion last Sunday as Group E wound up at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

Vincy Heat started that match in a must win situation at the bottom of the table, with two points from drawn games against British Virgin Islands in their opening encounter, and Bermuda two days later Friday, November 26.

The homesters were buoyed by the BVI’s performance earlier that Sunday. Having already shocked the Vincentians with the draw, BVI brushed aside Bermuda with a two-nil victory.

Bermuda had perhaps begun celebrating their advance to the second round after goals from Maurice Lowe from a corner in the 82nd and Damon Ming’s 90th minute penalty had brought them from almost extinction to earn a three-all draw with the much favoured Vincy Heat.

But perhaps the Bermudans didn’t cater for BVI. Cayman Islands had also put themselves into contention for a second round berth with a one-nil win over BVI last week Friday.

So with BVI on a single point, Bermuda must have thought that it was all over. Bermuda began in emphatic fashion with a 2:1 win over Cayman Islands.

Their draw with the Vincy Heat placed them at the top of the pack.

Then it was former Vincentian striker Venton James’ day. He scored in the 12th and 28th minutes. It was an all-round team effort, however. For who could overlook the heroics of BVI’s goalkeeper Monty Butler. He showed signs of injuries as he defied the Bermudans who attacked with purpose in their quest to secure a victory and top the group.

Butler was in action in the 82nd minute. He dived to his left and his anticipation proved accurate as Damon Ming’s penalty shot hit his outstretched hands and bounced away from the upright for Butler to clutch.

The two-nil victory gave BVI a better goal average, with both teams on four points.

With that setting, the Vincentians surged to the top with a commanding display over Cayman Islands.

Shandell Samuel completed his good work in the 20th minute, dribbling past two defenders after receiving a pass from Kendall Velox. Burton Forde converted from the penalty spot in the 43rd after Samuel was fouled. Renson Haynes made no mistake with his left foot shot into the roof of the net midway in the second half. Kenlyn Gonsalves rounded off the scoring with a 78th minute strike.

The Caymanians seemed to have lost their cool after the award of the penalty.

So much so that Horace Nelson was sent marching just before the interval. The shortage was not to the Caymanians advantage as the Vincentians finished strongly.

St. Lucia and Jamaica are lined up for second round clashes December 12 and 19, while Haiti and St. Kitts/Nevis carded for their Knock-out clashes those same dates.

Second round winners progress to the third round set for January 9 and 16. The winners join host Barbados for the final February 20 to 24.

Three teams from that list will qualify for the CONCACAf Gold Cup July 6 to 24 in the USA.