Saint Lucia ended their Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Men’s Under-17 Finals tournament with a 0-2 loss to defending champions Cuba on Sunday night at the Stade Sylvio Cator in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
Having emerged second from Group A, beating Trinidad & Tobago, losing to the host nation and earning a draw against Barbados, Saint Lucia was matched up against the second-placed team from Group B.
Carlos Cerbranco in the 16th minute and Raycharle Herrera in the 37th sealed the deal for Cuba, though the Saint Lucian custodian preserved the 0-2 scoreline when facing a penalty early in the second period.
All in all, Saint Lucia will be well pleased with their trip to Haiti, having earned passage to the CONCACAF Championships next February in Honduras, where – along with Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago – they will meet regional heavyweights the United States of America, Mexico, Canada, the host nation and three more qualifiers from the Central American subregion. The top teams from the CONCACAF Championships will go on to represent the region at the Under-17 World Cup next year in Chile.
In Sunday’s early game, Haiti and the young Reggae Boyz 2-0 battled it out for top seeding. At the end, Haiti maintained their perfect record from four matches, Jacques Saul Metellus scoring in the 20th and 75th minutes.
After a great week of youth football, CFU presented awards to the officials in the Final – referee Yadel Martinez Pupo and assistant referee Leonardo Sanchez, both of Cuba; assistant referee Ainsley Rochard of Trinidad & Tobago; fourth official Leo Clarke from Saint Lucia.
Guadeloupe got the Fair Play Award, whilst the three individual awards went to players from the two teams in the final. Haitian goalkeeper Emmanuel Chery got the Golden Gloves. Jamaicans Nicholas Nelson and Alex Marshall got the Golden Boots and MVP.