Soccer  > General Soccer  > Grenada returns to Gold Cup, draws with Cuba
December 1, 2010, 11:15 AM
FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique - Grenada qualified for a second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 0-0 draw against Cuba on Tuesday, a result that sent both comfortably to Friday's semifinals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

One of the smallest nations in the world with an estimated population of about 108,000 and a land mass of 344 square kilometers (133 square miles) - about twice the size of Washington, D.C., Grenada finished with five points in Group H, two behind group winner Cuba.

Cuba clinched its semifinal berth on Sunday and with Tuesday's draw will face the runner-up from Group I in Friday's semifinals.

Jamaica already has clinched the Group I title and will play Grenada in the other semifinal. Antigua & Barbuda is in second place in Group I and needs only a draw against winless Guadeloupe on Wednesday to claim the last semifinal berth and the Caribbean's fourth and lone remaining spot in the Gold Cup.

Both teams were jeered at both halftime and the final whistle in a game that saw both teams play very cautiously and combine for only three shots at goal in the entire match.

A sodden, wet field did little to help play but neither side appeared motivated to push forward with a draw assuring Cuba of the group title and Grenada a place in the semifinals.

Grenada will be trying to at least match its finish of two years ago when it outlasted Cuba on penalties to reach the title match, where it fell 2-0 to Jamaica.

Cuba has never won the Caribbean Cup but has finished runner-up final three times, the last in 2005 when Jamaica won the crown in a final four-team group phase. It came closest to winning the title in 1999, when it lost the final to Trinidad & Tobago in extra time.

Grenada reached the Caribbean Cup semifinals with 3-2-1 record, allowing only five goals - most of those in a 3-0 loss to Guadeloupe in a second-round qualifying match. Placed in a group with the United States at the 2009 Gold Cup, the "Spice Boys" lost all three first-round matches and were outscored 10-0.

In a later game that had no impact on the knockout round, Trinidad & Tobago defeated Martinique 1-0 on an early second-half goal by Hughtun Hector. The victory finished Trinidad in third place in the group with three points, two ahead of Martinique.

Both teams had been previously eliminated. Trinidad was denied any chance of advancing with its second loss on Sunday and the Grenada-Cuba draw ended any chance for Martinique.


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