T&T lift Shell/Umbro Cup

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

St. Kitts/Nevis go down 0-4

ST. JOHN'S, Cana:

Jerron NixonJerron Nixon: in action vs. St. Kitts

TRINIDAD and Tobago retained their title of Caribbean "Soccer Kings" when they hammered St. Kitts/Nevis 4-0 in the final of the annual Shell/Umbro Cup at the Antigua Recreation Grounds here yesterday.

In a one-sided affair, Trinidad and Tobago completely dominated and outplayed their opponents before a crowd of 7,500 to capture their fourth straight title and their sixth regional title in the eight finals played since 1989.

The 1990 final was not played because of a coup in Port of Spain.

Last year's Caribbean footballer of the year and most valuable player of the 1997 finals Jerren Nixon sent the Trinidadians ahead in the second minute when he outpaced a defender before pushing the ball past the advancing Sheldon Maloney in the St. Kitts' goal.

From there, the Trinidadians - with superior passing technique and ability - steamrolled their way over St. Kitts/Nevis, who were playing in their first final.

Defender Marvin Andrews scored his second goal of the finals when he headed home a corner taken by Lyndon Andrews in the 28th minute to give Trinidad a 2-0 half-time lead.

Two minutes after the re-start, Lebanon-based striker Peter Prosper placed a header away from Maloney to put Trinidad and Tobago further ahead after Nixon made a fine cross from the right.

Prosper scored his second and Trinidad and Tobago's fourth goal after he dribbled his way past two defenders inside the penalty area. He lost the ball briefly but regained it and slammed a left-foot shot into the roof of the net in the 57th minute.

The victory margin could have been wider but a shot from Nixon hit the upright and rebounded to safety after beating a stranded Maloney. Substitute Warren Butler also missed an empty goal with low angled shot.

To their credit, St. Kitts/Nevis never stopped pushing forward and had few shots at goal which either went wide or were saved by Trinidadian custodian Clayton Ince, who was voted goalkeeper of the tournament.

However, the Kittitians did not have the game plan for the players to break down the well-organized Trinidad and Tobago defence.

Jamaica won the fair play award.

Teams: Trinidad and Tobago - Clayton Ince, Dale Saunders, Sherwyn Julien, Marvin Andrews, Peter Prosper, Colvin Hutchinson, Lyndon Andrews, Jerren Nixon (Addison Belfon), David Nakhid, Ansil Elcock and Angus Eve.

St. Kitts/Nevis: Sheldon Maloney, Derrick Mills, Toussaint Riley, Stuart Williams (Floyd Hedge), George Isaac, Keith Gumbs, Charles Blake, Austin Higgins, Fitzroy Henry, Orville Thompson (Elvis Isaac) and Vernon Sargeant (Seritse Connonier).