Tournament Top Goal Scorer, Yoandy BLANCO, powered Cuba to the gold medal when he scored a hatrick in his team’s comprehensive 5-1 victory against Trinidad and Tobago in the final of the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games (Men). Both teams have however qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.
BLANCO scored two of his goals in 6 minutes to give Cuba a 2-0 half at the end of the 1st half. Early in the game both teams employed the tactic of long balls from defence to their forwards as they tried to stretch the field. In the 22nd minute however Cuba earned a penalty corner and BLANCO scored his first goal and he followed it up with his second goal from another penalty corner in the 28th minute.
In the second half, Trinidad pushed Akim TOUSSAINT forward as they tried to get a foot back in the match but Cuba’s midfield, led by Roger AGUILERA, made it difficult for them to find their offensive rhythm. Adrian MOLINA then gave Cuba a 3-0 lead in the 41st minute and BLANCO rounded off his hatrick in the 62nd minute. One minute later Yoel VEITIA extended Cuba’s lead to 5-0 but Trinidad’s Mickell PIERRE pulled one back for his team 2 minutes from time, to make the final score 5-1.
Cuba’s Leordan HERNANDEZ was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
In the bronze medal match, Mexico held their nerve when they beat Barbados 5-4 in a sudden death penalty shoot after both teams played to an enthralling 1-1 tie at the end of 70 minutes. Barbados took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute courtesy of a Shonkeel WHARTON goal.
Barbados faced waves of Mexican attacks in the second half and seemed content to try to defend their 1 goal advantage as they pulled everybody behind the ball at times to try to stop Mexico. It took a moment of brilliance in the 68th minute from Mexico, courtesy of Captain Pol MORENO and the Player of the Tournament, Francisco AGUILAR, when the former on the entering the field from a green card scooped a ball from the half line into the circle which an unmarked AGUILAR put past goalkeeper BOYCE to make it 1-1.
The match was then settled via a penalty shoot-out with Mexico winning 5-4 in sudden death. The scorers for both teams were:
Mexico: Edgar BORQUEZ, Ruben MARTINEZ and Francisco AGUILAR – Sudden Death: Edgar BORQUEZ and Francisco AGUILAR
Barbados: Kris HOLDER, Shonkeel WHARTON and Laurando DAVIS –Sudden Death: Laurando DAVIS
Dominican Republic claimed 5th place when they beat Jamaica 2-0 in a penalty shootout following the teams’ 2-2 draw at the end full time. Jamaica’s Kemar MITCHELL opened the scoring in the 4th minute but Dominican Republic’s Braulin EMILIANO brought the game on level terms in the 20th minute. Jamaica forged ahead to a 2-1 lead in the 44th minute when Giovanni GORDON scored however Dominican Republic levelled the game again 7 minutes later when GARCIA. Dominican Republic then won the penalty shootout 2-0 with Jorge NIVAR and Captain Hugo CRUZ leading their team to victory.