Team St. Lucia USA, led by a stalwart performance by goalkeeper Chad Phillip and Captain Melvin Monrose, defeated Grenada 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie in regulation to win its first Caribbean Cup Championship last Sunday at the Jefferson High School Complex.
The teams played an exciting game, which was one of the best finals in the tournament’s 21 years. Monrose gave St. Lucia the lead 25 minutes into the game with a superb volley shot from 25 yards to account for all the scoring in the first half. Trailing 1-0 well into the second period, Grenada pushed forward in search of the equalizer and came close on a number of occasions. As Grenada pushed forward, it left counterattacking opportunities for St. Lucia, but the St. Lucians failed to register a goal to extend its 1-0 lead.
In the 80th minute, Grenada’s Kyle Joseph dribbled past St. Lucia’s defense on the right side and registered a brilliant goal in the far corner on the left side to equalize. After a 4-4 ties in five round of penalty kicks it was on to sudden victory and Monrose scored the go-ahead goal on the seventh try, but it was the superb effort of Phillip, who saved the Grenada’s seventh kick to win the championship.
Jamaica finished third and Guyana fourth. Phillip won Most Outstanding Goalkeeper of the tournament and MVP of the final; Damion William of Jamaica scored the most goals and special recognition for dedicated participation in the tournament went to Garfield Cupid (Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Shawn Alleyne (Team Barbados). Defending champion Arantes FC will take on Kandia on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bronx New York International Soccer League 2012 championship game at Evander Childs High School Stadium near Gun Hill and White Plains Roads in the Bronx.