KINGSTON, Jamaica – Curacao was awarded the final berth in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on a coin toss, claiming the spot after Antigua & Barbuda beat Suriname 3-1 Saturday in the Caribbean qualifying finals.
Antigua’s victory finished it in third place in Group B with three points, matching Curacao which defeated Trinidad 1-0 on Friday to earn third place in Group A. Both teams scored three goals and allowed four in group play – necessitating the coin toss to determine which team would qualify with the Caribbean’s fifth and final place.
Caribbean Football Union General Secretary Damien Hughes conducted the tiebreaker at halftime of the Group B finale between Jamaica and Cuba, both of which had won their previous two matches and had already qualified.
Jamaica and Cuba drew 0-0 in their match, finishing both with seven points and sending the “Young Boyz” through as the group winner on goal difference.
Calaun Martin, Tevaugh Harriette and Elijah McDonald all scored in an eight-minute span early in the second half to spark Antigua past Suriname.
Viola Bodji converted a penalty in the sixth minute to Suriname ahead, but Martin equalized three minutes into the second half, Harriette gave Antigua the lead two minutes later and McDonald added the insurance in the 56th. The goals were Antigua’s first in three games at the Caribbean finals.
Curacao’s qualification completes the 12-team field for the CONCACAF finals February 18-March 2 in Puebla, Mexico. The island joins host Mexico, automatic North American qualifiers Canada and the United States, Central American qualifiers Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama, as well as Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico from the Caribbean.
Haiti and Puerto Rico had finished atop Group A in the Caribbean finals on Friday to secure their advancement.