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Vincy Heat into third round

Vincy Heat into third round

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Darren Francis put his name of the Vincentian goals scorer’s list with a sixth minute conversion at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada last Sunday. Francis picked up a ball on the right side. His kick was high and lodged to the far right of the goal-beating goalkeeper Andre Baptiste.{{more}}

That was the only goal of the match, although both teams came close to converting on numerous occasions. The near misses began as early as the first minute when Shandell Samuel in a one on one situation with the Grenadian custodian kicked the ball straight to the goalkeeper.

In the 11th minute, Renson Haynes was sent clear by a Samuel pass, but his shot curled over the cross bar.

Francis himself squandered a chance to score again from a Samuel distribution.

Conditions at the National Cricket Stadium were soggy at the start of the match, even though the ground was in sunlight. The last 10 minutes proceeded in showers, which made it difficult for players to maintain their footing. Nevertheless, the Vincentians held on, and the misses went on to the final whistle. Samuel and captain Ezra Hendrickson were notably close to converting in the dying stages.

Hendrickson took on several overlapping runs and found himself in positions to convert on at least two occasions, but was denied the privilege of getting his name on the score sheet.

The Grenadians played valiantly to score and achieve the three-goal margin needed to eclipse the Vincentians. Vociferous supporters urged the Spice Boyz in the facility bearing effects of Hurricane Ivan, which started its Caribbean trail of destruction September 7, 2004 right in Grenada.

The structure served twice to keep the scoreline in the Vincentian’s favour, first when a crisp flying header from Dennis Rennie clipped the cross bar in the 10th minute. Kennedy Phillips hit the right upright in the 20th minute with a left foot shot from about 25 metres on the right side.

The game went on in intense exchanges. The Vincentians’ defence was tested to the extreme, and it took heroics from custodian Melvin Andrews to keep them safe. Andrews was helped by a dedicated squad, which displayed confidence with their early goal.

The Grenadians grew frustrated. Shalrie Joseph’s high shot in the 48th minute summed up the exercise.

The Vincentians advance to the Third round where they meet Trinidad and Tobago in home and away clashes January 9 and 16.

Jamaica and French Guyana will battle another spot in the final carded for Barbados, February 20 to 24. Cuba/Martinique vied for the spot to play Haiti in Tuesday’s clash in Martinique.

Three teams will go on to the 2005 Concacaf Gold Cup, July 6 to 24 in the USA.

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