An early second half goal by striker Roberto Balmaceda Linares rescued a 1-1 draw for Cuba against St Vincent and the Grenades (SVG), in their second round match of the Group 8 Caribbean Cup semifinal series, at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, in Bacolet, Tobago, late on Friday.
SVG proved that their opening 1-1 draw with hosts Trinidad and Tobago was no fluke when scoring first and creating a few other clear chances. The Cubans struggled with SVG's pace.
Lightning quick Caledonia AIA winger Cornelius Stewart put the "Vincey Heat" ahead with a close up shot in the eighth minute, after taking a through pass and beating veteran Cuban keeper Odelin Molina with a low shot. Two minutes later, SVG defender Wendell Cuffy put a downward header wide. Muscular number 10 Linares pulled Cuba level in the 52nd minute when netting an Ariel Martinez cross.
Cuba pressed for the winner, and Marcel Hernandez Campanioni–scorer of four goals against Suriname–just missed the far corner with a low shot, while winger Martinez took down a cross over the top of defenders, but carelessly put his shot wide.
Myron Samuel had several chances for SVG late in the match, holding his head after putting an uncontested volley over the crossbar, while Stewart also directed a shot just wide of goal.