JAMAICANS are calling for the head of head-coach Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore after the defending champions ended the 2012 Caribbean Cup as the only team not to win a match. A former Jamaica footballing great, Whitmore coached the country to the 2010 Caribbean Cup in Kingston, and has also kept them in contention to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
But the two-time defending champions finished bottom of Group B, and were knocked out of the tournament with a 1-0 defeat by Cuba on Wednesday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Cuba's winner came in the 57th minute when Alianni Urgelles volleyed home from just inside the 18-yard box to give his team a lead it would never surrender.
The Jamaicans never looked like winners. The result clinched a second-place finish for Cuba behind Martinique in Group B, who advanced to the tournament's knockout phase and also qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They will play Haiti in the semis. It was a stunning turn of events for the Reggae Boyz. Jamaica are the lone Caribbean side to progress to the hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, posting a memorable 2-1 victory over the United States along the way.
Failure to qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup is an especially painful blow for the Jamaicans, who had reached the quarter-finals in three of the last five Gold Cups and has a Caribbean-record eight appearances in the confederation's biennial championship.
2012 CARIBBEAN CUP:
Friday, December 14:
5 p.m. - Martinique v Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua Recreation Ground
7 p.m. - Haiti v Cuba, Antigua Recreation Ground
Sunday, December 16:
5 p.m. - 3RD PLACE PLAYOFF, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound
7 p.m. - FINAL, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound
GROUP A STANDINGS:
P W D L F A Pts
Haiti 3 2 1 0 3 1 7
Trinidad & Tobago 3 1 1 1 2 3 4
Antigua & Barbuda 3 1 0 2 3 3 3
Dominican Republic 3 1 0 2 4 5 3