Barbados' footballers fought gallantly but were outplayed and outclassed by a superior Haiti and lost a crucial second match 2-0 in the Digicel Caribbean Cup football finals at Hasely Crawford Stadium here last night.
Needing a victory to boost their chances of qualifying for the semi-final round, Barbados conceded a soft goal in the 54th minute when Boucicaut Alexandre ran onto a through ball from midfield on the right side which split the Barbados defence. He cut inside and raced unchallenged into the penalty area before clinically placing the ball away from goalkeeper Morrison Taylor.
A power failure with two minutes of regular time remaining was only a temporary respite as Barbados, once again down to ten men after central defender Dwight James was redcarded for serious foul play, proved to be no match for the more skilful Haitians.
After play restarted following the 25-minute stoppage, Haiti, who had squandered a number of goal-scoring opportunities in the second half to widen the scoreline, compounded Barbados' woes when substitute Lormera Roddy scored an injury-time goal.
Roddy was left with the simple task of slotting home a loose ball past Taylor after veteran Gregory Goodridge, who had taken up the sweeper position with John Parris upfield in search of the equaliser, inexplicably missed a clearance.
Barbados, who made three changes to the starting line-up used against the Soca Warriors with Jeffrey Williams, Rudy Grosvenor and Renaldo Fenty replacing Louis Soares, Ryan Lucas and the suspended John Hawkesworth, had a few half-chances but were not very threatening in front of the goal.
After a scoreless first-half, Barbados brought on Lucas for first-match goal-scorer Neil Harvey, who had a quiet first session but Haiti continued to enjoy the greater territorial ball possession, leaving the Barbadian players to chase shadows as they knocked the ball into spaces, especially down the left side where Fenty had his work cut against Alexandre.
Barbados, desperate for the equaliser, brought on Louis Soares for Williams and reorganised their line-up, dropping Grosvenor to right back and pushing Goodridge into an attacking midfield position while Ramuel Millar was introduced with 13 minutes left for defensive midfielder Romelle Burgess.
But the substitutions failed to bear fruit and when the lights went out, Barbados' hopes of advancing to the last four, darkened unless they win their final game against Martinique tomorrow and hope that Haiti also defeat Trinidad and Tobago.
In Sunday's matches in the Bobby Sookram Group at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, St Vincent and the Grenadines snapped Guyana's 14-match unbeaten streak with a thrilling 2-0 victory after Shandell Samuel and substitute Sean Glynn scored the goals, while Guadeloupe defeated the highly-fancied Cuba, who ranked 46th in the world, 2-1, courtesy strikes by Steve Bizacene and former France World Cup player, Jocelyn Angloma, who converted a free-kick.
Barbados – Morrison Taylor (goalkeeper), John Parris, Dwight James, Jonathan Straker, Gregory Goodridge, Renaldo Fenty, Romelle Burgess (Ramuel Miller), Jeffrey Williams (Louis Soares), Norman Forde (captain), Neil Harvey (Ryan Lucas), Rudy Grosvenor,.
Haiti - Fenelon Gabard (goalkeeper), Germain Peter (Baptiste Fritzson), Guillaume Stephane, Brunel Fucien, Cadet Eliphene (Lormera Roody), Boucicaut Alexandre, Bruny Pierre Richard (captain), Chery Mones (Dacius Gilles), Raymond Ednerson, Vubert Alain, Mayard Josue.
Referee: Javier Jauregua (Netherland Antilles)
Red card: Dwight James (Barbados)
Attendance: 3 500