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T&T football team exited the Digicel Caribbean Championships’ (DCC) Final Round in shocking style.

The Soca Warriors came up against host Jamaica, Grenada and Barbados in Group A and emerged with a disappointing four points from their three matches.

The little team that could, Grenada, with six points, and hosts Jamaica, with seven points, go through to the semifinals and now qualify for a place in the 2009 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Caribbean football giants T&T and the confident Barbados (0 points) go home.

Since 1989, eight-time winner of the DCC, T&T, have never failed to qualifiy for the DCC Semi-Finals. T&T has placed in the top four of the Concacaf Gold Cup a total of four times (1967 – 4th, 1973 – 2nd, 1989 – 3rd and 2000 – 3rd) and since 1967, have only not qualified in four years (1977, 1981, 1993, 2003).

T&T head coach, Francisco Maturana, expressed his feelings about going home so soon: “We are very disappointed. We have some young players who haven’t yet been able to step up to the level of play needed to win this tournament. This is the best team we could have put together since at the moment we do not have our overseas based players. We couldn’t have done things any differently. They did their best.”

Meanwhile, Grenada, the team that continues to surprise the Caribbean and has never before qualified for the Concacaf Gold Cup, were all smiles after Jamaica drew with T&T, giving them the edge to qualify for both the DCC Semi-Finals and the Gold Cup.

Grenada coach and captain, Anthony Modeste, relayed the team’s feelings: “We are overjoyed. We came here to win and we did. I don’t consider it luck, but rather hard work paying off. We have worked extremely hard to get here.

We conceded 2 goals today, and I have to give it to Barbados because they did not lie down and take it when we had them at 3-0 after the first half. They came out in the second half fighting. But we did our job.

With Cuba already securing their place in the semifinals with six points, the Caribbean now await the fourth team who will go through to the 2009 Concacaf Gold Cup and the semifinals of the 2008 Digicel Caribbean Championships.

With all the surprises this DCC, it is anyone’s guess as Guadeloupe (3 points), Haiti (1 point) and Antigua & Barbuda (1 points) will have everything to fight for tonight in the final game of Group B in the 2008 DCC Final Round. (Digicel)

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