Luton Shelton converted a penalty in each half as Jamaica beat Grenada 2-0 on Sunday for the Reggae Boyz fourth Digicel Caribbean Championship.
The title was the Reggae Boyz’s second in the last three Caribbean cups and gives Jamaica some consolation for falling short on goal difference from the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
It also gave John Barnes a successful international debut as manager of Jamaica, who won four of their five games in 11 days and drew the other by a combined score of 11-2.
‘After the disappointment of the World Cup, we needed this and we did it,’ Barnes said. ‘We got a bit sloppy in the second half, but overall I’m happy.’
It was the second runner-up finish for Grenada and first since the inaugural tournament in 1989.
The two already had claimed berths in next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup along with fellow semi-finalists Cuba and Guadeloupe.
Guadeloupe prevailed on penalties 5-4 over Cuba to claim third place after the match was drawn 0-0 over 90 minutes.
It was the second straight match Cuba were beaten on penalties, falling to Grenada after a 2-2 draw in the semis.
Shelton had an early chance after only 51 seconds stealing a ball just outside the Grenada area but putting his shot wide of the near post.
Shelton put Jamaica ahead in the 17th minute, converting a penalty after Anthony Modeste tripped winger Dane Richards.
He added another in the second half to ensure Jamaica’s second victory over Grenada in nine days.
Jamaica beat Grenada 4-0 two weeks ago in the group stage with the help of a goal by Shelton, who had five in the tournament.
The initial favourites, Trinidad and Tobago entered the competition as the only team from the Caribbean still involved in World Cup qualifying, but the twin island republic did not even make it to the semis.
The Soca Warriors went into the Caribbean Championships a bit shorthanded, however. A number of T&T’s European-based players did not make the trip to Jamaica, including captain Dwight Yorke.