Cayman football can boast to be world beaters too after doing what Brazil, Spain, Argentina, England and all the others couldn’t – they lifted the World Cup on Sunday! Well, the alternative one, anyway.
To coincide with the real thing in Rio de Janeiro, won by Germany, Cayman played Jamaica in the local World Cup final, winning 5-4 in an all-action game at the TE McField Annex.
It was all good fun, organized by Heineken Sunday League coordinator Alan Glasgow and sponsored by Jacques Scott.
A replica plastic World Cup was presented to the triumphant Cayman side who can now boast they have done something that not even the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi, Ronaldo and Arjen Robben could do, and say they conquered the world.
Despite the blazing heat, the game was played at a high octane pace throughout. The younger, fitter Reggae Boyz started favorites but they lost their keeper Adwen Simpson early when he fouled an advancing Cayman player outside the box and were forced to play with 10 men.
James Ebanks was the hero for Cayman, scoring four. Henry Mitchell got the other.
Jamaica’s scorers were Gavin Reynolds and Adrian Dawkins, and Matthew Owens got a brace, his second was a fabulous free kick.
The other teams in the tournament were Honduras, England, Ireland, Canada, India and Italy. Honduras beat England 3-1 to take the third place spot.
Jon Cubbon, the Heineken brand manager at Jacques Scott, said, “It was a fantastic tournament and England didn’t win the World Cup again!
“We sponsor the Heineken Sunday League all season with 12 teams. There may be some more this year, and this was just an excellent event to tie in with the World Cup. A chance to have fun.”
Michael Belfoure, the Cayman player-manager, said, “Jamaica put up a good fight despite losing their keeper from a red card. James Ebanks was in excellent form again. He’s scored many goals in this tournament, and Felix Manzanares, our goalkeeper, did really well.”
Toward the end, both teams were putting in crunching tackles as tempers threatened to spill over.
“It was all part and parcel of being competitive,” Belfoure said. “Jamaica obviously wanted the World Cup trophy and we wanted it just as much. In the end it was all competitive and good fun.
“Yes, they were younger and fitter, but most of our players have played in the Premier League too when we were younger and we used that experience and made very timely subs to make up for their speed and quickness.”
Jamaica’s disappointed Philbrick Daley plays for Luca in the Sunday League. He said, “It was a good game still and we fought right to the end. It was a nice tournament and could have been longer. In four years’ time maybe some of us will not be here for another tournament, but I guess the team will still be around. We’ll get back at it.”