Group C of the Digicel Caribbean Cup matches kick off this evening following a press conference held this morning to introduce the teams in the Andre Kamperveen Stadium in Paramaribo.
Guyana face St. Lucia in tonight’s opening set of matches and first time hosts, Suriname – who take on the Netherlands Antilles – will be hoping to make the most of their home advantage by topping Group C to go through to stage two of the competition in Trinidad.
The Surinamese Team Manager, Gordon van Sichem, said: “Hosting a Group stage of the Digicel Caribbean Cup is a fantastic opportunity for Surinamese football. It will give our national team greater experience and exposure on the international stage – as well as the chance to measure ourselves against teams from around the region and will also give us a chance to improve our standing. We would like to thank Digicel for sponsoring the tournament and welcome the participating teams from Guyana, St. Lucia and the Netherlands Antilles.”
Digicel Group Head of Sponsorship, Karl Donnelly, said; “This is the first time Suriname has hosted a Digicel Cup Group stage and we believe it is very important for the competition to be played in countries like Suriname which have such a rich football tradition. We are looking forward to an excellent spectacle and expect to see big crowds coming out to the games.”
The two teams expected to be in the running to top the Group are Suriname and Guyana. The long-time rivals will both be hoping to go into Sunday’s showdown with a maximum six points each. That said, the Netherlands Antilles and St. Lucia will feel they will have a say in the Group with both teams putting in a massive effort to date in their preparations for the Digicel Caribbean Cup 2010.
Guyana “Golden Jaguars” team manager, Rawle Adams, said; “We have prepared very well for this year’s Digicel Caribbean Cup and feel the team is ready to go through. While we may be slight underdogs, we expect to qualify from the Group, and will be hoping to go to Trinidad as Group C winners.”
The second place team from this Group will need to get five points or more from their three matches in order to be guaranteed to go through to stage two. Currently the Cayman Islands from Group A on four points, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines from Group B on five points occupy the second place positions. Only the top two second place teams from Groups A, B and C will go through to stage two.
Boasting the largest cash prize for football in the region, the Digicel Caribbean Cup 2010 kicked off in Puerto Rico on October 2nd before moving on to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Groups C and D are taking place in Suriname and the Dominican Republic respectively to complete Stage One. Some of the higher ranked teams – Cuba, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago – will join the tournament in the qualification stage playing across three host countries including Grenada and Antigua & Barbuda.
The eight best teams from the region will play in the finals in Martinique for the title of Digicel Caribbean Cup champions 2010 and walk away with US$120,000. Runners up will take home US$70,000 and third and fourth place winners will win US$50,000 and US$30,000 respectively. The top four countries will also advance to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.