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The year of 1993 was no ordinary one for the very small nation of Martinique. This was the year when the country secured its first ever Caribbean Cup title and it still remains their only trophy of this kind today. But what a journey it was to even be named the eventual winners of such a highly regarded and prestigious Caribbean football competition.
The tournament was hosted by Jamaica, and Martinique would face two other teams in the qualifying rounds: French Guiana and Guadeloupe. 2-1 and 4-1 wins earned the nation a spot in the first round, and the rest was history…
There were two groups, with Martinique being placed in Group B. And after beating St Lucia 2-0, St Vincent & Grenadines 3-0 and Trinidad & Tobago 3-2 – a semi-final place was assured. Martinique finished the group powerfully on 9 points, and they were dripping with confidence heading into the final four showdown.
But who would they face in the semi-finals? It would be St Kitts & Nevis who ended up in second place in Group A. And Martinique could not have endured a better start to the match with Jean-Michel Modestin breaking the deadlock within 18 minutes of the first half.
However, St Kitts & Nevis did draw level later on in the second period and the game had to be settled through spot kicks, where Martinique would win 4-3. The fans were sent into a world of delirium while the players and management staff knew it wasn’t over yet. The final still loomed.
So on 30 May 1993, the final had arrived. The opposition: Jamaica. The co-hosts who had hundreds more supporters behind them and we all know home crowd influences play a big role in determining the end result of a tie. It was hyped up, yet the match ended 0-0.
And once more, no-one could score in extra time so Martinique were placed in a very similar situation to the semi-final. It was penalties again. They win this, and they win the cup.
And to many spectators’ surprise, Martinique ran out 6-5 spot kick winners to secure their first ever Caribbean Cup. A momentous and special day for the Martinique national team. Both St Kitts & Nevis and Jamaica were overcome.
And that cup is still cherished in the tiny island of Martinique today. The members of that extremely talented and committed team will forever be remembered in Martinique folklore.
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Written by Nathan Carr
Follow me on Twitter @caribbeanftbl
Check out his excellent site about everything Caribbean football, The Home of Caribbean Football
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