Roberts puts Grenada in driving seat


Roberts’ brace was one of nine 2010 matches in the second round of Concacaf qualifying matches this week.

Grenada’s 10-0 win over the US Virgin Islands was the biggest scoreline while Puerto Rico needed extra-time to get past the Dominican Republic.

Brooklyn-based striker Ricky Charles was the star of the show, grabbing no less than four goals for Granada.

Grenada will now meet up with Costa Rica over two legs in June.

Ten-man hosts Barbados left it late to put brave Dominica out of the running. After Rashida Williams earned two yellow cards in two minutes (62nd and 64th), Dwayne Stanford popped up with just six minutes left on the clock to break the 1-1 deadlock from the first leg and send the heavily favoured Barbadians - with Wigan Athletic’s Emerson Boyce in the squad - through to a second round meeting with Conacaf champions USA.

St. Lucia needed late drama as well to book their place in the second round. After losing 1-0 in their first leg at Turks and Caicos, Kenwin McPhee’s strike on the half-hour in Vieux Fort looked like sending the series to extra-time.

But Titus Elva, who missed the first leg, had other ideas and popped up with a goal in the 83rd minute to make it 2-1 for St. Lucia on the aggregate. The islanders will now move on to play Guatemala in June.

Antigua and Barbuda had a tougher time at home against Aruba than they did on the road last month. Even so, a late goal from substitute Akeem Challenger sealed a 1-0 win on the night and a 4-0 aggregate victory. The Antiguans will now take on Cuba over two legs.

Volcano-ravaged Montserrat saw their dream of a place in South Africa come to an end also, losing out 7-1 in Trinidad and Tobago to Suriname in their one-off series. Suriname will now face near neighbours Guyana in the next round.

Once- lowly Belize kept up their impressive revival of form with a 1-1 draw at Warner Park in St. Kitts. Added to the 3-1 result they pulled off last month in Guatemala City, the 4-2 aggregate is enough to see the Central Americans through to a second round contest with none other than mighty Mexico.

The Bahamas finished in a 1-1 stalemate in their first leg against the British Virgin Islands in Nassau. Lesly St. Fleur opened the scoring for the hosts just after the interval, but underdogs BVI hit back in the 76th minute through Rohan Lennon. They will play the second leg, again in Nassau, on Sunday.

El Salvador did what was expected by picking up a 4-0 win over Anguilla. The result brings the aggregate in the series to 16-0 and now sets up a date against Panama for the Salvadorans, who might well be the favourites.

In Willemstad, the Netherlands Antilles knocked out Nicaragua 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate thanks to goals from Tyronne Loran and Angelo Zimmerman. They now meet Caribbean champions Haiti.

Two more first round games remain and will be played on Sunday. The Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands will meet up in their second leg and the Cayman Islands, who earned a credible draw with Bermuda at home last month, will head to Georgetown to see if they can keep the dream alive.