CLEVELAND, Ohio – It may be a bitterly disappointing end to a 2017 Gold Cup run that enlightened so many about the tiny Caribbean island.
Although Martinique completed Group B play with a 3-0 loss to Panama at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday, the experience of competing at this level was invaluable to many of its players who are still amateurs technically.
Les Matinino, in the end, didn’t have the depth of either the United States or Panama, which both clinched berths in the quarterfinals.
“We showed, even the amateur players, that we can compete against the big nations of football,” forward Kevin Parsemain told CONCACAF.com. “Unfortunately, after two hard games, we had a little fatigue. It was pretty hard against a Panama team that had a good turnover.
“We don’t have to be ashamed of our performance. I think the guys did good. We gave everything.”
Despite frustration over the result, Parsemain thought his team showed well throughout the three games, going 1W-0D-2L.
“It’s a good experience for everybody,” said Parsemain, who scored three of Martinique’s four goals. “Now for the young guys, who were able to show themselves, I hope they have a couple of chances to go abroad and represent Martinique in football.”
For head coach Jean-Marc Civault, Martinique’s three games in the group stage have shown a different path to success.
“I believe we need to work harder,” Civault concluded. “Unfortunately, at home, we tend to defend too much, especially when the team is better than us. This has shown us that we need to keep the ball better. We need to learn how to work in keeping the ball throughout the game.”
Parsemain scored a team-best three goals, giving him four in his Gold Cup.