Loval has goal and assist in Guadeloupe’s 2-1 victory over Panama

By Janie Mccauley, AP
Monday, July 6, 2009

Loval leads Guadeloupe past Panama

OAKLAND, Calif. — Loic Loval had a goal and an assist and David Fleurival also scored to lead Guadeloupe past Panama 2-1 on Sunday in the Gold Cup opener for both clubs.

Both Guadeloupe goals came in the first half, with Loval connecting in the 33rd minute. Panama defender Armando Gun tried to chest the ball back to goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, but Loval intercepted and one-touched it into the net from about 6 yards. His assist came 10 minutes later on a pretty goal by Fleurival in which he lofted the ball from about 35 yards over Penedo’s head into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Nelson Barahona scored for Panama in the 68th minute, getting the rebound after teammate Blas Perez missed a bicycle kick.

Marius Fausta made seven saves for Guadeloupe, a surprise semifinalist in the last Gold Cup tournament two years ago before losing to Mexico. The Gwada Boys were the first Caribbean team to reach the semis since Trinidad and Tobago in 2000.

Guadeloupe coach Roger Salnot believes his team could make another strong run.

“It all comes down to the players showing their talent, showing their qualities,” he said. “We have the talent.”

Fausta replaced injured Franck Grandel, the tournament’s top goalie in 2007 who left the team Saturday and returned to France to recover from a shoulder injury.

Guadeloupe won despite being outshot 21-8 in a physical game in the tournament’s Group C.

“It’s not good enough,” Panama coach Gary Stempel said. “More than anything, I’m disappointed with the way we played in the first half. In the second half it was a much, much different team. It took us a little time to settle into the game. They settled into the game much quicker than we did, that’s obvious.”

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