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Cuba national football team
World Cup Qualifying - North Central America | Second Round
Jun 11, 2024 at 8.30pm UK
Estadio Antonio Manuel Berruezo
Cayman Islands national football team

Cayman Islands

Preview: Cuba vs. Cayman Islands - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - North Central America clash between Cuba and Cayman Islands, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The early surprise story in Group A of 2026 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the Cayman Islands can maintain their 100% record in this competition when they head to Antonio Maceo Stadium for a date with Cuba on Tuesday.

A 3-1 defeat against Honduras has the Cubans at the bottom of the group table, while the Cayman Islands stunned Antigua and Barbuda 1-0 to vault into second place.

Match preview

Cuba striker Luis Paradela at the 2023 Gold Cup© Reuters

Yunielys Castillo got the start he wanted in Honduras, but ultimately, his players could not maintain that early momentum, losing for the third time in their last four competitive fixtures.

Their strategy of hanging back and fending off their opponents ultimately became too much on matchday one as they conceded the equaliser four minutes after taking an early lead, registering just one effort on target throughout the 90 minutes.

It was their first World Cup qualification defeat since March 2021, and their loss to the Hondurans ended a two-match winning run for them in World Cup qualifying.

That defeat also ended the Cubans' 17-match winning run in all competitions when scoring first since losing 3-1 versus Nicaragua in March 2018.

Tuesday will be their first World Cup qualifier in Cuba since playing to a 1-1 draw versus Curacao at Estadio Pedro Marrero in June 2015.

Los Leones del Caribe have won their previous four encounters played on Cuban soil but have yet to win a World Cup qualifier in their home country since a 2-1 victory over Guatemala in October 2008.

Cuba forward Maikel Reyes (9) celebrates on July 4, 2023© Reuters

The wait has been agonisingly long, but on Saturday, the Cayman Islands collected their first-ever triumph in World Cup qualifying.

A 91st-minute strike enabled the 196th-ranked side, according to FIFA, to collect all three points and end a two-match losing run in all competitions.

That was the first victory for Joey Jap Chong as manager and a massive improvement from his opening game in charge, when his side lost 4-0 in a friendly versus Moldova.

Although they have never won a World Cup qualifier outside the Cayman Islands, this side have come away with a positive result in two of their previous three qualification fixtures away from home.

The Cayman Islands are unbeaten in their last seven competitive fixtures when holding their opponents off the scoresheet after 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, they have never won in 12 previous meetings versus the Cubans, scoring just once in six World Cup qualifiers against them.

Cuba World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:

Cuba form (all competitions):

Cayman Islands World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:

Cayman Islands form (all competitions):

Team News

Willian Pozo-Venta in action for Cuba versus Canada at the Gold Cup© Reuters

Four new faces, including Raiko Arozarena, Orlando Calvo, Luis Paradela, and Maikel Reyes, were in the Cuban starting 11 last week but did not begin their friendly against Nicaragua.

Reyes scored their only goal versus Honduras, his second in successive games for the national team, giving him eight on the international stage, one fewer than Paradela, while Daniel Diaz is still seeking his first goal with the senior squad.

Only four Cayman Island players who began their friendly versus Moldova in March maintained their place in the starting 11 over the weekend, Lachlin Lambert, Jahziah Johnson, Jabari Campbell and Gunnar Studenhofft.

Joshwa Campbell replaced Jacobbi Tugman in the second half against Antigua and Barbuda, with the 18-year-old scoring his first international goal which held up as the winner.

Cuba possible starting lineup:
Arozarena; Torres, Perez, Cavafe, Morejon; Pozo-Venta, Espino, Hernandez, Matos; Paradela; M. Reyes

Cayman Islands possible starting lineup:
Lambert; Ja. Campbell, Johnson, Alexander, Rowe; Dell'Oglio, Scott; Ebanks, Duval, Seymour; Studenhofft

SM words green background

We say: Cuba 1-0 Cayman Islands

Confidence is high for the Cayman Islands following that dramatic opening victory, but we have difficulty believing they will generate many chances against a defensive unit as solid as the Cubans usually are.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS

Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 Denmark Denmark00000
2 England flag England00000
3 Serbia Serbia00000
4 Slovenia Slovenia00000

Group D

1 Austria Austria00000
2 France France00000
3 Netherlands Netherlands00000
4 Poland Poland00000

Group E

1 Belgium Belgium00000
2 Romania Romania00000
3 Slovakia Slovakia00000
4 Ukraine Ukraine00000

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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