Friday, April 12, 2024

Bajan Tridents defeat St Kitts 3-2

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Barbados’ senior footballers are on a cusp of reaching next month’s Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Cup finals in Jamaica.

Led by a double strike from striker Arantees Lawrence, Barbados made a winning start to their second-round Group 8 campaign with a workmanlike 3-2 victory over St Kitts and Nevis before a capacity crowd at the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Haiti on Wednesday night.

The Bajan Tridents, who were led by experienced defender Rommell Burgess with England-based skipper Emerson Boyce unavailable due to injury, had to come from behind to log their victory after conceding an early goal.

St Kitts and Nevis, who are ranked 44 places above the 161st-ranked Barbados on the FIFA world rankings, drew first blood in the 12th minute, courtesy of a goal by Devon Elliott.

But left-sided winger Carl Joseph equalised in the 19th minute with a superb curling shot.

Lawrence then gave Barbados a 3-1 lead at half-time with goals in the 25th and 30th minutes, capitalising on well weighted passes from fellow striker Mario Harte, and Joseph.

St Kitts/Nevis made a grand attempt to get back into the match in the second half but experienced goalkeeper Jason “Barbers” Boxhill, who was preferred to Kerry Holder between the uprights, brought off two brilliant saves.

With the Sugar Boys continuing to pressure the Barbados’ defence, which was manned by Burgess and six-footer Barry Skeete, they managed to pull back a goal in the 83rd minute but the Tridents held on for victory to top the group with three points.   

Barbados will play hosts Haiti in a crucial second game tonight before wrapping up against French Guiana on Sunday.

Haiti and French Guiana battled to a 2-2 draw in Wednesday’s other encounter.

Barbados’ head coach Colin “Potato” Forde said he expects another sell-out crowd of over 15 000 fans to converge on the stadium to support the 119th ranked Haitians.    

“It is going to be difficult with 16 000 to 17 000 fans in the stadium supporting the home team but at the end of the day, once we play well, we should get a positive result,” he said.

Manager Fabian Wharton also revealed that Burgess, who picked up a slight groin strain, is among a couple of players with niggling injuries but they are hopeful that he will be able to play.

“He is receiving treatment from the medic but there are no major injuries and everyone is in good spirits,” Wharton said.

Barbados had made a number of chances to the line-up, giving University of the West Indies’ left wing back Ramon Manning his maiden senior cap. England-based utility player Luis Moss also started in midfield alongside Romario Harewood and Raheim Sargeant, who missed the first round in Martinique while on trial with Lancaster F.C. in England. (EZS)

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