Friday, April 12, 2024

Goal-shy Barbados slip to another defeat

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It was another defeat for Barbados in League B of the CONCACAF Nations League when they fell 1-0 to Cuba at the Wildey Turf yesterday evening to make it five consecutive defeats in Group A.

Barbados’ defence was breached in three minutes.

Midfielder Willian Pozo forced a turnover of possession wide and fed it into forward Luis Paradela who tried to fashion a shooting opportunity for himself, but was quickly crowded out.

The clearance deflected into the box and was converted by forward Maikel Reyes on the second attempt. Seats were still being filled when the cross fortuitously landed at the feet of Reyes after ricocheting off defender Mario Williams to leave the 30-year-old with the easiest of tap-ins from four yards out.

Cuba continued to impose their quality on Barbados and had another two goals in the first half ruled out. The first was for a clear offside but the second was ruled out for an unclear infringement by referee Walter Lopez. Cuban defender Karel Espino rose above his opposite number Shane Codrington to nod past Brathwaite only for Codrington to go down holding his head and the referee signaled for a goal kick.

Coach Pablo Sanchez was bemused by the decision and might have been rueing it if Omani Leacock was left unchallenged to bear down on goal. Having picked Yosel Piedra’s pocket and galloped away from him, Leacock was racing towards Sandy Sanchez’ goal. Piedra did not fancy the long chase back and clinically brought him down, earning himself an early shower. That yellow was the second he had received in a hazy three minute spell and left Cuba defending their lead for over an hour.

The Tridents continued to search for an equaliser but could not produce any end product and finished the second half registering two shots on target. Comfortable with their slender advantage, Cuba allowed Barbados to retain possession and were happy enough to let the hosts whip crosses in, safe in the knowledge that they would not find their target. In fact most of them went out of play for throw-ins.

Thierry Gale brought some excitement to proceedings when he came on in the second half, especially with a dazzling run where he jinxed past three defenders and worked a shooting opportunity from the edge of the box. His shot narrowly flew over the bar but it was enough to get the “oohs and aahs” emanating around Wildey.

In the 84th minute a dink over the top nearly set forward Ryan Trotman clean through but Sanchez was quick off his line to smoother the danger and any hope Barbados had of walking away with anything.

Up next for Barbados is a match against Antigua & Barbuda on Sunday where they will seek to finish this campaign on a high note and collect their first set of points at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. No matter the result, they will finish bottom of the group.

Elsewhere, top of the group Cuba host Guadeloupe on Sunday safe in the knowledge that a win will see them gain promotion into League A. (JC)

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