Mexico, USA, Canada & T&T post wins
By Franklin Wilson in the Bahamas with the compliments of Ringbang, Crown Mining Supplies, Fazia’s Collection, Fitness Express, German’s Restaurant and Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club.
Home team Bahamas already gaining a spot to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup which would be held at the brand new BFA Soccer Stadium at Malcolm Park, opened its account on a high when they downed Guyana 4-1 in the feature match of six last night.
Leading Bahamas, which was backed up by good fan support, was the skillful Lesly Stfleur who netted a hat-trick. Guyana started well with custodian Ethan Sparman saving a Gary Joseph free kick just outside the box about two minutes into the match – No player is allowed to interfere with any player attempting an over-head kick or bicycle kick.
Soon after though, Stfleur scored the first goal from a powerful free kick after the Guyanese were again penalized for trying to stop another overhead kick almost in a same position, this time Sparman had no chance as Stfleur blasted home into the roof of the nets. He was again on the scoresheets as Bahamas increased their which they held up to the end of the first period.
The home team was on top as the Guyanese still were settling down. In the second period
the Guyanese played more composed and settled creating numerous chances but not able to score.
Guyana’s nemesis, Stefleur was again to strike and he did early in the final period finishing a long throw by goalkeeper Ivan Rolle two minutes into the period. The home players were more energetic and looked more organised in offence and defence.
The first goal for Guyana was scored by Captain Deshawn Joseph, he took on the field himself to blast home a left foot shot past goalie Rolle. The home side put the preverbal icing on the cake with just over four minutes to go when Stfleur crossed the ball into the area for Kyle Williams to calmly head the ball past Sparman to make it 4-1.
In the main supporting match, which was a high octane tussle, saw Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz battling back against Belize to draw the match at 5-5 coming from 4-0 down.
Belize opened very aggressive racing to a 2-0 advantage within the first six minutes and were 4-0 up by the 9th minute against the hapless looking Jamaicans in the main supporting match. But the Jamaicans pulled one back before the 11th minute after a well-executed free kick.
That goal was the turning point in the match for the lads from Reggae land. The second
period saw the Jamaicans drilling in three unanswered goals as the Belizians went into a shell. The Jamaican supporters waving flags added some life to their fellow countrymen as they clawed back to tie the game at 4-4 after two periods.
With 4’ 58″ to game time, Daemion nailed the go ahead goal but almost immediately after, Raymond Brenton Ramos scored his second goal after the ball bounced past Jamaican goalie Kirk Porter to tie the match 5-5 and when the final whistle sounded the scores were unchanged.
Based on the rules of the competition the teams then switched around to play 3 minutes of extra time. Belize’s style of play which was more defensive allowed the Jamaicans to keep on attacking as they created numerous opportunities but they were able to score which meant that the match had to be decided via kicks from the penalty mark.
Jamaica’s Phillip Peddie hit the upright with the first shot; Belize’Marlon Meza who scored a brace during regulation time then put his nation ahead. Andre Reid was then saved by goalkeeper Rugerri Trejo after which Jermaine Jones nailed his shot past Porter to seal a memorable win for Belize, 2-0 on kicks.
The Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago raced to a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period against Antigua and Barbuda and doubled that advantage by the end of the second period without the Antiguans being able to score.
The Soca Warriors went on to wrap up the match 8-1 on account of David Mc Dougall’s helmet-trick and Kevon Woodley’s hat-trick.
The Mexico / Guadeloupe clash started with both sides being cagy until Guadeloupe on the end of a well taken header from a corner took the lead just after 8 minutes, the tall Sebastien Hell heading past Diego Villasenor Franco.
Less than a minute later, another header this time from Mexico’s Jose Ramon Maldonado Alonso cancelled cut short Guadeloupe’s celebrations as he tied the score at 1-1. But the lead was quickly retaken by Guadeloupe, 2-1 which they held at the end of the first period.
Mexico tied the score again two and a half minutes into the second period as they took control of play and asserted themselves by scoring 4 unanswered goals to lead 5-2 at the end of the second period. The Mexicans went on to win comfortably, 9-2.
Canada and Barbados had earlier gotten the championship off to a rollicking start with an energetic display. The Caribbean island clawed back from a goal down to equalise and then take the lead but let in a goal towards the end of the first period which ended 2-2.
Canada were up 4-3 at the end of the second period but the Barbadians drew level to make it 4-4 early in the third and final period 11’10″ on the clock. But the Canadians used their height whilst displaying a higher level of energy to nudge in two unanswered goals to win 6-4.
United States Virgin Islands had a dream start against the powerful United States of America and led 1-0 after the completion of the first third. But a hand ball early in the second period allowed USA a penalty which was scored by Captain Nicolas Perera.
Thereafter the USA upped the tempo and peppered the USVI as they took the lead through an Andrew Feld goal and never looked back, eventually sealing an 8-1 victory.
The 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship has a field of sixteen teams:
Caribbean Football Union (CFU): Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands.
North America: Canada, Mexico, United States. Central American Football Union (UNCAF): Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama.
Two additional CONCACAF teams will join host Bahamas as the three CONCACAF representatives in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017. The finalists will earn the tickets, unless host Bahamas – already qualified for the World Cup — or non-FIFA member Guadeloupe advances to the final, in which case the next-highest finisher would earn the spot.
Six more matches are set for today with Guyana opposing Jamaica in the main supporting game.
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