ORANJESTAD –– Goals by Emmerson Boyce and Mario Harte gave Barbados an important 2-0 away victory over Aruba in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match in Oranjestad, Aruba, last night.
Barbados’ strikes came in the first half of the game in the 8th and 28th minutes. They created a few more chances after the half-time break but did not manage to score.
Their victory was tainted somewhat in the 68th minute when Akeene Browne was sent off. He will miss the return leg at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex on Sunday.
Meanwhile in other CONCACAF region qualifiers Antigua and Barbuda were stunned by St Lucia and Curacao were held to a draw by Cuba.
Antigua and Barbuda, the third-highest ranked country involved in the second round of qualifying for Russia 2018, lost the first leg of their tie 3-1 to St Lucia in North Sound, St John’s, Antigua.
The hosts got off to the perfect start at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium when Tevaughn Harriette struck in the 21st minute, but it was all downhill thereafter.
St Lucia equalised five minutes later through Tremain Paul and they led just past the hour-mark when David Henry was on target. Substitute Troy Greenidge added a third in injury time to give St Lucia a healthy buffer ahead of the second leg at the same venue on Sunday.
Antigua and Barbuda, ranked 104th in the FIFA standings, are among the best of the 20 teams involved in the second round, ranked lower than only El Salvador (89th) and Guatemala (93rd).
Former Netherlands international and assistant coach Patrick Kluivert could not inspire Curacao to victory in Willemstad, as they were held 0-0 by Cuba.
Forward Gianluca Maria was sent off late for Curacao, ruling him out of Sunday’s return leg in Havana.