Just when it appeared as though the match was heading for a 1-1 draw Barbados captain Kaeson Trench scored the winner to edge St Lucia 2-1 in the second of three Under-17 International Caribbean Football Union qualifying friendlies yesterday evening.
The first match between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw last week. So it was very much on the cards for both teams to seek a win at the Wildey, St Michael Astro during their second encounter.
It appeared as though the first half would have ended uneventfully after both sides had several shots on goal but failed to finish especially the hosts who played a four, four, two combination, and had at least eight to nine chances that were missed in the first half.
However, with four minutes before half-time in the 41st, the Barbados team coached by Colin Harewood went ahead thanks to a scorcher from striker Avery Chandler who capitalized on a rebound when St Lucia custodian Atley Clovis made a diving save off a shot taken by fellow forward Reymar Walters from the left and Chandler rushed in and buried the shot.
Then on the stroke of half-time in the when it appeared as though Barbados would have taken that 1-0 lead into the break, St Lucia struck back with one gem of a goal. It was not a shot normally seen at this level as Sebastien Robit made a long range effort from behind the half-line and the ball curled and went through the hands of Barbados’ goalkeeper Liam Brathwaite and into the left far post of the goal bars.
It would appear that both teams needed to make a few substitutions and the first noticeable change was the goalkeepers from the two respective sides sitting on the bench. Barbados replaced Brathwaite with Terry Graham and St Lucia took off Clovis for Tarrier Sonson.
The results were similar in the second period as it was in the first with a few goal-scoring opportunities being created but neither team managing to shake the nets. Barbados opted to bring on one of their top strikers in Dishon Howell who had warmed the bench for the entire first half.
Right away Howell got in the game causing problems for St Lucia’s defence. The pressure began to build as the search for a goal intensified and both teams began to foul repeatedly. That led referee Jamar Springer eventually to pick out his red card and point it to Nicoli Brathwaite of Barbados in the 84th minute.
Despite finding themselves in a numerically disadvantageous situation Barbados earned themselves a corner kick which was taken by Niall Reid-Stephen who picked out his skipper Trench, one of the tallest players on the field, in the 85th to give local supporters something to smile about.
To make matters worse for St Lucia they went down to nine men after Riquelme Sylvester received two yellow cards in the 76th and 80th along with Dylon Fannis in the 86th and 90+3 minute.
After the game Barbados coach Colin Harewood touched on a few areas he said the home side needed to brush up on and one of these was finishing. He said the guys needed to be a bit sharper at this level.
“In this game St Lucia had one chance and scored when you look at it. But we had about eight or nine and only scored two. So looking at the outcome of the game we need to work on our finishing. The cohesion is coming and the team is developing now at the right time so I am pleased with the fight even though we could be a bit more sharper in front the goal bars,” Harewood said.
The third and final game is scheduled for tomorrow at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.