Barbados squandered an ideal opportunity to capture the 2017 Windward Islands Football Association championship trophy but technical director Ahmed Mohammed still praised the national side for giving their best effort, in the recently concluded tournament in St Vincent.
Half of the side returned home this afternoon from Kingstown exhibiting their second-place trophy and that of the Best Defender which was won by Shonna Evelyn.
Barbados came up against hosts St Vincent and St Lucia, before taking on Grenada in a top-of-the-table clash. Both teams entered the decisive match-up on four points but Barbados threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 as Grenada lifted the title.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY, Mohammed said it was disappointing seeing the Bajan ladies controlling the majority of the opening half only to lose, but stated the team would continue to work hard in order to keep improving technically because mentally they were very sound.
“We had a good team, I could say a solid team, even though we have a lot of work in front of us but the team performed very well,” said Mohammed, the Barbados Football Association’s technical director.
“We improved from game to game and we are maturing too, so next step is to analyse everything and correct everything that we have done wrong. We can always improve on the technical aspect, so mentally the team is very strong, so we don’t need to work at all on that.”
Barbados looked poised to lift the coveted trophy after striking twice to grab a 2-0 advantage, with Rianna Cyrus scoring in the seventh minute and Kimberley Ellis adding the second seven minutes later.
Unfortunately, the Lady Tridents lost their early momentum, especially after going to down 10 players in the 35th minute when Marissa King was red-carded.
They never regained composure and conceded three times to the Grenadians, even though a draw would have been enough to hand them the title.
Barbados were led by captain Gabriella Lopez but were without their vice-captain, Shanice Stevenson, who picked up an unfortunate injury and was unable to play in the all-important final match.
Evelyn, one of the most experienced central defenders, was outstanding throughout the tournament and said despite the disappointing result, the side would regroup.
“It was really disappointing losing the finals. The fact that we started training late for the tournament, we still believed we were prepared and we were up two-love, but I just don’t know what happened,” she lamented.
“Perhaps the moment got to us because we could have tasted victory but we will be back.”
Meanwhile, fellow CWI Cave Hill Blackbirds teammate, Cyrus, with two goals in her first official tournament for Barbados, said the campaign has been one of missed opportunities.
“We did not expect to do so well. We could have beaten St Vincent but we didn’t take our chances and likewise the Grenada game but we still worked hard.”
Felicia Jarvis was also in good form up front, accounting for two goals in this year’s competition.