Bodden Town, Latinos both confident of advancing

It was a defensive battle between Bodden Town (purple) and Latinos.

2016-17 Cayman Premier League leaders Bodden Town FC squared off against Latinos FC in the first semi-final leg of the CIFA Men’s President’s Cup at the Annex Sunday night (5 February) with both sides ending confident that after another 90 minutes on the pitch, they’ll be the ones moving on to play for the trophy on Ash Wednesday.

No one who came should have expected a scoring bonanza, as neither side has scored in bunches this season, while being stinging on the defensive end.

Theron Wood looked as though he was out to change expectations, especially when he jumped out in front the Latinos goal and finished clinically to give Bodden Town the lead after only four minutes of action.

Theron Wood

In fact, the entire Bodden Town side looked as though this might have been a night for scoring fireworks, pushing the ball forward and attacking the net early. Another goal would come quickly but this time when Leonon McKenzie Martinez latched on to a free kick in the 10th and headed it past Ramon Sealy in the Bodden Town goal.

It was a fast and physical game with Sealy and his opposite, Dereck Rivers, only being truly bothered on a few occasions during which they did what they were supposed to with the gloves.

Wood, who caused headaches for Latinos’ defenders all night, had his chances but was unable to provide a sequel to his early brilliance.

Jarol Smith came on in the 77th for Latinos but the spark he provided was not what coach Oscar Hernandez intended. After a missed shot within minutes after entering the game, he earned his first yellow for tripping Sealy, who was attempting to collect a ball from out of bounds. With four minutes added, Smith picked up a second yellow and was shown the way to the changing room.

It ended 1-1, with Latinos holding the edge due to the away goal.

Sealy, the Bodden Town skipper, knows winners don’t wait for chances, they take them. “I think we had a good performance but we could have done a lot better. We didn’t finish our chances and in this game, it comes back to haunt you in the end. We gave away a sloppy goal but we just have to look forward to the second leg and hopefully we can proceed on to the final,” he told

Asked what should be the focus on the training pitch before the next leg on 19 February, he said: “Just putting away our chances. We played well. They didn’t really create anything, so we didn’t have much to do [defensively]. We just have to put away our chances when we get them.”

Meantime, Latinos FC is eager to show they belong with the top clubs after promotion at the end of last season.  “We’re working hard [because] we want to win this cup. We’re working on that, so I hope next leg, we can win that,” said captain Bob Connor.

“We’ve got two weeks and we’re going to work for it. We’re going to work hard and see if we can do better next time. We need more shots on the goal. We’ve got a good defence, a good midfield and good forwards but we need to shoot more towards the goal,” he assessed.

Latinos would fancy their chances in the next leg. Sealy, a standout in goal for Bodden Town, will be away on duty with the national cricket team when the teams meet the next time. However, Sealy is confident that whoever steps in for him, his team will be fine. “They don’t need me. We have enough to get to the final,” he said confidently.

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