Cayman U14s lose to Cuba, Bermuda tops group

Akiel Bodden of the Cayman Islands in action against Cuba.

The Cayman Islands tasted defeat for the second consecutive match at the 2018 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Boys’ U14 Challenge Series Wednesday night (22 August), falling 5-1 to Cuba at Ed Bush Sports Complex. Meantime, Bermuda completed their undefeated run, easily dispatching the US Virgin Islands in the earlier game.

The local boys entered their final game of the competition knowing it would be a tough ask and appeared up for the challenge but their plans started to unravel early when Cuba were awarded a penalty in the 4th minute. Ismael Perez Avalo stepped to the spot and coolly put the ball past Alex Anglin in the Cayman net.

Midfielder Osmani de la Torres scored the first of his two goals in the 12th minute and Lazaro Saez Garcia added another in the 23rd to give Cuba the 3-0 halftime lead. Cayman battled hard to stay in the game but Cuba stretched the lead thanks to de la Torres in the 49th.

Shameer Hendricks-Seymour put Cayman on the board in the 56th minute to give the fans something to cheer about. And as if on cue, as he celebrated fireworks went off in the distance.

Shameer Hendricks-Seymour (7) takes the ball after his goal.

Jeovanny Mendez Rodriguez added another for the Cubans to secure the 5-1 win.

“I think it was a good game. The better team won. I think we need to go back and continue to work hard. There are major improvements [with the players] since May…the better team won tonight and that’s how it goes,” head coach Lovane ‘Peelo’ Joven told reporters afterward. The series provided the second taste of international competition for his squad after playing in the Cayman Islands U15 Invitational Football Youth Cup earlier this year.

Joven identified a need for better organisation, maintaining composure and working the ball around as a unit as areas for improvement.

Stefan Jones of Bermuda takes the ball away from USVI’s Mazen Yussuf.

In the first match of the double-header, Bermuda made light work of their opponents from the USVI with an 11-0 win with Sincere Hall and Benjamin Osset each recording a hat-trick. Camaje Easton Smith scored twice.

Bermuda only conceded one goal in their three matches as they easily topped the group table, followed by Cuba, Cayman Islands and the US Virgin Islands. CFU General Coordinator Sharon O’Brien and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) President Alfredo Whittaker were joined by Deputy Speaker Bernie Bush, Sports Councillor David Wight, and Director of Sports Collin Anglin to present commemorative shields to the teams at the end of the evening’s play.

Final Group D standings
Pos Team GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Bermuda 3 3 0 0 17 1 16 9
2 Cuba 3 2 0 1 20 2 18 6
3 Cayman Islands 3 1 0 2 12 9 3 3
4 US Virgin Islands 3 0 0 3 0 36 -36 0


The CFU Challenge Series featured several groups being played across the Caribbean this summer and provided youngsters from across the region to get a taste of international competition ahead of the CONCACAF U15 Championships in the summer of 2019. will have more reaction from the local coaches and players in a subsequent story.

All participating teams gathered at the end of the series.


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