Cayman’s U14 girls come from behind to draw with Barbados

Cayman's Ashlyn Evans battles Barbados' Ryah Dates for the ball.

There were a pair of 1-1 draws on the opening day of Group 2 of the 2019 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Girls’ U14 Challenge Series at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Monday 5 August. The Cayman Islands had much to celebrate after a late goal saw them claim a point after trailing Barbados for much of the second game of the double-header.

Cayman Islands 1

Barbados 1

Cayman Islands starting XI:
Back Row (L-R) Nassaria Whittaker, Sofia Watler, Stoyanna Stewart, Ashlyn Evans, Alexia Bromfield, Evie Nicholson. Front Row: Zahra Powell, Kalie Ebanks, Isla McLaughlin, Sophia Williams, Kayla Bradley

A 68th minute goal from substitute Clara Byrne saw the Cayman Islands come from behind to share the points with Barbados in a lively encounter under the lights.

Barbados jumped ahead in the 17th minute when Keidasha Thomas slotted the goal past Cayman keeper Isla McLaughlin.

After the nerves settled, the young ladies from the Cayman Islands got themselves into the game and matched the intensity of their Barbadian opponents.

Once they found their groove, chances started coming their way, but they were unable to capitalise. That all changed in the 68th minute when captain Alexia Bromfield put a shot on target that Barbados’ keeper, Lisa Harding, was unable to take cleanly. This left Clara Byrne with a chance to knock the equaliser into the back of the net.

Clara Byrne (4) is congratulated by her teammates after scoring.

“At the end, we were really pushing to get a goal,” Byrne later told reporters. “Lexi put in a really good shot and the keeper fumbled the ball and I was just on the right side of it, so I just tapped it in.”

Assistant Coach Harry Vardy was impressed with the players, and though he felt like they deserved the win, he could take consolation in the draw.

“A lot of what we’ve been working on in terms of moving the ball has been positive,” he said. “We’d like to improve in the final third. I think we created a lot of chances in the second half and we’re hoping in the next couple of games to start putting the ball in the back of the net a bit more.”

He added that he was also proud of how they stuck in there after falling behind in the first half: “Obviously for the girls, they’re nervous anyway, so that early goal then ramps it up. So, a lot of what we spoke about at half time was just settling it down, playing our game, keeping it strong and we’re really proud of them.”

Barbados starting XI

St Lucia 1

Curacao 1

There was no separating Curacao (white) and St Lucia (yellow).

In the opening game, Curacao took the early advantage over St Lucia thanks to a brilliant individual effort from Raengelly Keller to single-handedly break down the defence and skilfully put the ball in the back of the net in the 13th minute. St Lucia’s nerves appeared to settle and they got to work, matching Curacao’s effort and refusing to give up until the final whistle. That tenacity paid off for the young ladies from the Eastern Caribbean when Arnika Louis’ shot from distance beat the outstretched arms of the keeper to level the score just before the three-minutes of stoppage time in the second half expired.

Curacao starting XI
St Lucia starting XI

Match Day 2 is on Wednesday 7 August with Barbados vs St Lucia at 5:00pm, following by Cayman Islands vs Curacao at 7:00pm.

See results from other groups here.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.