U17 boys fail to advance in World Cup qualifying


The Cayman Islands Under 17s dream of advancing to the final round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers in Trinidad & Tobago as Group 2 winners ended on Sunday evening following a 2-4 loss to defending Caribbean Under 17 champions Haiti.

The Cayman Islands found themselves in contention for the group win after disposing of Aruba 4-0 on Wednesday evening and Puerto Rico 2-0 on Friday. Likewise, Haiti defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 in the earlier Wednesday game and destroyed Aruba 10-0 on Friday afternoon.

With Haiti as favourites following their decisive wins over Puerto Rico and Aruba, the Cayman Islands began the game determined to exert pressure on the untested Haitian defence and goalkeeper. Two quick goals from Kion Parchmont – a penalty in the 3rd minute – and a Rico Bodden screamer in the 11th minute brought the local crowd to their feet as the Cayman Islands rattled their Haitian counterparts.

Not to be outdone, Haiti slowly clawed their way back into the game and scored just before halftime in the 42nd minute to cut the deficit in half. Three unanswered goals during the second half in the 62nd, 77th and 90th minutes sealed the victory for the defending Caribbean Under 17 champions and a place in the final round.

The Haitians advance to the final round along with Jamaica, Bermuda, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Suriname, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago.

“The boys were naturally very disappointed with the result and their performance against Haiti. It’s a hard lesson to learn especially when you give up a two-goal lead but the Haitians are a quality team and their tenacity, play, fitness level, dedication and commitment is what we need to emulate in order to compete at this level. We’re proud of the boys for their efforts. We’ll learn from this tournament and move on as we begin preparing for the CFU Under 20 World Cup qualifiers, which begin in 2018,” said Coordinator for the Under 17 National Football Programme Neil Murray.

“We made too many mistakes during the game, especially in the second half, and our concentration level deteriorated as did our stamina and fitness as the game wore on. We also did not manage the game well and that stems from a lack of experience. We had some good individual performances over the three games from players such as D’Andre Rowe, Rohelio Wright, Albertini Holness, Rico Bodden and others, but football is a team game and we need the entire 11 to do their part, especially at the international level,” Mr Murray added.

“We thank everyone who cheered on the boys over the three days although we definitely need more people to come out and support our young athletes during future tournaments. Special thanks to the coaching staff – Ernie Seymour, Ken Downey, Antwan Seymour, Luis Morejon, Andrew Holness, Kristina Bramwell and Dr. Verley Campbell – and the parents who have sacrificed a lot over the past year of preparations and to the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA), the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports and other sponsors for working diligently to secure the hosting of this group.”

Scorers for the Cayman Islands in the 4-0 win over Aruba on Wednesday evening included Cody Ebanks, Alex Clarke-Ramirez, Kareem Foster and Kion Parchmont and against Puerto Rico on Friday evening, Rico Bodden and Kion Parchmont found the target as the Cayman Islands won 2-0.

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.