A late second-half goal gave (French) Saint Martin the three points the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) senior men’s team were hoping for to keep them at the top of League C in the Concacaf Nations League.
In a most interesting turn of events, in the second half of the team’s return game at the Raymond E. Guishard Technical Center, Anguilla, the Bajan Tridents took a hard blow after Yannick Chevalier got the ball past the backline to give Saint Martin the go-ahead goal.
Goalkeeper Kishmar Primus, in an attempt to fend off the play, took a dive that left Barbados wide open, and Chevalier, taking full advantage, was able to get the ball into the back of the net in the 81st minute from open play.
This upset now leaves the Tridents having to cripple the Cayman Islands on Tuesday after they regained the advantage in Group A, following a 1-0 victory over USVI also played tonight. This win now gives them 12 points, while Barbados is second on nine.
While the Tridents created opportunities from as early as the 15th minute, Saint Martin matched them play for play in the game with the greater ball possession (54%). They only managed seven shots on target compared to Barbados’ 12, with Raheim Sargeant and Nick Blackman taking two shots apiece on target.
Captain Rashad Jules, Israel based striker Blackman and Sargeant kept pace with Saint Martin, but the opponent’s defensive line was unbreakable in spite of the breakthroughs Barbados made.
There were a few close calls, one of the major ones coming on the resumption of play. Andy Felsina was able to get the ball past Primus into the back of the net, but much to the Tridents’ good fortune referee Bryan Lopez ruled it a half step offside much to the home side’s dismay.
The starting lineup saw Hadan Holligan and Ricadrio Morris as substitutes while Rico Graham, who played his debut Nations League game had an impressive 90-minute run. And while Jules and English forward Hallam Hope kept pressing in the midfield alongside Blackman, their efforts were not enough to get past Saint Martin.
Mario Williams played a superb game, and on three occasions he had to assist goalie Primus in deflecting the opponent’s ball which was right on its marker. Had it not been for his impressive cut-ins, the scoring margin may have been wider.
However, they are not quite out of the running yet and are hoping to pull off a much-needed win in their final encounter against the Cayman Islands on Tuesday on the BFA’s Wildey Turf.