U-17 World Cup journey ends for Cayman team

| 27/07/2016 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

The Cayman Islands U-17 starting team: (back row, L-R) Jalen Walters, Jose La Rosa-Ebanks, Albertini Holness, Kion Parchmont and Devonte Morejon; (front row, L-R) D’Andre Rowe, Cody Ebanks, Corey Mellaneo, Kareem Foster, Alex Clarke-Ramirez and Rohelio Wright

(CNS): The dream of advancing to the final round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-17 World Cup qualifiers in Trinidad & Tobago ended on Sunday evening (24 July) for the Cayman Islands following a 4-2 loss to defending Caribbean champions Haiti. The local squad had been in contention for the Group 2 win after earlier disposing of Aruba 4-0 and Puerto Rico 2-0.

With Haiti as favourites following their decisive wins over Puerto Rico (3-0) and Aruba (10-0), the Cayman Islands began the game determined to exert pressure on the untested Haitian defence and goalkeeper.

Two quick goals – a Kion Parchmont penalty conversion in the third 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 champions.

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

Coordinator for the Under-17 National Football Programme Neil Murray said, “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.”

Murray spoke of the play against Haiti. “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,” he said.

“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.”

He added his thanks to the fans and the staff. “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; 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 win over Aruba were Cody Ebanks, Alex Clarke-Ramirez, Kareem Foster and Kion Parchmont. In the game against Puerto Rico, Rico Bodden and Kion Parchmont found the target.

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Category: Football, Sports

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