Cayman U-15s win group with third victory

| 18/08/2017
CNS Local Life

Corey Smith (red) finds a way past the Saint Martin defence to register a shot at goal

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands Under 15 Boys’ National Football team secured top spot in Group G at the 2017 CONCACAF Under 15 Boys’ Championships with a convincing 4-0 victory over Saint Martin in the final group game at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida on Wednesday, 16 August. The local boys kicked off the last match under dark and gloomy skies as a torrential rainstorm soaked the sprawling sports complex prior to the 11am start.

The downpour turned out to be a “good luck” charm as the Cayman team was awarded a penalty in the first minute of the game when Jahmai Griffiths was fouled in the Saint Martin penalty area chasing a through ball, stated a Cayman Islands Football Association press release.

Scoring so early in a match can sometimes severely affect a team’s game plan as over-confidence can quickly seep in. The local boys were not going to let that happen, though. Holding the lead, the Cayman team fell into their possession game with Saint Martin resigned to chasing the game.

Cayman’s goalkeeper, Theo Whiteside, was largely untroubled throughout the course of the game as the defence, marshalled by Luke Byles and including Tommy Kehoe, Micah O’Garro and Daniel Wallace, were exceptional.

In the 30th minute, Cayman’s dominance was rewarded with a second goal when Jahrion Bodden hit a 25-yard screamer past the outstretched arms of the Saint Martin goal keeper.

A minute before half time, the Cayman team rounded off an exceptional half as Corey Smith raced onto a through ball and blasted his team into a 3-0 lead.

As with their previous game against Bonaire, the coaching staff decided to inject new blood into the line-up with a rash of substitutions. On came Victor Thompson Jr., David Pitcairn, Kameron Bennett, Jonah Sigsworth, Jaden Ebanks and Gunnar Studenhofft to bolster team play.

The substitutes fit into their respective roles very quickly and the team continued its assault on the opposition’s goal.

Barry-Dre Tibbetts and Jackson Kirkconnell worked tirelessly in the midfield to create numerous opportunities for players around them. Young Kirkconnell masterminded the team’s fourth goal as he played a wonderful through ball to Studenhofft who placed his effort neatly into the corner of the Saint Martin net.

Cayman had a number of chances to inflict further misery on their opponents as Sigsworth and Thompson Jr came close to finding the back of the net. Tibbetts blasted a shot off the crossbar and O’Garro was flagged for offside after he thought he had added to his team’s goal tally.

With time winding down, the local boys returned to their passing game and played out the final few minutes to secure top spot in Group G after going undefeated with three wins.

The Cayman Islands face Group H winners Antigua and Barbuda today (18 August) in their final tournament game.

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Category: Football, Sports

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