Cayman takes hard loss in Olympic qualifier

| 25/07/2019
CNS Local Life
Kareem Foster (centre) in action watched by two Grenada players (Photos by Cayman Photography)

(CNS Local Life): Hosts Cayman lost the opening match of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers 1-0 against Grenada in the first night of action at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex Wednesday, 24 July, despite creating more scoring chances than their opponents. The team, however, is determined to put that result behind them as they prepare for their Sunday match against a strong Haiti squad.

While acknowledging the team’s disappointment at the final score, head coach Ben Pugh told CNS, “I thought our performance was very good, I thought we were the better team. We had a lot of chances which we unfortunately didn’t put away. Grenada only had two shots on goal, the rest were off target, and one went in.”

That goal, in the 54th minute by Daren Modoo, proved all that was needed for Grenada to take the game.

CNS Local Life
Cayman’s starting 11 ahead of the Grenada match (standing, L-R) Cameron Gray, Joshewa Frederick-Charlery, Albertini Holness, Ackeem Hyde and Elijah Seymour; (kneeling, L-R) Barry Dre Tibbetts, Mason Duval, Kareem Foster, Leighton Thomas Jr, Christhofer Nunez-Reeves and Michael Martin Cruz

Nevertheless, Pugh was happy with how his team played, though they failed to capitalise on scoring opportunities. “We had a really good chance towards the beginning of the first half but didn’t take it”, plus a header in the second half that just missed the mark, he recalled, adding, “We all felt we deserved more, but we have to pick ourselves up and be ready against a good, physical team in Haiti on Sunday.”

After the match, as he addressed his disappointed squad, Pugh told the team to focus on the positives. “We were the better team and it is important to build on that going forward,” he said.

Declining to single out any individual performance on the night, he said, “Everyone was outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for more of them in terms of effort and application.”

CNS Local Life
Michael Martin Cruz (10) and Grenada’s Oneil Hosten (16) go for the ball as Ramon Martinez (9) follows

He also wants the players to use their frustration at losing to spur them on. “I’m actually glad the team is disappointed,” Pugh pointed out. “I wouldn’t be happy if they were happy to lose. Hopefully, it will motivate us against a strong Haiti team.

“If we had played poorly and got beat that would be one thing, but we played well so know we can put in a good performance against Haiti.”

Pugh and his players will be watching the match between Grenada and Haiti on Friday, “but have already done an analysis of Haiti so we know what to expect”.  

The squad that finishes at the top of the three-team group will go on to the next round of qualifiers.

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Category: Football, Sports

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “We were the better team and it is important to build on that going forward,”
    Dear coach, you were not the better team, you lost.

  2. Same story every time says:

    We should have use the under 12 Gold medal winners. They are they only ones that have any potential. The bottom line they could not get it done.

    • Anonymous says:

      The players representing Cayman on Wednesday were U12 at some point also, and participated in many of the same tournaments the Cayman Academy U12 did recently, some were successful as well and had the same potential or more as the current U12’s, however, once they return and grow older they quickly find that there is not much interest in development the senior program. Believe me, if there is not a properly organized senior system we will not improve and always will have to be content with U.S friendly summer tournaments.

      • Anonymous says:

        Long term failure is the price of long term corruption.

        • Anonymous says:

          1000% correct, corruption and bad planning. Hopefully, Jeff Webb is history? Some of his cronies still in CIFA, and that is a concern, however do we continue to denied opportunities to our young people because of Jeff Webb? No, we must get over and move on. We still doing the same things by mostly by the same people for the last 35 years, that needs to change, fortunately appears as if CONCACAF has finally realized that changes are needed for smaller countries like ours to improve and compete more often, we however, must embrace those opportunities and changes.
          Senior football is the key to this development just like the rest of the world.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not until we get serious about football and sports in general in Cayman we will be able get over these hurdles at a more senior and competitive level. We like the fluff of sports, recently I read that Cayman Academy won a tournament in the U.S at a U12 level and everyone is static about it, and nothing is wrong with taken part in these tournaments in the U.S every summer, however, we need to understand that these are not official competitions and the level of competition is not a the required level for our players to actually improve and learn what is required to compete at official competitions where national teams take part. CIFA must find a way to have our best senior players ( 20 and over) compete more regularly at a higher level if we are to make a step forward. A difficult task, however, there is talent available.