Barbados Tridents have handed a 3-0 thrashing to the United States Virgin Islands to earn themselves their first set of full points from a match in the CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers.
Playing home at the Wildey Astroturf, St. Michael, the Bajan boys dominated most of the game Sunday night and opened their account in the 25th minute when Captain Hadan Holligan converted a pass across the USVI goal line from fellow striker Shakille Belle.
The Barbados players cushioned their lead and ensured a full three points from this third round fixture with two goals in the second half when Raheim Sargeant came off the bench and in the 79th minute and curved the ball into the back of the USVI net from a corner-kick, then Mario Harte headed the ball pass USVI goalie Benny Labadie, from a free kick in the 88th minute.
With that victory Barbados Tridents are now on four points following their 2-2 draw with Guyana in their opening fixture and a 0-3 loss to El Salvador.
Rated at number 29 in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, the Bajans must be credited for making the most of the points-gaining opportunity by pouncing on the lower placed USVI that stands at 37 in the CONCACAF rankings.
The Bajans had earned only one point from their draw with 22-ranked Guyana and went home empty-handed following their blowout at the feet of 9th placed El Salvador.
According to CONCACAF, this qualifying phase of the 2019–20 Nations League is a one-off tournament among 34 teams that is being played from Sept. 6, 2018, to March 26, 2019. This tournament will determine seeding for the group phase of the inaugural Nations League competition next year, as well as select the remaining 10 teams which will qualify for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the regional senior men’s football championship.
Tridents Technical Director Ahmed Mohammed said, “the players did what they had to do. It could have been a bit better time-wise. We allowed USVI to play … But at the end of the day, we wanted a win and got a 3-0 result.”
It was a bitter-sweet victory for Mohammed who had coached the USVI side for two years before taking over the Barbados side.
“That opponent [USVI] is my team, I built that team, and I know who to play and how to play against them,” he said.
In their continued quest for favourable seeding, the Tridents will come against 14th rank Nicaragua on March 24, 2019.