Barbados Tridents football team managed a two-all draw in a friendly fixture against the higher-rated Jamaica Reggae Boyz Tuesday night as the sides warm-up for a regional competition later this year.
Playing at home, the Barbados Tridents rushed to front, benefitting from a Jamaica own-goal and forward Zeco Edmee dribbling past a one defender and sliding goalkeeper Damion Hyatt to net the ball to end the first half up 2-nil.
But the rated Reggae Boyz endured and in the second half capitalized on weaknesses in the Barbados defence to net two in the dying stages of the game, with their first goal coming from Marvin Morgan, and the second rocking the back of the Barbados net through a Peter Vassell penalty kick owing to a defensive ball handling error, just six minutes before fulltime.
This fixture was in preparation for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football [CONCACAF] Nations League Cup scheduled for next month in Guyana.
If this game served to expose anything to the Barbados coaches it would be that the Tridents need to sharpen their scoring ability.
In spite of the game seeing four goals in a draw the Bajans rocked the opponents’ net only once because one of their two goals came from an own-goal by Jamaica defender Chevone Marsh.
Further, the Jamaicans missed an earlier penalty when Barbados goalie Kishmar Primus saved the Reggae Boyz Fabion McCarthy shot from the 12 yards spot.
This means that while Barbados scored only one goal in a 2-all draw, the Tridents could have lost 3-2, were it not for Primus’ excellent work.
Nonetheless Barbados’ technical director Ahmed Mohammed was pleased with the team’s performance.
“What we wanted to show was how far we are, what we have done the last couple of months so that you could see our progress and where we are,” he said.
“The main thing was not to hide even though the opponent is higher ranked. So, we did very well in the first half and the second half we were playing a little too deep, we could have gone a little bit further but at the end of the day that is football.”
The last time Barbados beat Jamaica was 15 years ago. The Tridents lost the ensuing five encounters since.
The Barbados players will have another chance to sharpen their skills when they host Cuba in two warm-up friendlies on Aug. 26 and 29.
Meantime the Jamaica technical director Theodore Whitmore put up bravado similar to his Barbados counterpart when he told the media, “in the first half we allowed the Barbados team to get the best of us both physically and mentally.”
“We made some adjustments for the second half, and we were entirely in control. The goalkeeper did well tonight for Barbados in keeping us out, but I think our team showed character.”