The Barbados National soccer team earned bragging rights following a nil-all draw with Bermuda last weekend because the Bajans had whipped the North Atlantic team 3-2 in their home turf five months ago.
Playing at the Usain Bolt Complex of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus on the evening of Sunday, March 25, the Barbados Tridents held the edge with a greater ball possession and the run-of-play, but their forwards were unable to place the ball in the Bermuda Gombey Warriors’ net.
In Barbados’ 55 percent of ball possession, they had a total of nine shots at goal with five on target and two corner kicks.
The visitors had a few half chances of their own but Barbados’ defence, led by Ranaldo Bailey and supported by 20-year-old debutant Carl Hinkson, Shane Codrington and Teriq Highland were like a wall, rejecting the Bermudan advances.
Barbados Football Association’s technical director, Ahmed Mohammed, said at the post-match press briefing that credit must go to his team for what he considered excellent play, stressing that the plan was to keep improving going forward.
“We played much different than we did in Bermuda even though they did have the same squad. We watched the game they played against Antigua, and for us it was a lot easier because we knew what they can do and I knew they would struggle on the Astro Turf and with the weather,” Mohammed said.
With a nil-all score at full-time, the match stretched into extra time that saw spirited efforts by Barbados forwards Thierry Gale, Ackeel Applewhaite and Dishon ‘Eto’ Howell, but to no avail.
Commenting on this inability to score against Bermuda in the return fixture Mohammed said, “we had couple mistakes and normally we struggle in the first ten to 15 minutes but this time we did not have that. We had some situations [yes] that our defender especially Shane [Codrington] was nervous”.
“Going forward we must work on our final third and make sure on one chance, one goal. To be honest I wanted to punish them the same way as we did in Bermuda and that chance was there. Lucky for them the youngster at 15-years-old [Thierry Gale] did not score but the idea was to give them the final rocket punch as we did in Bermuda.
In that match five months ago 16-year-old, ‘Eto’ Howell delivered that ‘final punch’ by scoring the last two goals for Barbados to lead his team to victory.