It was a case of the side that needed it more emerging the winner as Nicaragua edged Barbados 1-0 last weekend.
The teams entered the game with hosts Barbados looking for a consolation win on its way out of the Confederation of North Central America and Caribbean Federation Nations League qualifying competition, and Nicaragua desperate for a victory to qualify for the prestigious Gold Cup tournament.
Spurred on by a greater need, the Central Americans appeared more focussed in their attack on that Barbados Tridents at the Wildey AstroTurf Sunday evening so much so that the margin of victory does not represent the Nicaraguan domination.
Credit must go the Bajan defence that stood up to wave after wave of Nicaraguan forward movement holding off the Central American strikers to a goalless first half.
But a Nicaraguan second-half substitution of Marlon Lopez saw Carlos Chavarria come on to produce a cross inside the box to Juan Barrera who converted for the game’s only goal in the 65th minute.
To the Tridents’ credit, they should have been awarded a penalty soon after that goal when a Nicaraguan defence player handled the ball in the 18-yard box, but Grenadian referee Reon Radix missed that foul play.
The loss marked a less than memorable exit from this qualifying competition for the Tridents which lost three of their four matches.
Nicaragua now joins the 16 teams to have made it to the Gold Cup that kicks off June 15 and runs until July 07 in the USA, Costa Rica and in one Caribbean venue to be named.
Other Caribbean teams in this top regional tournament are Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Martinique, Curacao, Cuba, Guyana and Jamaica.
Guyana gained a spot for the first time by defeating Belize Saturday.