In spite of a reportedly improved performance in the second half, the Barbados Tridents football team went under 0-3 to El Salvador’s La Selecta in a CONCACAF Nations League qualifying fixture at the Cuscatlán Stadium in San Salvador.
This loss leaves the Tridents languishing in the lower rungs of these qualifying fixtures with one point from two games, having played to a 2-2 draw against Guyana in that country in a match-up that earned them their solitary mark on the standings table.
This qualifying phase of the 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League is a one-off tournament that is to be played from Sept. 6, 2018 to March 26, 2019. These games will determine the seeding for the group phase of the inaugural tournament, and the 10 top teams will qualify for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Reportedly home advantage played a significant part in the Tridents’ Saturday game against El Salvador as noisy local fans packed the Cuscatlán Stadium, which is said to be the largest in Central America.
According to the Barbados Football Association, “the hosts looked comfortable at home and held the majority of the possession, ending with 69 percent [of the play].”
That domination of play eventually led to El Salvador netting the first goal in the 22nd minute and the second in the 43rd.
“With the Tridents struggling to string passes together, they made several failed attempts to move the ball forward, opting to go with long passes overhead instead of building the ball from the back,” BFA stated.
El Salvador continued pressuring the Tridents in the second half though the Bajan lads had a better showing.
The third goal came in the three minutes of allotted extra time.
The Barbados Nation newspaper reported Tridents’ Technical Director, Ahmed Mohammed, saying, “considering the crowd, our technical ability and lack of tactical discipline at times… the team was still willing to compete against tough opponents who were the clear favourites.”
“We were really determined and the guys tried their best,” he said, adding, “the first goal was an avoidable technical mistake. The second goal, the [El Salvador] players moved the ball cleverly, and the third goal was due to [the Tridents’] heavy legs because of the pace of the game and altitude as well.”
Tridents are now hoping for a turnaround in fortunes to see them move up the points table as their next two games will be at home starting with US Virgin Islands on Nov. 18.