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BARBADOS - football -Central American and Caribbean (CAC) 2006
Web Posted - Tue Apr 18 2006
By Adrian Jackson
THEYRE half-way there!
Coach Kenville Layne and his Barbados Under-21 football team registered a 3-0 victory over their Puerto Rico Under-21 opponents last Sunday evening at the National Stadium, to draw them one step closer to participating in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) finals to be played in Colombia in July.
The comprehensive victory placed the local boys at the top of the standings of the tri-nation qualifying series with three points and also put them in a very comfortable position with just one other remaining match for them against the Aruba Under-21s.
The local side owed much to the exploits of striker Quincy Atherley, who would soon not forget the night, and with very good reason.
Atherley had what can only be considered his best game in quite some time, and he was certainly having a ball with his new found form. Atherley came on at the start of the second half at the expense of the lethal Jason Goodridge, and his entrance would prove to be a deciding factor during the encounter.
Six minutes after coming on, the powerful Atherley successfully made a charge at the Puerto Rican goal, only to have his shot disallowed because of a hand-ball ruling.
Three minutes later Atherley was met with another opportunity; and he nailed it. Making a run from the centre, Atherley barged into the penalty area and then guided the ball pass goalkeeper Eduardo Memendi to double Barbados lead.
However, his fight would not end there, Atherleys persistence would have the Spanish-speaking visitors pleading "no mas, no mas", but Atherley apparently not a speaker of the language, refused to ease off the pressure. In the 85th minute, Atherley conjured up a play that would result in goal number three. A shift leaving one defender helpless, followed by another shift leaving the other defender caught in his tracks, opened the way for Atherley to send in a cross into the six-yard area. The series of plays and the apparent ensuing threat prompted defender Daniel Curbelo to react and extend his foot, only to inadvertedly aid in an own goal.
Considering the amount of work that was put into the build-up by Atherley, in addition to the fact that it could easily have been construed the resulting pass was what Atherley was in fact aiming for; the goal could have been awarded to the young Barbadian striker.
I welcome the victory, Im very happy, said a relaxed and smiling Layne after the match. This result will certainly ease the pressure on us going into the next game, but we will not be complacent.
The next game will start fresh at love all, continued the Barbados Under-21 coach. We have some niggling injuries which are new, but should be okay, I have a number of players to choose from.
We were expecting a bit more from the Puerto Ricans. I thought they sat back a bit too much and allowed us to play the cat and mouse game, but they did look good on the counter.
Layne continued, The plan was to make sure they didnt score, to maintain a full presence at the back, play solid in the middle and then take a chance at top.
Layne also confessed that striker Jason Goodridges role in the match was to continually go at the Puerto Rican defence and repeatedly test them, in preparation of an onslaught from the more aggressive Atherley.
I knew he (Atherley) would come off tonight, confessed Layne, just watching him in training, everything pointed to the fact that he was ready to go.
Earlier, Barbados was given an early lead eight minutes into the match after Greg Belle, the reliable defender had got the ball rolling.
Memendi was penalised for violating the six-second rule, and in doing so, gifted the Barbados team an early opportunity to go ahead with a free kick from the penalty area. Belle made the best of the situation and bombed a shot which ricocheted off Memendi and into the bars to spark early celebrations in the Barbados camp. The Bajans could have made it a 2-0 affair before half-time had a superb build-up finished just as it started. Lionel Paul, the talented midfielder who had a reasonable game on the night, strategically sent a straight pass to the swifty Damien Hoyte on the left flank. Hoyte in turn then made a speedy run down the line, then floated an accurate pass onto the head of Goodridge who narrowly missed out on his target.
Three minutes from the end of the first half, Goodridge returned the favour to Hoyte, but some tight defending on this occasion from the Puerto Rican defenders put an end to any additional goals.
Barbados Omari Eastmond was spared an embarrassing moment after a harmless ball sent in by Puerto Ricos Eloy Matos and allowed in by Belle, picked up an awkward bounce and pitched over Eastmond as well as the bars.
Barbados will play the Aruba Under-21s on Thursday, while Puerto Rico takes on Aruba today at the National Stadium in a must win situation.
Todays match should provide Layne with the opportunity
to better assess the Arubans ahead of Thursdays match.
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