The Bahamas ties against Antigua and Barbuda

Team earns first point in 2023-2024 CONCACAF Nations League play

  • Simba French
  • Oct 18, 2023
  •  0
bahama soccer
Team Bahamas goalkeeper Michael Butler holds on to the ball during a match between The Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda in 2023-2024 CONCACAF Nations League play. The two teams tied 2-2 in Piggotts, Antigua and Barbuda, yesterday.

It appears The Bahamas’ senior men’s national soccer team plays better on the road as the team secured its first point of the 2023-2024 CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Nations League competition. They drew against Antigua and Barbuda 2-2 at the Antigua and Barbuda’s Football Center in Piggotts, Antigua and Barbuda, yesterday.

After Antigua and Barbuda scored in the 54th and 59th minutes to go up 2-1, it was teenager Nahum Johnson who came up clutch for The Bahamas, scoring the equalizer to put the score at 2-2 in the 82nd minute. It was Johnson’s first goal for Team Bahamas at this level.

It was a fast turnaround for both teams as they played at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in New Providence on Saturday. The Bahamas lost that match, 4-1.

Head Coach for The Bahamas Nesly Jean and his staff made two changes to the starting lineup. Nathan Wells replaced Phieron Wilson on defense and Ricardo McPhee replaced Wood Julmis, who was nursing an injury, at the forward position.

“We made a few adjustments in regard to the way we play and defended,” Jean said. “It was also a case of pride knowing that we didn’t play well on Saturday. Also, we tried to limit the mistakes and I think that helped to get the guys relaxed.”

Jean said he was glad to see the team stick to the game plan but he wants them to be ruthless in front of the goal.

The Bahamas’ captain Lesly St. Fleur, who had a busy afternoon in the center back position, said they got Saturday’s game out their system and played hard.

“We came together as a team and fought together, and believed. The effort was there today (Tuesday) and everything was going well for us,” St. Fleur said.

Wells, who plays for The University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes, got the first goal of the game in the fifth minute. It came from a free-kick from William Bayles who placed it right on the penalty spot. The ball was headed away by Antigua and Barbuda but put it went back into the home team’s 18-yard box before McPhee saw a pressing Wells and passed him the ball. Wells kicked the ball with power and precision to the lower left side of the net for his first international goal at this level.

“It’s incredible to see the young guys stepping up to the plate,” Jean said. “We can see that these guys have a bright future ahead of them and they have to keep working.”

The Bahamas was on defense most of the first half with Antigua and Barbuda possessing the ball for 67 percent of the time.

Joshua Parker put the home team even with The Bahamas in the 54th minute when he found the back of the net. Five minutes later, Parker’s teammate Thomas Bramble got on the scoresheet to put them up 2-1.

In the 81st minute, The Bahamas won a throw-in. St. Fleur stepped up and threw the ball into Antigua and Barbuda’s 18-yard box where a waiting Marcel Joseph battled a defender and managed to get a touch on the ball to Johnson’s right foot. Johnson, who attends Aquinas College, one-touched it after the first bounce and placed it to the top left of Antigua and Barbuda’s goal and past the goalkeeper, Zaieem Scott, for the equalizer.

Antigua and Barbuda tried to get a go-ahead goal but The Bahamas kept it clean the rest of the way.

Looking ahead, Jean is looking for the team to improve.

“We will keep working on trying to limit the mistakes and look to improve our performance. Part of doing well today was the guys holding each other accountable and that’s what we need from the players to be successful,” Jean said.

This was the final game in this CONCACAF Nations League window for both teams. They will play the third and final window in November. The dates for the two games in the November window will be announced later.

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