‘Junkanoo Boyz’ end up in 2-2 draw

As of Wednesday, October 18, 2023


#Tribune Sports Reporter


#The Junkanoo Boyz spoiled the Benna Boys chances of earning back-to-back wins when they secured a 2-2 draw yesterday evening in an away game in Piggotts, Antigua and Barbuda.

#In the second game of their October window in the Concacaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Nations League matches, the senior men’s national team earned their first point in League B, Group D. The match got underway at the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association’s Technical Center.

#Kevin Davies, assistant coach of the men’s national team, shared the difference in their approach on the road. “I think the biggest difference tonight was we played with a lot more heart and a lot more fight. We did not have that fire and passion when we played at home. The guys had enough losing and confided among themselves that they wanted to give some more and I think that was the difference today,” Davies said.

#Overall, he was happy with the team’s performance away from home turf.

#“It is a great feeling and shows that we can do it if we put in the effort, concentration, and the fight,” the assistant coach added.

#The Bahamas changed the pattern of the previous game, which saw the Benna Boys score first, by connecting on the first goal of the away game. Midfielder Nathan Wells took charge in the first five minutes of the match. With his teammate battling with their opponents’ defenders, Wells came from behind the penalty arc and sank the ball to the back of the net to give the national team an early 1-0 lead.

#Gameplay continued with the home team remaining scoreless until the 54th minute mark in the second half where midfielder Joshua Parker made good on the equalizer. He moved his way around the defenders and launched the ball from directly in front of the goal area to score.

#Five minutes later Thomas James Bramble, of Antigua and Barbuda, followed up his single goal from the last game at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium with another at home. At the 59th minute he scored on The Bahamas to give the home team a 2-1 advantage with under 60 minutes on the clock.

#The tides looked to be turning in favour of the Benna Boys once again until the visiting team’s forward Nahum Johnson converted on an equalizer late in the Nations League match. Following a throw-in with 82 minutes on the clock, Johnson kicked the ball over the head of Antigua and Barbuda’s goalkeeper to tie the match and secure the draw before the November window.

#The Junkanoo Boyz made some final attempts to go for the win, including a shot by Jean Tilo, but were unsuccessful.

#With the team looking ahead to the final window of the Nations League matches, coach Davies is confident yesterday’s win will give them a boost going into the next segment of the competition.

#“They showed that they can play with these guys and that they are not that much better than us, if better at all, if we play the way we want to play and can play we can get good results once the guys have confidence in themselves” he said.

#The national team will play their next two matches against the top teams in Group D, Guyana and Puerto Rico.

#Guyana leads the group with 12 points. Puerto Rico is ranked second with 6 points. Antigua and Barbuda has a total of 4 points and The Bahamas has one point in the League B, Group D rankings.

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