Just days after falling 1-0 to Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas senior men’s national soccer team is back home and ready to take on Nicaragua today as they continue their 2022/2023 CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Nations League campaign. It will be the first time these two nations face each other.
The game will be played at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium with kick-off set for 5 p.m. This is a crucial game for both teams, especially The Bahamas who sit in third place in its group with three points – one point behind Nicaragua. Trinidad and Tobago is in second place with three points while St. Vincent and the Grenadines has the fourth position in Group C.
The teams got in some practice sessions on Wednesday, and the Nassau Guardian caught up with both teams.
Head Coach for The Bahamas Nesly Jean knows that his team has to get a win which will be a huge help for them in the group standings.
“The game plan is always to go out there and try to win. It will give us a big boost and get us on top. The guys have been doing well so far. The result we were looking for, we did not get it in the last game. We want to turn it around and do well this time,” Jean said.
Speaking through a translator, Nicaragua Head Coach Marcos Figueroa said that it is a tough group and schedule.
“The group that we are in is difficult. It is a rough travel schedule and difficult ground,” Figueroa said. “The expectations are the same. We came to win and we are going to play to win.”
Christopher Rahming, who has played both games in this window for The Bahamas, is hoping to improve his game more in the midfield.
“During the Trinidad game, there was a big confidence boost for me and my teammates because we started the game slow and then as we kept playing, we realized that we can play with Trinidad. Going into this game, I want to carry on what I started in the Trinidad game by being more confident on the ball and try to make plays as a midfielder.”
Nicaragua’s Captain Juan Barrera said they are hoping to get three points with a win. They are coming off a 2-2 tie against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday.
“We are always ready for every match and we hope to get three points tomorrow (today),” Barrera said.
Jean has a bigger bench and pool of players to choose from compared to the match in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The team has been looking well,” Jean said. “We have one or two injuries but that still does not determine how the team is going to look. We had to come in and put in some replacements and the team is looking well.”
One of those players who is available this time around is William Bayles who played in the midfield in the 1-0 victory over St. Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday but missed the Trinidad and Tobago’s game. He joked that he hopes Jean puts him back in the lineup.
“I am optimistic about the team and I am positive that we can get a good result from this game whether it is a draw or win. I am confident that with the players we have we can do good,” said Bayles.
Now that the team is back home, Jean is looking for the home crowd to come out and help them secure a win.
“It is a huge difference when you have the crowd. The guys have their parents and friends. Also, they have a whole country behind them. We need the support,” Jean said.
The cost to attend the game is $20 for adults and $10 for youth. The two teams will play each other again on Monday June 13 in Nicaragua.