The Bahamas’ senior men’s national soccer team wrapped up a two-game friendly against the Turks and Caicos Islands with a 2-1 loss at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Saturday. In the first game on Thursday, The Bahamas won, 4-2.
The team is preparing for the upcoming CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Nations League competition, and Head Coach Nesly Jean and his assistant Kevin Davies are making their final determinations before making a final cut.
The Bahamas is in League B Group C of the competition which gets underway on Friday, June 3 at the Thomas A. Robinson
stadium. The Bahamas will take on St. Vincent and the Grenadines at home before taking on Trinidad and Tobago in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday, June 6. The Bahamas will then host Nicaragua on Friday, June 10 before closing this window of play with an away match against Nicaragua in Nicaragua on Monday, June 13.
Jean said that the two games on Thursday and Saturday were a good gauge for the upcoming fixtures.
“We put on the matches to see how the team would look going into the actual games. We tried new players who just came to the team and different formations. They are buying into what we are trying to do and hopefully by June 3 we will be ready to go,” Jean said.
Jean added that there are always adjustments to make, and that they are expecting those players who are off to school and overseas to fly in as early as next week. They have been giving those players instructions as to what is needed of them.
On Saturday, Peter Julmis was The Bahamas’ lone goal scorer. He scored a header in the 65th minute to give the Bahamians some life. The home team had a few chances to tie the game at two but that never materialized.
“The goal was good for me in finding my footing and finally scoring for my country,” Julmis said. “I hope that it is something that I can get used to and continue to see in the future.”
Julmis is optimistic about holding that number nine position on the team despite the pressure that comes with it of finding the back of the net.
On Saturday, Billy Forbes opened the scoring for the away team with a perfectly placed free kick to put his team up 1-0 in the 25th minute of the game. It remained 1-0 at the half. About three minutes after the break, Junior Paul put the Turks and Caicos up 2-0.
On Thursday, Julmis opened the scoring for The Bahamas in the 10th minute of the game before Cory Williams scored an equalizer for the Turks and Caicos less than a minute later. The Bahamas went up 3-1 at the half with goals from Daylan Russell and Lesly St. Fleur.
Markenley Amilcar pulled the visitors to within 3-2 in the 62nd minute. In the 64th minute, Julmis’ brother Elvelt Julmis gave The Bahamas a 4-2 lead.
“Trinidad and Tobago and the other teams in the group won’t be easy. That is why we have to be compact and ready to go,” Jean said. “We need to go back into training and try and fix our defense and midfield. We need them to understand where we need them to be and also how we need to be when we have the ball. We are looking at these games and we want to win like any other team. We are gong out there to try our best and going out there to represent our country and try to win.”
Head Coach of the Turks and Caicos Islands Keith Jeffrey has been at the helm for just three weeks. He said liked how his team played, particularly on Saturday. They get their Nations League action in League C Group A underway against Bonaire at home on June 3. Also in that group are Sint Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands.