Sports

Girlz win

Edge Barbados 3-2 in CFU Women's Challenge Series

Saturday, April 21, 2018

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Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz had to come from behind to defeat Barbados 3-2 in a lukewarm performance to start their 2018 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's Challenge Series, at The University of the West Indies (UWI)/Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence yesterday.

The Jamaicans scored through Kevona Reid (34th), Shantel Bailey (35th) and Roshana Palache (49th).

Felecia Javis (29th) had earlier sent Barbados in front, with Rianna Cyrus (50th) getting the other on the flip side of the contest.

With the victory Jamaica joins Cuba on three points, but with an inferior goal difference, heading into tomorrow's Group B top-of-the-table clash at Drewsland Mini Stadium at 5:00 pm.

The Reggae Girlz took some time to find their footing, as they made heavy weather of the early exchanges against a resurgent Barbados team which suffered a 7-0 defeat to Cuba on Wednesday.

The Bajans grabbed the ascendancy when Javis capitalised on a defensive error and fired past Chris-Ann Chambers in goal for Jamaica.

It may have been the wake-up call the Reggae Girlz needed, as they gradually recovered from the slow start with a few good build-ups in transition and were back on level terms four minutes past the half-hour mark.

Reid arrived on the end of a cheeky lobbed pass from Chevin Blair and held her composure to fire past the advancing Rhea Holder doing glove duties for Barbados.

Bailey then put the Reggae Girlz in front a minute later when she drove home a firm left-footer from deep inside the area; after dismissing a defender from Reid's cross.

The Jamaicans failed in their attempt to add a third before half-time, but would have been more relaxed and poised for a better showing on the resumption.

And so it was, as they immediately went on the prowl and were duly rewarded a mere four minutes in when Reid's right-sided corner was tucked home by Palache.

However, like they did in the first half, the Jamaicans conceded another tame goal a minute later as another defensive mix-up paved the way for Cyrus to keep Barbados in the contest when she fired past Chambers, who was caught way off her line.

From there the game lost its shape despite glimpse of flair shown by a few of the Reggae Girlz, and they could have added at least one or two more goals to their tally had they been more clinical in the final third.

Reid had the best of those chances when she broke away down the right channel and into a one-on-one situation, but she hastily went for the assist instead of the goal.

Though not entirely pleased with the performance, Assistant Coach Andrew Price welcomed the three points as a morale booster for the girls going forward.

“When you take into consideration the fact that the national senior team hasn't played a game in over two years and this is a group of local players, about 10 of them are making their debut. So there was a bit of nerves, this being their first game.

“I think we settled down a little better in the second half, we had a lot of territorial advantage. I think we controlled the game and should have had a few more goals. But, like I said, it is the first game out for them and we will take the three points for now,” Price told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview.

Barbados' Head Coach Thomas Jordan also took some positives from the contest and the series at large.

“We played a lot better today (yesterday); we were more composed on the ball and we attacked a lot more than we did on Wednesday. But unfortunately, our defence was the let-down today and that is something we have to work on for future games.

“But I am relatively pleased and I am also happy for the tournament, because it gave me an opportunity to see what I have to gauge and work on for the future games and an idea of the personnel I will require for the upcoming games,” Jordan shared.

Teams:

Jamaica — Chris-Ann Chambers, Kevona Reid, Jodi-Ann Thomas, Gabrielle Gayle, Kishawna Robinson, Roshana Palache (Natasha Douglas 61st), Shantel Bailey (Nevillegail Able 78th), Lotoya Duhaney, Sherice Clarke (Stephanie Morgan 87th), Chevin Blair, Davia Smith

Subs not used: Tashell Welcome, Shanice Allison, Shamillia Carey, Rhonda Rhooms, Zinadean Mattison, Tatyana Polack

Booked: None

Barbados — Rhea Holder, Shonelle Stephen, Nashandi Clarke (Shanelle Als 60th), Shanice Stevenson, Rianna Cyrus, Felecia Javis, Shanna Evelyn, Amber De Silva (Marissa King 36th), Jeneva Miller, Giselle Fields (Shante Padmore 73rd), Soraya Toppin-Herbert

Subs not used: Cadijah Mars, Kerry Bascombe, Ashanee Thompson, Caitlin Padmore, Nadia Britney, Shakira Waithe

Booked: Miller (69th)

Referee: Cecil Hinds (TRI)

Assistant referees: Yudilia Briones (MEX); Dee An Foster (CAY)

Fourth official: Marsha Eleweanya (CAY)

Match commissary: Bruce Blake (CAY)

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