Onside

Barbados get the better of Vincentians

Barbados ended their two-game international friendly series against St Vincent and the Grenadines with an exciting 2-2 draw last night at the National Stadium to take the overall series 1-0.

Having won the first encounter on Friday night 3-1, Barbados were hoping to sweep the second game but St Vincent dug deep to come from behind late in the second half to share the honours in the encounter.

St Vincent and the Grenadines started the match-up with a high level of intensity which allowed them to take the lead just three minutes into the game when the ball was played inside the box to Vincentian striker Juma Gilkes who was left unmarked and struck the ball comfortably to the right of Barbados goalkeeper Dario Weir and into the back of the nets.

It only took the home side nine minutes to respond with a goal of their own and they did so somewhat fortuitously in the 12th minute, thanks to midfielder Hadan Holligan.

Barbadian midfielder Hadan Holligan (left) dribbles past two Vincentian defenders.
Barbadian midfielder Hadan Holligan (left) dribbles past two Vincentian defenders.

The ball was played up the right flank of the field by Barbados captain Mario Harte who kicked the ball directly towards the goal bars but it was blocked by St Vincent’s goalkeeper Sean Field who made the save but did not hang on to the ball and Holligan was in place to score on the rebound with a simple tap in.

Barbados captain Mario Harte (No. 9) produced a few threatening moments for St Vincent including this play when he out-paced a defender and almost scored.
Barbados captain Mario Harte (No. 9) produced a few threatening moments for St Vincent including this play when he out-paced a defender and almost scored.

With the game locked at 1-1 at that stage one would have expected to see more excitement and pressure being applied by both teams but that was not the case because St Vincent gifted Barbados a rather easy goal in the 17th minute.

It was sloppy work from St Vincent’s keeper Field who kicked the ball to his teammate on his right of the field. The ball was kicked back to Field who decided to pass it once again in the same direction and Barbadian midfielder Romario Harewood attacked the ball rather quickly and sent a powerful shot flying into the back of the nets to celebrate perhaps one of the easiest goals of his career.

The score remained the same leading into the second half in which both teams made a few substitutions. Barbados tried to do all in their power to prevent St Vincent from scoring but were unsuccessful.

The Vincentians’ breakthrough came in the 86th minute through Tevin Slater who found that all important equalizer when the ball was played through the middle to him. He dribbled his way past two Barbadian defenders and slotted the ball into the back of the nets giving Weir little chance.

After that goal Barbados had the opportunity to take the lead twice but thanks to two spectacular saves by Field who denied Harte and Kemar Headley. Both were clear-cut opportunities but kudos must go to Field for giving his team a share of the spoils under pressure.

In the game on Friday night Barbadian debutants Headley and Jomo Harewood scored along with Jamal Chandler.  Chavel Cunningham scored just the one goal for St Vincent via a free kick from about 30 yards out.

At the end of last night’s game St Vincent coach Keith Ollivierre said he thought his team deserved to win the game. Barbados Football Association’s technical director Marcos Falopa admitted that their final game was much harder for his men but he was pleased with the fact that the Barbados players showed good reaction on the field.

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