Barbados draw in CONCACAF opener
A spirited performance by the ladies of the Barbados U17 national football team saw them earn a draw last night at the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Wildey Turf as Group C of the Concacaf Women’s U17 Championship kicked off.
Barbados came from behind to tie with Belize 1-1 in front of a small but appreciative home crowd.
The opening minutes for the lady Tridents displayed some nerves and the visitors took advantage of this with a number of early attacks on the Barbados goal.
In the 5th minute Jesselle Conorque broke free, one-on-one with the Barbados goalkeeper but Lisa Harding was brave and denied the Belizean forward.
Kaite Jones was a persistent threat for the Barbadian defenders and she came close to opening the scoring twice within six minutes; her first effort from distance went narrowly wide but her second was on target however an acrobatic save from Harding kept the scores tied.
Killy Dawson thought her close range effort was on course for the back of the net but the cross bar denied Belize that important first goal.
Rayna Cummins, Asha Stevenson and Rayna Cummins tried to take the offensive game to Belize but they lacked the support and were often crowded out by a very aggressive Belize unit.
Belize took the lead in the 56th minute, courtesy of a blunder from Harding who misread the trajectory of a free kick and the ball went over her head, allowing Conorque to score in an open goal.
Barbados fought their way back into the game and were rewarded with an opportunity in the 78th minute when Belizean defender Shanell Thomas was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box by referee Crystal Sobers.
Stevenson stepped up confidently and blasted her penalty kick effort into the right corner beyond goalkeeper Dennisa Pineda.
Earlier in the evening, St Kitts & Nevis defeated the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) 10-0.
Matches continue Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.