Cayman’s national men’s football squad inched closer to both their first win and goal of the CONCACAF Nations League qualifying stage after a 0-0 draw with St. Lucia Saturday (17 November) at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The 1500-plus home crowd seemed to energize the senior men’s squad after goalless away losses to both Jamaica and Dominican in the first two qualifying matches.
“I think they had a little more possession than we liked, but that’s apart of the game,” said captain Ramon Sealy. “We had some nagging injuries but we put in the performance,we continued to fight, create chances to try and get a goal but unfortunately it didn’t happen today.”
First half chances on both sides kept Sealy busy as St. Lucia threatened early and often. Cayman’s golden chance came on a counter attack when midfielder Andres Ruiz’s’ through ball freed striker Mark Ebanks, only to see the St. Lucia defender clear just a half step ahead.
In the second half, Cayman averted disaster when defender Tyler Lee was caught flat footed on a midfield pass, only to see St. Lucia striker Jevick MacFarlane ring the shot off the post.
Later in the half, Cayman’s Jonah Ebanks found himself clear after some nifty passing left him in prime position to put Cayman ahead. St. Lucia keeper Vito Barclett, however, kept the game scoreless.
The home team’s best chance of the match came midway through the second half. Ebanks freed midfielder Michael Martin, whose footwork saw him behind the St. Lucia defense. With the St. Lucia keeper approaching off his line, Martin sailed the chance over the crossbar.
The final game of the qualifying stage will see Cayman host Montserrat 23 March at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. With a winless record, Cayman is set to play in the third tier in next year’s inaugural CONCACAF Nations League.