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Football: Montserrat edge Cayman in final Nations League qualifier

After three goalless games, the Cayman Islands national senior men’s squad finally got on the scoreboard Friday (22 March) in a gritty 2-1 loss to Montserrat in the final game of the CONCACAF Nations League qualification stage held at the Ed Bush Playing Field.

The loss solidifies Cayman (0-1-3) in the ‘C League’ of the inaugural Nations League starting in September finishing 29 out of 34 teams. Monsterrat (3-0-1) fell to 11th overall, missing out on their first Gold Cup appearance by a +3 goal differential to El Salvador for the final spot.

In the first half, Cayman struggled to move the ball up the pitch with a long ball approach against a physical Emerald Boys defense. In the 40th minute, a Montserrat free kick soared into the Cayman box, striking midfielder Matthew Suberan on the forearm. Forward Adrian Clifton buried the ensuing penalty to give Montserrat a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, Cayman finally broke through as Michael Martin led a counterattack into Montserrat territory finding a streaking Mark Ebanks down the wing who chipped past goalkeeper Corrin Brooks for the equalizer.

Later in the second, a failed clearance attempt between keeper Ramon Sealy and defender Lucas Christian saw Montserrat’s Bradley Woods pounce on a deflection for a brilliant 20-foot strike to retake the lead for good.

“We were working on their strengths which was the long ball for a couple of week and we equalized” said Ebanks. “Unfortunately, we gave away the game but you live and you learn.”

Montserrat, who are rostered by many English-born semi-professional players, applauded Cayman’s effort.

“We play a very different game to the rest of the Caribbean nations, we aren’t afraid to mix it, or play a physical game,” said Lyle Taylor, who plays for English League One Charlton Athletic. “Cayman stood up to that really well, and provided a stern test for us. They were probably one of better of the four teams we played, and that’s saying something.”

Montserrat will play in the ‘B-League’ of the CONCACAF Nations League. The CONCACAF Nations League draw will take place 27 March.

Note: This was the first international goal scored by the Cayman Islands senior national men’s football team since 25th March 2015. Cayman played to a 1-1 draw versus Belize as part of qualification for the 2018 World Cup. The goal was scored by Mark Ebanks.

About the author

Jordan Armenise

Jordan Armenise

Jordan Armenise began his sports broadcasting journey with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). It was in this role where he was able to craft the immersive and enthusiastic approach to reporting, broadcasting and production you see here today in Cayman's sports community.

Jordan has also worked behind the scenes for a number of Canadian broadcasting & production companies such as CBC Sports, Cineflix Productions and Cream Productions.

Did he mention he was St. Clare of Assisi's 1994 Athlete of the Year?

Now dubbed 'The Sports Guy', Jordan relishes the role as Cayman 27 Sports Producer, where he can tell the stories of Cayman’s athletes. You can reach Jordan at or .

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