The Cayman Islands National Under-23 men’s team will need help in order to advance in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Prelims after a 1-0 loss to Grenada Wednesday (24 July) at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Cayman saw plenty of chances throughout the match but could not capitalize in the first of the three games in the Group C opener.
“I thought we played really well, I thought our effort was outstanding,” said Head Coach Ben Pugh. “I thought we were the better team, but I think a harsh lesson is if you don’t take your chances, unfortunately, you give yourselves an uphill battle. They had two shots on target, Albertini (Holness) made a good save for one, and the other one they scored. We had five or six really good chances and we didn’t take them. Unfortunately, that’s football.”
After a back and forth first half, a second-half Grenada counterattack in the 54th minute caught Cayman on their heels as midfielder Leon Braveboy found striker Saydrel Lewis on pace. The Spice Boys captain back-heeled a pass onto the foot of a trailing Daren Modoo who fired home past Cayman keeper Albertini Holness for the winner.
“It was a very competitive game, both teams played very well,” said Modoo.”On the defensive end, we had some ups and downs but we came out with a win.”
Grenada will play Haiti on Friday (26 July, 7:30 p.m.) with Cayman drawing Haiti Sunday (28 July, 7:00 p.m.). Cayman will need a Haiti win and favourable result in their second match in order to advance.
“It is very disappointing,” said Captain Joshewa Frederick. “We put a lot into the past few months, so we feel we should have got more out of that game. We kept possession more than our opponents, but we failed to capitalize. Grenada is a lot bigger than us, but we fought.”
The Cayman Islands stepped in as host of Group C pool play when Haiti was unable to do so. Suriname was slated to compete but failed to participate. Other CONCACAF nations having already qualified for the next round of play are St. Kitts and Nevis from Group A, Barbados from Group B and Dominican Republic from Group D.