The Cayman Islands Boys Under-15s wrapped up play at the CONCACAF Boys Under-15 Championships finishing third overall in group play, while scoring a key draw against a tough opponent on the final day of play in Bradenton, Florida.
Entering the final day of group play Thursday (8 April) with a win over Bahamas and a scoreless draw with Nicaragua Cayman needed to place in the top two of the four-team group to move onto the knockout stage.
However, Cayman would lose 2-0 to Guyana and settle for a consolation game the next day versus Belize.
“I am extremely proud of the boys,” said Coach Lovane Joven.
“This was the only game we lost. A win could have put us in a better position to advance, but we didn’t unfortunately. We made two mistakes in the game. On the first goal, the right back was caught ball watching, let the guy run in on the back post, and we paid the price. On second goal, we failed to trap running off the ball off of a set piece. We were in the wall, and the ball came over, a guy moved, and no one trapped him, and he put in the fumble off the keeper,” Lovane said.
“We had a few bad chances against us, but we didn’t put away our chances,” he said.
On Friday, Cayman would draw 1-1 with Belize, but Coach Joven said a few errors kept the team from knocking off the higher-ranked Jaguars.
“We definitely showed a lot of courage, strength and character,” said Joven. “We went up 1-0. We had our chances, but didn’t put them away. Again, the last three minutes, we went to sleep. Someone slipped in the middle and equalized. Belize played well, showed a lot of character, and pressed us but our keeper came up big.”
Coach Joven praised his goalkeepers, specifically Andrea Tognazzi, who was impressive throughout the tournament.
“Andrea held up tremendously well,” said Joven. “Charles Ebanks, our second goalkeeper, also played well, but he had a nagging injury and he sat out the last game. Overall, it was a job well done by the boys,” said Joven. “They held their heads high, and fought until the end.”