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WINDWARD ISLANDS WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Battle Of The Saints Tonight

Image: Team Saint Lucia set to play Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at 8.00 p.m. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

It’s the “Battle of the Saints” this evening (Thursday 4th June) when Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and host Saint Lucia play each other  from 8.00 p.m. in the second encounter of the 2019 Windward Islands Women’s football tournament hosted by the Saint Lucia Football Association Inc.

The four nation tournament is currently taking place at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground (DSCG) in Beausejour.

Image: Team Saint Lucia set to play Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at 8.00 p.m. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)
Team Saint Lucia set to play Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at 8.00 p.m. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

From 6.00 p.m. Grenada takes on Dominica in a must win situation for either team if they are to keep their championship hopes alive following Tuesday evening’s defeat at the hands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia.

On the opening night (Tuesday 2nd June) defending champion Grenada went down to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1- 0, while host Saint Lucia came from a 1- 0 deficit to defeat Dominica 3-2.

In Game 1, following a tentative start, Grenada came into their own and despite pressuring their opponents was unable to find the back of the net. They were also thwarted by some fine saves from the Vincentian goalkeeper.

Image of Defending champions Grenada. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)
Defending champions Grenada. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

In the 30th minute Grenada was rewarded with a free kick just outside the 18 yard box, with the resulting kick ricocheting off the cross bar to be cleared by the defence.

Five minutes later, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was on the receiving end of a free kick about 30 yards out on the left flank. The right curling kick was barely tipped by the keeper off the cross bar for a corner kick.

The well taken corner landed at the feet of a Vincentian player whose right booter rebounded off the cross bar to be cleared away.

Grenada in a counter attack seemed to have forged ahead, only for the goal to be ruled offside by the Referee. The Grenadians were later presented with another opportunity, but once again the Vincentian goalkeeper saved the night as the half ended 0 – 0.

On the resumption Saint Vincent and the Grenadines displayed more determination on the pitch and their perseverance paid off when KristianeWilkie put them ahead in the 50th minute.

Image: (L-R) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)
(L-R) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

With 30 plus minutes left in the game, the defending champions went on the offensive and once again saw two fine saves by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines goalkeeper denying them the equalizer.

Seconds before the end of play the Vincentian goalkeeper was again called into play when she pulled off another magnificent save at the sound of the final whistle to give her team a 1 – 0 victory.

A crowd close to 300 fans watched the second game between Dominica and host Saint Lucia. Before the home team could settle down they found themselves trailing 1 – 0, courtesy of a goal in the second minute of play by Sherzelle Phillip.

Being 1 – 0 down, the Saint Lucian women soon got into their stride with overseas based Kayla Lionel scoring the equalizer in the 18th minute.

Saint Lucia continued taking the game to their opponents and was rewarded with the second goal from the boots of Ilana Lashley in the 39th minute, and that’s how the scoreline remained up until the halftime whistle.

Image: A section of the crowd in support of Team Saint Lucia.
A section of the crowd in support of Team Saint Lucia.

Four minutes into the second half, the Dominicans found the much needed equalizer in the 49th minute with a goal by Kylee Bertram.

The score now level at 2-2, the Saint Lucian team continued to take the fight to their opponents despite some resistance. It was soon 3-2 as captain Ellaisia Marquis, leading from the front, scored from a soaring corner kick which eluded the Dominican custodian to land in the back of the net in the 59th minute.

Thirty one minutes left in the game, the Dominican women kept on pressing their opponents but stout defending by the Saint Lucia defence coupled with some fine saves by their goalkeeper, kept them in the hunt.

On a counter attack Saint Lucia had the opportunity to put away their opponents in the closing minutes of the game, but to no avail.

When the final whistle went it was a relieved and jubilant Saint Lucia team who were basking in their 3 – 2 victory.

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