Team Saint Lucia Goes 2-Up in CONCACAF Nation’s League Tournament ⚽

By Reginald Andrew

Team Saint Lucia outscored their opponents in the last two consecutive matches in a quest for championship glory in this season’s CONCACAF Nations League tournament.

Team 758 striker Jevick Mac Farlane on the offensive
Team 758 striker Jevick Mac Farlane on the offensive

On Sunday, the action continued in League B, Group A of the contest as Team 758 upped its winning record for the season with a well-coordinated 2-nil victory over Saint Kitts/Nevis at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG].

Following a hard-fought goalless session at the interval, the home team struck early in the second half as Gregson President drove in a shot from close range in the 49th minute to give Team 758 the lead.

With Saint Lucia in command and enjoying most of the offensive play, in the 75th minute, Ridel Stanislas slotted in from the left flank into the far corner for a 2-0 win.

Saint Kitts /Nevis goalkeeper Julani Archibald kept things scoreless with a stop at the far post in the 40’ as right back Alvinus Myers looked connected with Ridel Stanislas.

Saint Lucia goalkeeper Vino Barclett also came up with a crucial save in the 49 minute to deny Keithroy Freeman at the far post.

President opened the scoring with his footwork inside the box on the other end to take the lead for the home side just seconds after the Barclett save.

Stanislas extended the lead for Saint Lucia in the 75 minute with a long-distance chip from left field that bounced off the far post.

Barclett came up with another big stop in the 81st minute to deny the visitors a chance to cut the deficit. Seconds later, Archibald was asked to make another save to impede the counter-attack on the other end of the field.

The victory puts Saint Lucia in first place on goal difference with home and away encounters against Guadeloupe in October. Saint Kitts and Nevis will also play home and then away next month with Sint Maarten as its opponent.

Last Thursday (September, 8) Team Saint 758 defeated Sint Maarten 5-1, at the Stadion Rignaal Jean Fransica, Willemstad, Curacao in an away game to start their campaign.

At the post-match press briefing, Sunday, Team Saint Lucia head coach Stern John said, the squad put on a commendable performance. Nonetheless, moving forward, he noted that the unit needs to strengthen some areas in the overall team structure.

Speaking on the team’s composure and execution of their game plan, John declared: “The guys have been working very well …and physically, we’re probably in the best shape of our lives, because we have a good back-room staff that has been putting in the work and making sure that the guys are fit.”

He added: “We have to be fit to play at this level …and a lot of the players are getting a lot more comfortable on the ball and making play in tight spaces and conditions like that.

“We’re moving the ball from the back and through the lines well. But, if I have to be critical of our performance (on Sunday), I feel we could have done better in the final third (with) a bit more creativity.”

Team Saint Lucia captain Terrel Thomas credits the team play to good coordination among players and tight training procedures.

“We have to work well on the training pitch, pans of plays, keeping our shape and how we want to defend as a team, attack as a team …and there are times we could have done better. But the base of our play as to how we want to defend as a team and attack as a team is there, and these are the fine margins and rounding off the edges to be able to continue (moving) forward.”

Thomas feels that though they will be up against tougher opponents, “We are confident in ourselves and we believe that we can go on to win any game…and we have that belief in the camp and each player has that individual belief within themselves, which is good.”

While enjoying this latest victory against St. Kitts and Nevis, coach John says, the team is aware of taking on a tougher challenge against Guadeloupe, next month.

He noted that the Guadeloupean team is “well organized …and we need to match them and play our football. As long as our players continue to play in the way that we’ve been playing and fighting for Saint Lucia…I feel we’re going to be successful.

“The spirit (of the team) in the game is fantastic, all the players fight for each other no matter what, and credit to the players for keeping up the fight.”

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