Men’s National Football team executes a game of guts and pride in CONCACAF Nations League Qualifier

By BVI Football Association

BVI Men’s National Football Team in CONCACAF Qaulifier, Martinique.

The BVI Men’s National Football team had a week to remember in Martinique when they came up against two tough opponents who have historically given them a hard time in the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifier for the Gold Cup.

The BVI team first came up against Suriname Saturday on October 13 and then three days later had to play against a very experienced Martinique team. The Suriname game which started around 4.00pm was played at the Andre Kampervieen stadium while Martinique chose to play their game at their pride and joy, their national football stadium – the Stade Municipal Pierre Aliker multipurpose stadium in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

All scheduled home games for the CONCACAF qualifiers could not be played in the BVI due to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Irma to the football stadium in Greenland.

The Suriname game proved to be a hard one with the talented Stefano Rijssel finding the back of the net in the 23rd minute of play. The BVI men looked good but conceded another goal score by Brian Eshot 2 minutes before the half.

The BVI played good football in the second half until a left boot shot by Donnegy Fer wrong footed the goalkeeper to make the score 3-0. It was the talented Stefano Rijssel who scored in the 75th minute to make the score 4-0 and then a late goal by Ivenzo Comvalius saw the game end 5-0 in favour of Suriname.

Coach Dan Neville knowing his team had another tough encounter in three days from a better Martinique team did not allow the team to focus on the defeat but rather concentrated on the upcoming game and on making adjustments.

Well after 45 minutes of play, the strategy seemed to have worked as the BVI went into the locker room with a nil-nil score line and disappointed French supporters. Credit for the first half was mainly attributed to Ben Chapman who executed three amazing saves in the first half.

The BVI got out done in the second half by a set play which saw Kevin Parsemain put a free kick over the BVI wall and into the top right corner of the net. The rest of the game saw the BVI team play excellent football and with 80 minutes played the BVI stood at 0-1 down, while a restless Martinique crowd were shouting for goals at their national stadium. The chain was broken in the 83rd minute by Mickae Biron, followed by two back to back goals in extra time by Parsemain and Biron, which could only go down to lack of experience by this young BVI team who seemingly relaxed a little too soon before the final whistle.

Coach Dan Neville praised his team for a game of guts and pride, which were it not for the few lapses in concentration late in the game, could easily have ended at a very respectable 0-1.

Coach Dan has also named an 18-man squad in preparation for their upcoming game to include Ben Chapman, Charles Medway, Josh Bertie, Troy Ceasar, James Drury, Tosh Gallimore, Jamie Wilson, Bailey Rowe, Carlos Septus, Leo Forte, Phillip Jules, Phil Nelson, Trevor Peters, Chris Pease, Christian Zavier, Robbie Green, Jordan Johnson and Tyler Forbes.

The BVI team now move onto Anguilla on Friday 16th November where they will play a home game in the CONCACAF Nations League against Bonaire. Their final qualifier game will be against Turks & Caicus next year March 2019.

BVI to participate in CONCACAF Nations League

By BVI Football Association

BVI Football Association President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, Mrs. Julianna Luke (BVIFA General Secretary) and Mr. Avanel Morton (BVIFA Vice President). Photo: BVIFA

The BVI Football Association President, Mr. Andy Bickerton has expressed optimism and confidence following the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League Draw held in Miami, Florida.

The Senior Men’s team will be facing Martinique, Suriname, Bonaire and the Turks and Caicos in the Nations League qualifying rounds, with the first fixture, against Martinique, scheduled for September 18th, 2018.

Further games will follow on October 18th (Suriname) and then an enticing home game against Bonaire on November 18th, before the final game, also at home, features the Turks and Caicos.

“It’s a good draw for us as we are confident we can be competitive in each game, especially the two home games, given we can use the A.O. Shirley Ground,” commented Bickerton.

The CONCACAF Nations League begins in September with a one-off qualifying phase, while the group phase, consisting of three tiered leagues, will kick off in 2019.

The top league will end with a Final to crown the Nations League champion, and the competition will also serve to unify the qualifying path for the region’s national teams to the newly expanded Gold Cup.

League A will contain four groups of three teams. The winners of each League A group will qualify to the CONCACAF Nations League Final Championship, which will determine the champion of the new competition. The teams at the bottom of each League A group will be relegated to League B for the next edition of the tournament.

League B will contain four groups of four teams. The winner of each League B group will be promoted to League A, and the bottom team of each League B group will be relegated to League C for the next edition.

League C will consist of the remaining MAs divided into four groups. The winner of each League C group will be promoted to League B.

The first edition of the CONCACAF Nations League will begin with a one-off CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying phase, which will determine which teams are assigned to each league.

By virtue of having qualified for the Hexagonal Round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Russia 2018, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the United States and Trinidad & Tobago have earned the right to be seeded directly into League A and therefore will not participate in Nations League qualifyiers.