VI loses to French Guiana in Caribbean Cup

BVI National Football team. Photo credit: Charlie Jackson

BVI National Football team. Photo credit: Charlie Jackson

As the qualifying rounds for the 2015 Gold Cup got underway on Friday May 30, 2014, Virgin Islands faced French Guiana in Group Two, hosted by Aruba and were downed 6-0.

The game played on the Astroturf surface at the Complejo Deportivo Guillermo Prospero Trinidade, Oranjestad, saw the VI concede a first half penalty, but otherwise match their taller and seemingly stronger physically opponents.

However in the second half with a lack of match fitness beginning to show and a spate of minor injuries upsetting the team’s rhythm, the VI conceded five more goals and looked a tired, relieved group when the final whistle blew.

The injury problems ahead of Sunday night’s game against the host, Aruba, include Troy Caesar (minor concussion), Gregory James (instep bruising), Joel Fahie (ankle), and Chris Telemaque (groin).

“We didn’t get any warm up games,” lamented Coach Avondale Williams. “The players have been outplayed by height and body strength, we were pushed off the ball too easily, but will learn from this and come back strong.”

The VI did create themselves a few chances and showed that when they got the ball to feet and passed it around, then they were a threat to the opposition.

The competition will once again decide several teams that will qualify for CONCACAF’s showpiece event and, on this occasion, one which will obtain an automatic berth to the Centennial America Cup 2016. The champion of the 2015 Gold Cup will then participate in a play-in match against the 2013 champion United States for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Cuba is the defending champion, capturing it’s first-ever title two years ago by topping Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in the final. Both sides advanced to the Gold Cup along with Haiti and Martinique.