It was déjà vu for local football fans on Saturday night as they watched Costa Rica slip a 2-0 victory past the young Bajan Tridents in their opening game at this year’s Concacaf Under-20 Championships.
Playing with seven players who all have senior national team experience, it was not enough to land Barbados a goal on the scorecard at IMG Soccer Stadium.
The local lads did well in the first half to keep the Costa Ricans at bay, despite not being able to get out of their half and allowing for the opponents to have the greater ball possession. However, it was enough to cause their opponents to reset on numerous occasions, forcing the Costa Ricans, who were fresh off a 5-0 victory to Bermuda, to play the ball mainly on the outside.
While the game started slow, Costa Rica was a level up on their fitness and quickly shut down the Bajans, even when Paradise midfielder took the team’s first corner kick of the night in the 42nd minute, which failed to score. Applewhaite again, although having the goalkeeper Kevin Chamorro beat and being able to clear the wall off the free kick three minutes later, was unable to convert, ending the first half 0-0.
The break seemed to be all the Costa Ricans needed as within less than five minutes into the second half, a header by forward Jurguens Montenegro saw captain Diego Mesen finish with a lob past keeper Liam Brathwaite on the left side and into the back of the nets.
The game came abruptly to a halt for about five minutes when the sprinklers erupted, soaking the entire near side of the turf making it extremely slick for play.
After resumption, Brathwaite all but gift-wrapped a penalty for the opposition in the 81st minute when midfielder Ronaldo Araya deposited his penalty flawlessly into the back of the nets, landing his third goal of the tournament.
From there it was no return for the Tridents as the frustration piqued, even with substitutions in forward Dishon “Eto” Howell and midfielder Niall Reid-Stephens. A long shot by defender Sheran Hoyte in the 89th appeared to be what Barbados needed to get their heads back in the game, but that too was stopped by Chamorro who was quick on the draw all night.
Despite their best efforts, Barbados failed to capitalise and get on the scorecard as the final whistle blew, and the Bajan Tridents left the pitch with disappointment etched across their faces.
During the post-game interview, captain Kaeson Trench said the team would regroup, stay focus and try harder in their upcoming match against St Lucia on Monday.