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U17 Girls hold Cuba to a goalless draw in CONCACAF Championships

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Caitlin Padmore (#10) battles Cuba's Borges Gattorno (#4) for possession.

Barbados held Cuba to a goalless draw in their second group D match of the CONCACAF Under-17 World Cup qualifiers at the Leonora Track and Field Facility in Guyana last night.

This was a shocking result for Cuba who dominated the game entirely but failed to finish any of their numerous chances.

Cuba’s striker Aldana Tamayo and right winger Elianne Valdes Sarmiento were the chief culprits in squandering goals last night. Tamayo displayed excellent ball control and dribbled past the Bajan defence on numerous occasions but couldn’t produce the deadly strike at goal. Valdes Sarmiento combined well with her team-mates with deft one-two passes to get in behind Barbados defence but the narrative of the night was poor finishing for the Cubans.

In the 63rd minute Aaliyah Boyce of Barbados received a yellow card for a foul within the penalty area which the Cubans failed to convert. That penalty would’ve been enough to defeat the Bajans who didn’t trouble Cuba’s goal for the entire match but winger Valdes Sarmiento hit the right of the cross-bar to leave the scorecard untouched.

The first half of the game was slightly more competitive with Barbados being more attacking but they were broken down many times, even before they reached the final third, resulting in zero attempts at Cuba’s keeper, Acea Rodriguez’s goal.

Barbados employed a clear defensive tactic in the second half having at least 7-8 players shielding their goalkeeper, Shontee Broomes, for almost the entire period. This resulted in their striker, Caitlin Padmore, being alone at the top and despite her physical advantage; she was dispossessed before a dangerous play ensued in almost all of the instances.

As the time expired late in the second half, Barbados, who enjoyed a huge 5-1 victory against the inexperienced Guyana Lady Jags, fully parked the bus on the Cubans with as much as ten girls defending. Despite that, Cuba’s skipper, Amanda Baeza Dominguez, managed to get in behind the Bajans’ defence in the 87th minute and was one on one with Shontee Broomes (Barbados goalkeeper) but yet again, Cuba failed to convert an excellent opportunity. That was the last chance that Cuba had as the match finished as a stalemate.

At the post match presser, Barbados assistant coach, Gabriella Lopes, related that, “It was a good game for us…We’re very happy with the draw.”

While Cuba’s coach Lazaro Ruiz Alfonso stated, “It was a good game in which we dominated but domination don’t win games, goals do.”

Cuba, who are arguably the strongest team in the group, will have to defeat Guyana’s Lady Jags by 5 goals or more to qualify for the next round when they clash in the final Group D match on Sunday at the Leonora Track and Field Facility.

Adapted from kaieteurnewsonline.com

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