Beach boys fall in first game!
A slow start and two missed opportunities at scoring, can hurt The Bahamas’chances of qualifying for the semifinals of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association(CONCACAF)Beach Soccer Championships, being played in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The senior national men’s soccer team lost its opening match against Costa Rica, 5-2, yesterday. The team is set to play one of the top squads in Group B, the United States, today. Also playing in Group B with The Bahamas are Costa Rica and Guatemala. Over in Group A are Canada, El Salvador, Jamaica and host country Mexico. Only the two top teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, set to start on Saturday. The top two teams at the tournament will qualify for next year’s Beach Soccer World Cup, in Italy.
The United States and Guatemala played yesterday, but result was unavailable up to press time. The Bahamas was on hand to watch that game, in an effort to scope out the offense and defense of the United States, according to head coach Christian Villi.
“The team played well, the only thing was we had a bad start,”said Villi.”We were able to score a couple of goals and come back in the game, but the missed opportunities really hurt us. It was a close game but unfortunately we lost 5-2. Costa Rica played a defensive game against us but I still feel as if we could have won that game. We had our chances but we just didn’t put them away. We had a shot of winning the game early on but we just need to be more serious.”
The two goals scored by The Bahamas came courtesy of Gavin Christie and Leslie St. Fleur, who was the first to put the team on the board. This was the first time The Bahamas had scored at the tournament. A win will also be a part of history for the team, as the squad didn’t win a game at last year’s championships.
Villi said: ”This is just the beginning for the team. They have matured and at one point we had control of the game. We have experience that will help to create plays in tight situations. This is the first game and we have two more games, one tomorrow and the next on Friday against Guatemala.
“We need to win the next two games if we hope to qualify. If we win the next two games we will be in the semifinals. We played last year and didn’t score any goals so that is an improvement, from my point of view. The United States is a very physical team so we hope to use our speed. We think we have a few players who have more speed than their players. The United States is very strong and physical, but they are lacking a little bit of speed. That is going to be our weapon against them.”
The game against the United States is set to start at 3:45 p.m. and can be viewed on the CONCACAF website. Friday’s game, against Guatemala, has a 1:15 p.m. kick-off.