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(SNO) — Goals from Keegan Caul and Jahlil Evans gave Saint Lucia Under 15 a 2-0 win over Puerto Rico in a friendly football encounter on Thursday at the Sab Playing Facility in Vigie, Castries.
Caul, who has been prolific at youth level, took his chance well in the 37th minute of the fixture, the third leg in a Puerto Rico tour of the Eastern Caribbean. Saint Lucia had beaten the unincorporated American island territory in 2018 at the Under-14 level.
This time around, whether due to the pressure of playing at home, or the fierce mid-morning sun, or the fact that Saint Lucia was not necessarily playing its best 11 for the entire match, the win — welcome though it might have been — was ragged.
Saint Lucia’s technical staff conceded after the match that a lot of work was still to be done, with regard to fitness, tactics, and the way individual players approached the game.
In the event, the home team, in front of a surprising number of fans, given time at which this game was scheduled, underwhelmed somewhat. They created a half dozen chances in the first period, but only Caul’s marker separated the sides at the midway mark, prompting head coach Cassim ‘Vaso’ Louis to share some stern words with his charges at the half.
But with mass changes at the break, the second half was perhaps less productive still. Players with the ball tended to invite multiple tackles, more often than not a prelude to losing possession. Meanwhile, players off the ball rarely sought to find themselves in advantageous positions, watching the ball carrier instead. Relatively few chances were made.
Evans, the captain, was in the thick of things in the second half, but he was one of those who probably took too much on himself, in search of a goal. The goal eventually came late, when he bullied his way into the box, and bundled the ball past the Hispanic custodian.
The Saint Lucia Football Association Inc. hopes to arrange more friendlies for the U15 team. One hopes that they will be able to furnish a sterner test than the Puerto Ricans, and that Saint Lucia will be able to respond accordingly.