(SNO) — USC Aiken forward Aaron Richard scored for Saint Lucia in the 59th minute to earn the national team a second consecutive victory in the Concacaf Under-20 men’s tournament at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA.
Richard, who is an alumnus of Leon Hess Comprehensive, started all three matches in the U20 tournament. He has played on the senior team for the Windward Islands Tournament in 2017.
On the day, he took five shots, two on target. On the goal, he slotted the ball off to Raphael ‘Jardel’ Joseph of Gros Islet, but Bermudan custodian Quinaceo Hunt was able to parry the attempt, only for the rebound to fall back into Richard’s path.
Leading a backline missing England-based Joshua Solomon-Davies (presumably through injury) Dillon Fannis had perhaps his best game, using his physicality to his advantage and helping Saint Lucia stay even with their Atlantic opponents in successful tackles, but his defensive partners, Sebastien Ribot and Hakeem Jardel Harrow, were equally staunch, Ribot leading Saint Lucia in successful passes.
Based on the 2017 Concacaf U20 ranking, the most recent posted by the regional governing body, Saint Lucia is 23rd and Bermuda 14th in the region. This win for the young Pitons, therefore, ranks as an upset. But they must pull off the biggest upset of all on Friday to escape the group stage.
With two wins, Saint Lucia remains third in the group only on goal difference, behind Haiti, who beat them 1-0, and Costa Rica, the unbeaten group leaders, whom Saint Lucia must beat by eight goals in their final match this Friday in order to win the group and move on to the playoffs.