Saint Lucia’s national senior men’s football team fell 2-1 to Antigua-Barbuda on Wednesday night in their opening fixture of the Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup semi-finals.
Played at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago, the match kicked off just after 6pm. Saint Lucia enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, and eventually got the go-ahead goal with four minutes remaining in the first half. Trinidad & Tobago-based fullback Kurt Frederick took full advantage of a free kick awarded about 25m out and from the left side of the Antiguan goal.
Moving up a whopping 69 slots in the September rankings, Antigua-Barbuda (80th in the world) found themselves ahead of Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominican Republic, and of course Saint Lucia. So it should have been no surprise that The Benna Boys would begin to mount a comeback, attacking relentlessly and creating several decent chances.
Kieran Murtaugh tied the scores up at one apiece in the 73rd minute, and after 90 minutes had elapsed, the deadlock was still firmly in place. But both teams had the opportunity to embark on dangerous attacks in time added on, and it was Antigua-Barbuda’s attacks that paid off, Josh Parker getting the winning goal and leaving Saint Lucia facing an uphill climb in this tough semi-final group.
Wednesday evening’s loss was Saint Lucia’s third to Antigua-Barbuda since 2008. The previous two losses, though, were 1-6 and 0-5. In 2004, Saint Lucia beat The Benna Boys 2-1 for their third straight win against that team. The two have now met six times in international competition.
Antigua-Barbuda returns to action on Friday evening against Dominican Republic, whilst Saint Lucia will go up against home team Trinidad & Tobago.