January 24, 2022

Cayman Islands Under 15s finish tournament undefeated

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CONCACAF Under 15 Boys Championships : IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida
August 13th – 19th, 2017

The Cayman Islands Under 15 Boys’ National Football finished undefeated in the 2017 CONCACAF Under 15 Boys’ Championships with a 2-0 shutout of Antigua & Barbuda on Friday, August 18 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Brimming with confidence after dispatching Aruba, Bonaire and Saint Martin, the local boys were certainly aware that Antigua & Barbuda would present a much tougher challenge.

Antigua & Barbuda had advanced to meet the Cayman Islands as they had seen-off the three countries in their opening group.

In their final group game against Saint Martin, the Cayman Islands had seized the upper hand very early and this contest would be no different.

In the 5th minute, Jahmai Griffiths received a perfectly flighted ‘over-the-top’ pass from Barry-Dre Tibbetts. Young Griffiths settled the ball onto his favourite right foot, drove at the defence and unleashed a low, hard drive that left the Antiguan goal keeper with no chance.

With the early lead, the local boys maintained the upper hand with some slick passing and possession. Antigua had no other option than to chase the ball.

The Cayman Islands’ domination of the first half showed in the stats – 13 shots at goal with nine on target. This domination finally paid off in the 30th minute as Jahmai Griffiths grabbed his and his team’s second goal of the day.

Working the ball down the left flank, Gunnar Studenhofft drove to the endline and sent an enticing ball into the Antiguan penalty area ultimately alluding all the defenders but finding his right winger Griffiths. Griffiths met Studenhofft’s ‘gift’ perfectly and sent it soaring into the upper corner of the net to extend the Cayman lead.

Antigua was in total disarray and were rescued from further damage by the half time whistle.

Cayman started the second half slowly as Antigua pressed for a goal. Cayman’s goal keeper Theo Whiteside was called into action for the first time in the 37th minute when he rushed out to thwart an Antiguan attack. His quick thinking and reflexes saved a certain goal.

Antigua’s persistence finally paid off in the 40th minute when Cayman’s central defender Tommy Kehoe was judged to have pushed an Antiguan forward following a melee in the area from a corner kick and a penalty was awarded for the local boys’ opponents.

Up stepped Antigua’s penalty taker but his low drive struck the base of the right post and bounced to safety.

With players tiring, substitutes Jackson Kirkconnell replaced Jonah Sigsworth, Jahrion Bodden came on for Ciaron Haylock, Kameron Bennett entered the field for Corey Smith and David Pitcairn replaced Daniel Wallace.

Cayman had a few more chances to increase their lead in the second half while Antigua slowly grew into the game. Lapses in concentration presented Antigua with a number of half-chances but their poor finishing was their downfall.

The local boys were allowing Antigua too much possession in midfield but central defenders Luke Byles and Tommy Kehoe showed their class with a few timely and essential challenges.

With a few minutes left and victory within their grasp, midfield stalwart Barry-Dre Tibbetts capped off an excellent tournament with an inspiring last few minutes as he orchestrated a ‘session in possession’.

As the final whistle sounded, the Cayman Islands players fell to the ground with elation. They had done what they had set out to do – undefeated with four wins out of four.

Reported by:
Neil Murray
Chairman, CIFA Youth Committee
[email protected]

Photo:
Two-goal hero Jahmai Griffiths powers down the right wing during the Cayman Islands’ final game against Antigua. Cayman won the game 2-0.

Related:

Benna Youths in limbo following CONCACAF loss

By Neto Baptiste From Antigua Observer

The Antigua & Barbuda national under-15 football team will have to wait before knowing whether or not they will advance to Division II of the CONCACAF Under-15 Championships being held in Bradenton, Florida, following a 2-0 loss to Cayman Islands on Friday.

The loss came following the Benna Youths’ clean sweep of the group phase where they won all three of their matches without conceding a goal.

To have advanced outright into Division II, however, the Antigua & Barbuda team would have had to beat the Cayman Islands who had also won their Division III group.

Given the loss, the young Antiguans will have to await confirmation from the organisers on if they will play in Division II two years from now, given their success in the group stage.

Coach Schyan Jeffers, commending his team for the way they played after going down 2-0 in the first half, said had they put away chances they created in the second half, the results could have been different.

“In the second half we outplayed them. We had a couple of chances, also missed a penalty and just couldn’t find the back of the net so we were very unlucky in the second half,” he said.

“We made two mistakes in the first half and we paid dearly and there was no doubt about it that we were outplayed [in the first half] but I think we came back strong and sometimes it’s just not your day,” Jeffers added.

Antigua had enjoyed group wins against Grenada, St Martin and Dominica. They beat Grenada 5-0, before defeating St Martin 2-0 and clinching a 1-0 victory over Dominica.

For more on this story go to: https://antiguaobserver.com/benna-youths-in-limbo-following-concacaf-loss/

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