Jamaica, Grenada draw blank in CFU U-14 Challenge Series

Sunday, August 19, 2018

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Jamaica and Grenada battled to a 0-0 result on their Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Boys' Under -14 Challenge Cup at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex yesterday.

In the curtain-raiser, Barbados whipped British Virgin Islands (BVI) 4-0 courtesy of goals by Zachary Applewhite (25th), Khimani Cox (46th), Jonathan Sealy (52nd), and Khalil Vanderpool-Nurse (65th).

The result propelled Barbados to the top of the five-team group with three points, two ahead of both Jamaica and Grenada on a point each. BVI are pointless while Suriname is the other team in the competition.

Jamaica were clearly the dominant team but were limited to few goalscoring opportunities. in fact, they got the ball into the back of the net in the final minute of the 70-minute encounter but it was ruled offside.

Substitute Kevaughn Wilson — the son of former national player Kevin “Pele” Wilson — came on in the 44th minute but was fouled just at the edge of the box. He however picked himself up and curled a beauty into the net.

For a moment it seemed like déjà vu as his father, some 24 years ago, made his debut for Jamaica's senior team as a 17-year-old and scored against Norway inside National Stadium. However, young Wilson's fairytale debut for his country was not to be as referee Nikolai Nyron ruled the goal offside.

Jamaica's coach Aaron Lawrence, who beckoned to Wilson to take the free kick, was not too pleased with the result but acknowledged the importance of such a tournament.

”We were moving the ball too slow side to side and we didn't have much of the penetration passes, that's why the game ended up like this. We didn't capitalise on our chances but we can't kill them, they are 13- and 14-year-olds and we just have to work with them and continue to grow this team,” said Lawrence.

Grenada, under the watchful eyes of their technical director Jamaican Vin Blaine, did not offer much in attack but showed enough steel to earn a point. They celebrated the point like they actually won.

Head Coach Gerald Alexander said it was a very good encounter and, as expected, a tough one against the host.

“It was a great job over 70 minutes and we are pleased with it. Our next game is on Wednesday against Barbados and taking from this game I don't see us going backward, and we should do well in the next game,” said Alexander.

The tournament is a development one in which every player must play at least 60 minutes throughout the four scheduled games.

The competition continues tomorrow, with Suriname taking on Barbados at 2:00 pm before Jamaica tackle BVI at 4:00 pm at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on the Mona Campus.

— Howard Walker

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