It may be a week since Cayman’s U17 girls made history but much of the island is still enthused.
Among the community members who continue to bask in the glow of the island’s best football team is Minister of Sports the Hon. Mark Scotland.
Scotland congratulated the team on their momentous achievement two weekends ago.
‘By becoming the first-ever national football team to make it to the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, they have firmly played their way into the history books,’ he said.
Cayman accomplished the feat after tying the Dominican Republic 1-1 at the TE McField Stadium in George Town.
Due to the fact that Cayman drew level with the country 2-2 back in Santo Domingo earlier this month Cayman advanced on aggregate based on away goals.
With the result the youngsters pushed on into the second stage of qualifying for the CONCACAF region of the U17 Girls World Cup.
The U17 team is the first squad, male or female, of any age level to make it past the first round in World Cup qualifying.
Scotland gave his feelings on the epic draw in front of the Cayman fans.
‘It was a nail-biting match but their hard work, dedication and perseverance certainly paid off.
‘I applaud Coach Bobby McLaren and the Cayman Islands Football Association Women’s technical director Thiago Cunha for standing by their team through thick and thin and for teaching the players to compete with enthusiasm and win with grace.
‘I also commend the association for always demonstrating an unwavering belief in our young football players.’
Scotland has been involved in local football for years and has seen many good footballers.
As he states the success of the U17 girls validates Cayman being a competitive football nation.
‘Above all, the weekend’s win proves once again that Cayman’s athletes have the talent and resolve to make their mark on the sports arena, both locally and further afield.
‘I wish the team the best of luck in all their future games as they are heading to the CONCACAF Under 17 women’s championships next March in Costa Rica.
‘Let us all support them as they prepare with this event, especially as they will be up against the defending champions, the United States, hosts Costa Rica, and Haiti.’