The Heineken Sunday League is running its own World Cup tournament in Grand Cayman with eight teams competing.
It kicked off with four group matches on Sunday. The weekend’s most impressive result was the Group B game that ended in a 5-1 victory for Honduras over Italy, with Honduras striker Reny Immer Carter turning in a man-of-the-match performance with four goals.
Honduras went close a couple of times at the TE McField Annex before they broke the deadlock midway through the first half after the Italian goalkeeper could only parry a shot to the feet of Carter who made no mistake from 12 yards.
Italy really should have equalized before half-time after the Honduran keeper was penalized for holding onto the ball for too long, but with the goal gaping, the quickly taken indirect free kick was knocked past the post.
A change of Italian goalkeeper at half-time did not make much impact as Carter scored two more by midway to claim his hat-trick, with team-mate Vilely Rodriguez Rojas chipping in to make it 4-0.
Carter added his fourth before Luca Polloni scored a consolation goal late on for the Italians.
Carter said, “I feel really good about scoring four but still feel like my team could do better even though we had a great win.” Carter is in fine shape at the moment having won the inaugural beach football tournament last month with Supermix and picked up the golden boot award after scoring 12 goals in seven matches.
Honduras, like the others, is a team of good amateurs who would like to play in the organized leagues but because of work and family commitments they do not have the time, so this competition is an ideal way of enjoying their football, socializing and keeping fit at the same time.
Honduras play Switzerland in the real World Cup on Wednesday and have an outside chance of going through to the knockout stages if they win and France beat Ecuador.
“We still have a chance …,” Carter said. “I agree, we are physical and it is something we have to work on.”
He was wearing a Brazil shirt but sees Germany or Holland winning the tournament. “What I expect from Brazil, I don’t see it,” the 29-year-old graphic designer said. “Even with home advantage it’s not there. We may improve but I can’t see us in the final.
“Germany have proved to be all round goal poachers and stronger overall.”
The first Group A match at the Annex was between India and Canada and with both teams taking to the field resplendent in their new uniforms, the watching crowd was treated to an entertaining match.
Taking advantage of their bigger physique, the Canadians took the lead when William Firstbrook muscled his way past his marker before knocking the ball home.
Nine minutes after the restart midfielder Dennis Lee’s trusty left foot hit a screamer from outside the box to put Canada two up.
Despite controlling the possession for most of the second half, India made little headway against a strong Canadian defensive line.
Striker Bernado Silveira was looking the likeliest to score for India and would have done so, had his close range shot not been palmed clear on the goal line by a retreating Canadian defender, who was lucky to be shown only a yellow card.
Savio Corneiro hit the resulting penalty straight down the middle to give India hope with eight minutes to play, but despite their best efforts, Canada held firm to win 2-1.
In the Group A match at Ed Bush, Cayman recorded a 3-1 victory to dash the English hopes of a good start to the tournament. James Ebanks tormented England’s defense, scoring twice and causing panic on other occasions with his intelligent running.
Ebanks hit his first from the penalty spot on 13 minutes which was followed by a Giovanni Bush strike on 32 minutes to put Cayman two up at half-time.
Steve Lovell pulled a goal back for England seven minutes after the restart, again from the penalty spot but Ebanks made the game safe when he claimed his brace 10 minutes later to put his side top of Group A. A strong Jamaica side dominated proceedings in their Group B game against Ireland at Ed Bush.
They got off to the perfect start when Raggilow Blake scored early on.
After the break, Jamaica continued to dominate possession and created several opportunities from which they scored another three.
Gabre Dickens scored in the first minute of the second half to deflate the Irish spirit and striker Keigel “Stamma” Atkinson was at his usual clinical best after firing home on 55 minutes.
In the last minute of play, Jamaica’s player-coach Matthew Owens rounded off the scoring to finish the game 4-0 and earn Jamaica top spot of Group B.
With such a forceful display, Jamaica look favorites to pick up the trophy at the competition’s end.
This weekend features Honduras entertaining Ireland, Cayman hosting Canada at the TE McField Annex, Jamaica facing Italy and England clashing with India at Ed Bush.
The weekend’s most impressive result was the Group B game that ended in a 5-1 victory for Honduras over Italy, with Honduras striker Reny Immer Carter turning in a man-of-the-match performance with four goals.