Bodden Town FC defeated the Fiji Under-20 national team 3-0 to register their first win of the Ocean Football Confederation President’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.
Goals from Ricoh Brown (29th), Theron Wood (53rd) and Jonathan Ebanks (64th) handed the reigning Cayman Islands Premier League Champions a hard-fought victory on Sunday over a talented Fijian side, headed to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Bodden Town would end up with a fifth place finish in the tournament.
In his best game of the tournament, Brown opened the scoring for Bodden Town. Against the run of play, Brown got on the end of an errant back pass and slotted the ball past Fijian keeper Misiwani Nairube from outside the 18-yard area. Wood doubled the score in the second half, capping off a counter attack led by Brown on the left attacking side. Brown played a neat pass to Wood, who dribbled past one defender before pushing his left-footed shot past Nairube. Brown orchestrated the third goal as well, playing the cross that Ebanks slotted home to complete the victory.
In his post match interview, captain Ramon Sealy said, “This is what we came here for, we wish we could have done it in the other games, but we are glad that we got the victory today.”
Strengthened by the return of central defender Yefry Calderon, who arrived in the country 24 hours before the final match, and the return of Karl Solomon, who missed the second match with an injury, Bodden Town looked formidable in defense.
“We played our ball that what we can do. The other two games, you saw a bad side of Bodden Town, where we didn’t knock the ball around,” Sealy said. “Today we knocked it around, used our flanks to our abilities and finished our chances, so that was a good result for us.”
Sealy was also crucial for Bodden Town, producing countless reflex saves to keep a clean sheet.
Bodden Town ended the tournament with a 1-1-1 record and finished fifth. They opened the tournament with a goal-less draw against Singapore U-23, before being blanked by Auckland City 9-0 last Friday. The home side was propelled by a hat-trick from Emilianio Tade. Bodden Town started brightly, commanding the early exchanges, punctuated by a Charlo McLean free kick which threatened in the second minute.
One minute later, Auckland and Tade opened their account and started a long night for Bodden Town, who were depleted by injury on a short-handed roster. Tade scored in the 3rd, 44th and 50th minutes as Auckland built a 3-0 halftime advantage. The rest of the goals came from Darren White (45+2), Ryan De Vries (63rd, 90+2), Kohei Matsumoto (66th), Fabrizio Tavano (72nd) and Sam Burfoot (81st). Auckland advanced to the final from Group B to face rivals Amicale FC.
Sealy praised the level of competition offered at the President’s Cup and believes Bodden Town stands to benefit from the experience.
“This tournament showed us our flaws and our weaknesses, we are going to go and work on them. We will improve on our strengths as well, the tournament also showed us other styles which we can incorporate into our own. This was a great tournament for us to come to.”