The Cayman Islands Under-15 Boys’ National Football team secured top spot in Group G at the 2017 CONCACAF Under-15 Boys Championships with a 4-0 win over Saint Martin on Wednesday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The local boys kicked off their final Group G game under dark and gloomy skies as a torrential rain storm soaked the sprawling sports complex before kickoff, a press release states.
The downpour “was a good luck charm,” the press release states, as the Cayman team was awarded a penalty in the first minute when Jahmai Griffiths was fouled in the Saint Martin penalty area chasing a through ball. The Cayman team then fell into their possession game, with Saint Martin resigned to chasing the game.
Cayman’s goalkeeper Theo Whiteside was largely untroubled throughout the game as the defense, marshalled by Luke Byles and including Tommy Kehoe, Micah O’Garro and Daniel Wallace, was exceptional.
In the 30th minute, Jahrion Bodden scored when he hit a 25-yard screamer past the outstretched arms of the Saint Martin goalkeeper.
A minute before half time, Corey Smith raced onto a through ball and blasted his team into a 3-0 lead.
As with their previous game against Bonaire, the coaching staff decided to make a number of substitutions, with Victor Thompson Jr., David Pitcairn, Kameron Bennett, Jonah Sigsworth, Jaden Ebanks and Gunnar Studenhofft.
Barry-Dre Tibbetts and Jackson Kirkconnell worked in the midfield to create numerous opportunities for players around them. Kirkconnell masterminded the team’s fourth goal as he played a through ball to Studenhofft, who placed his effort neatly into the corner of the Saint Martin net.
In other action, Sigsworth and Thompson came close to finding the back of the net. Tibbetts blasted a shot off the crossbar, and Micah O’Garro was flagged for off-side after he thought he had added to his team’s goal tally. With time winding down, the local boys returned to their passing game and played out the final few minutes to secure top spot in Group G with three wins out of three.
The Cayman Islands face Group H winners Antigua & Barbuda on Friday, Aug. 18, in their final tournament game.