Black Immigrant Daily News
Barbados Under 17 men’s football team had a rough start to their Concacaf Under 17 Championship in Antigua, Guatemala.
Last night at the Estadio Pensativo the young Tridents were defeated 5-0 by the United States of America in their opening Group B encounter of the competition.
Barbados’ goalkeeper Jireh Malcolm’s heroic display was marginally surpassed by the hat-trick performance from US attacking midfielder Cruz Medina.
The San Jose Earthquakes player gave his country a healthy lead at the top of the table, after North American counterparts Canada defeated Canada 3-2 in the earlier group encounter.
Medina’s first goal came in the 25th minute.
United States was awarded a penalty by Jamaican referee Okeito Nicholson and the resulting spot kick was taken by Medina. His creative effort was saved by Malcolm but American forward Ezeikiel Soto reacted quickest to the rebound and passed the ball to an unmarked Medina to score from close range.
Medina doubled his tally in the 43rd minute to send USA 2-0. He took advantage of the free space and retreating defenders, then unleashed a powerful right foot shot from 30 yards, which flew by Malcolm’s hands.
The Tridents produced a spirited display in the second period, and held their more experienced opponents goalless up until the 86th minute.
Unites States hat-trick hero Cruz Medina (photo courtesy Soccerwire)
Substitute, Liverpool FC Academy forward Keyral Figueroa headed in Brian Romero’s right-sided cross.
Taha Habroune came off the bench to score USA’s fourth goal, when he headed in Medina’s in swinging cross from the left in the 89th minute.
David Vazquez provided an easy pass for Medina to complete his hat trick, with an easy tap-in from six yards.
A tough baptism for the Tridents, but a credible effort, with all variables considered.
Barbados will take on Canada tomorrow at 6 pm.
Starting 11: Jireh Malcolm; Micaiah Clarke, Ajani Banton, Warren Trotman, Kamari Johnson; Shamari Harewood, Ronan Lee, Joshua Husbands, Amego Jordan, Christian Gill; Rovaldo Massiah
Subs used: Zachari Yard, Ephraim Gill, Kairos Greaves, James Moore, Che Millington