The Sugar Boys delivered a valiant effort in their Concacaf Nations League Match on Sunday against Canada at the Warner Park Football stadium, but fell 1-0 to the visiting side. Atiba Hutchison, scored a header in the latter stages of the first half to give Canada the lead, which they held on to the very end. The Sugar Boys began the match on the front foot, creating two early chances to the put the ball in the back of the net. Whenever Canada got a break, the defenders worked hard to snuff out any chances and avert the danger. Up until Canada scored, St. Kitts and Nevis was well in the game and put up a good fight to the Canadians. In the second half, the home side was a bit more tempered and the home side was not as aggressive as in the first half, but still displayed an attitude that it wanted to get something out of the game, considering that the winner would eventually qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup next year.
After the match, Coach Jacques Passy told the media that he was proud of the performance of his players despite the loss, as they stood up to one of the best sides in Concacaf and only lost 1-0. “We are playing against the best team in the tournament. That’s very clear. Ballou Tabla who started the game plays in Barcelona, Alphonso Davies has been hired by Bayern Munich, Atiba Hutchinson played with Besiktas in the Champions League, the goalkeeper just kept a clean sheet last week against Liverpool,” he explained. “You have to understand that nothing went wrong, we just played against a very good team,” he added. Coach Passy said he is confident that the team will play some preparatory friendly games between now and their next Nations League match against Suriname in March next year. He is also confident that the team will still qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup. “The team is looking better every day. We conceded our first and only goal in the tournament right now. We kept two clean sheets—one goal in three games. We are a team that will qualify (for the Gold Cup),” Coach Passy contended.
Meanwhile, for Canada, the win means they have qualified for the Gold Cup, which according to Technical Assistant and Goal keeper coach Simon Eddy, is the first step in achieving their objectives with this side. “For a start, we were very resilient. As a group, we have worked as hard as we have worked probably in difficulty conditions against a very good side. St. Kitts are a good team. So (we showed) great resilience and fantastic individual performances as well, particular the goal in the first half,” Eddy noted.
St. Kitts and Nevis can still qualify for the Gold Cup, as the Sugar Boys have one more match in the qualifying stage of the Nations League. They next face Suriname away on March 23, 2019 and a win there would certainly book their spot in the Gold Cup. Qualifying for the Gold Cup would be historic as it would be the first time the Federation would qualify for the tournament. With Sunday’s match now ended, Premier League Club football locally returns to the Warner Park this weekend.