Action from the Scotibank CFU Men's Caribbean Cup match between host Grenada and Puerto Rico (white jersey) on June 1, 2016, in St. George's. (Photo courtesy of the Grenada Football Association)
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada -- It all started so positively for Grenada on Wednesday.
The Spice Boys had a two-goal lead on Puerto Rico inside of 30 minutes and a three-goal advantage eight minutes later in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup second-round opener at the Grenada Athletics Stadium.
Hector Ramos then pulled one back for the visitors from the penalty spot one minute before halftime and the game changed when the teams emerged from the locker room as Grenada conceded twice more. Olvin Ortiz equalized with two minutes left in normal time and then Puerto Rico gained all three points, ultimately winning on penalty kicks, 4-3.
“In the first half we created, we scored the three goals and just before the half we conceded a goal,” said Grenada head coach Andrew Munro. “In the second half, we didn’t stick to our game plan. We lost our concentration and allowed them to come back and equalize the game.”
It was a bitter pill to swallow, as well as a harsh lesson learned.
“It’s tough that we lost, but we lost our concentration for a long period,” Munro remarked. “We have to learn to play for 90 minutes. Sometimes we played well and sometimes we didn’t, but we have to concentrate and play the game for 90 minutes.”
Shavon John-Brown scored the opening two goals for Grenada. The 21-year-old forward, who competes for Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse, New York, is one part of a promising young group that includes Goshen College’s defender/midfielder Ethan Francois-Ravalier and midfielder Chad Mark of local side Boca Juniors.
“He’s a good young player,” Munro said of John-Brown. “He scored two goals for us. He’s one of our young, talented players. He still needs to concentrate more, but the whole team does.”
While Munro still rues the home setback to Puerto Rico, preparations for a June 7 encounter at Antigua & Barbuda are in full swing.
“We have to concentrate for 90 minutes, have confidence and play for the 90 minutes instead of panic,” finished Munro. “We have to go there and play our football for more than one half. We have to play both halves with high intensity.”