Action from the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier between host St. Kitts & Nevis (red jersey) and Turks & Caicos Islands on March 23, 2015, in Bassaterre. (Photo: SKNVibes.com)
BASSATERRE, St. Kitts & Nevis -- Despite playing a majority of the match with only 10 men, St. Kitts & Nevis earned a 6-2 win over visiting Turks & Caicos Islands in the first leg of their first round CONCACACF qualifying series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Warner Park on Monday night.
Orlando Mitchum scored at the end of each half to lead the host, which lost the services of Mudassa Howe to a straight red card in the 27th minute and saw Zephaniah Thomas miss an early penalty kick.
“We wanted to win by a bigger margin to give our fans something because we haven’t played here for a bit, that would have helped us tremendously going into the second game,” said St. Kitts head coach Jeffrey Hazel. “We could have been a bit more clinical both in defense and attack.”
In an active first half, captain Atiba Harris gave the Kittians a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, finding the far corner off an effort from the right side of the penalty area.
Turks & Caicos fired back four minutes later through Billy Forbes, who struck for his first-ever international goal.
As the half wore on, the Sugar Boys became more threatening on the offensive end and scored twice just before the break as Thrizen Leader and Mitchum found the back of the net in the 43rd and 45th minutes, respectively.
Tishan Hanley made it 4-1 in the 68th minute, before a 72nd minute own-goal by Gerard Williams brought Turks & Caicos back into the match.
Late tallies by Errol O’Laughlin (85’) and Mitchum (89’), however, sealed the victory.
It was St. Kitts’ third win in as many World Cup qualifiers against Turks & Caicos, including 8-0 (home) and 6-0 (away) triumphs in 2000.
The return game is set for Thursday in Providenciales with the series winner advancing to face El Salvador in June.