(ABOVE) Barbados poses for a team photo before squaring off against visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines in an international friendly on March 6, 2015, in Bridgetown.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados opened the first of its two-game friendly series against St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) with a 3-1 win on Friday night in rainy conditions at the National Stadium.
Goals by Kemar Headley (16’), Jamaal Chandler (21’) and Jomo Harewood (64’) – on his international debut -- gave the Barbadians a 3-0 lead, before Chavel Cunningham netted a consolation goal for the visitor off brilliant free kick from 30 yards.
SVG head coach Cornelius Huggins, whose team was reduced to nine players after the ejections of Reginald Richardson (8’) and Myron Samuel (40’), lamented the performance, blaming inexperience and nerves for the defeat.
“My team didn’t show up today,” said Huggins. “We didn’t play in our style. We didn’t play our brand of football. Barbados were quicker to the ball than us and they were more aggressive than us. I thought we didn’t show up as a team.
“Some of the guys were a bit nervous as it as their first time on the national team. We’re in a rebuilding process and we have about 11 guys now getting their first national cap, so that could have been a major factor.”
Huggins said the sending off of Samuels was a major turning point.
“Playing with a man down and then you go another man down, especially [losing] a guy like Myron, I thought that pushed us back quite a bit,” he added. “At the end, the guys showed a lot of character and fighting spirit.”
Barbados’ technical director Marcos Falopa was understandably pleased with his side’s outing, especially its resolve on a wet pitch.
“We did quite well in this game,” the Brazilian noted. “It was a lot of team work. It was not beautiful football because the ground was difficult. Our players were very intelligent. We put the ball on the ground and created situations to win the game.”
The two teams meet again on Sunday night at the same venue.