|COB wins first of two against Turks|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Apr 04, 2012
After a scoreless battle in the first half, The College of The Bahamas (COB) men’s soccer team shook off an injury-plagued second half to prevail in their first international friendly yesterday afternoon.
The COB Caribs got second half goals from Audisson Beaubrun and Perry Brooks to hold off the Turks and Caicos under-23 nationals, 2-1, yesterday at COB. It was the first of a mini two-match series against their neighbors to the south. The second match is set for today at COB.
“It was a tough battle, especially in the first half, but the guys stuck in there,” said COB Men’s Soccer Head Coach Vandyke Bethel yesterday. “This is a pretty young squad and they are still learning how to play together. I think that they are going through a phase right now where they are taking too long to do certain things, and that is one of the reasons why we are playing these games. We are trying to get some experience for them,” added Bethel.
The Caribs were definitely the more aggressive team in the first half with a number of shots on goal, but the resilient Turks squad took the match to the Caribs in the second half. They were able to get behind the Caribs’ defense on quite a few opportunities early in the second half, but they couldn’t convert on those chances by putting the ball in the back of the net. Caribs’ goal keeper Richard Roberts came up with a number of saves in the second half to keep the Turks squad off the scoreboard.
“Richie is a senior. This is his last hurrah and he is doing pretty good,” said Bethel yesterday. “He is one of the guys who I can call on, and depend on, and he really stepped up for us today. We had a quite a few players go down today, but Richie kept us in the game with some good saves. Those injured players - we’re going to work on them tonight and get them ready for tomorrow. We’re going to make sure they are properly hydrated and are ready to play tomorrow. We really have a lot of work to do between now and tomorrow. We’re concerned a bit, but thankfully, there are no serious injuries and the guys should be able to go.”
The Caribs finally broke through in the 57th minute yesterday as Beaubrun took advantage of a misplayed ball by the Turks’ goalie and pushed the ball in the back of an open net. Brooks added a security goal in the 72nd minute, and Kely Louima, of the Turks and Caicos, made it a game again, as he scored in the 80th minute. He delivered a beautiful corner kick toward the goal that Roberts couldn’t handle. The ball bounced over his head and into the net. The Caribs’ defense stepped up in the final 10 minutes though. The Turks squad couldn’t get a shot at goal in the final 10 minutes and COB held on for the slim 2-1 victory.
“We’re going to enjoy this victory for the moment, but it’s right back to work tomorrow. We’re looking at winning both games so we can’t afford to relax just yet. There’s still work to do,” said Caribs’ forward Perry Brooks. “I had a lot of opportunities, especially in the first half, so it felt real good to finally crack through and score in the second half and put that nail in the coffin. We had a lot of opportunities and didn’t put them away. We have to finish better,” added Brooks.
Brooks said that they were a little worried when they started to suffer all the injuries in the second half, and the Turks squad was more aggressive than they were, but they just hung in there and pulled through. “We knew that it was only a matter of time before things started opening up for us,” he said.
For the Turks squad, technical director of their national program, Matthew Green, who once led The Bahamas’ national ladies squad, said that they’re obviously disappointed with the result, but would certainly look to bounce back in the second of the mini two-game series.
“We thought we played well enough to at least get a draw out of it, so that was disappointing,” said Green. “I think that we missed too many chances in the second half when we were dominating the game, and we made two mistakes later on which caused us goals. I can’t really fault the guys for their effort because we didn’t have much time to get ready for the game. We’ll go back to the drawing board, go over a few things, and hopefully turn the result around tomorrow. We have some very young players and we are sure that they will be able to bounce back. We feel that the nerves will be gone by tomorrow and they will be okay,” he added.
The second match of the mini two-game series will get underway at 4:30 p.m. today at COB.