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Turks turn the tables on COB

They held off the college, 2-1, to get a split in the two-match series
  • A Turks and Caicos player manoeuvers himself through two COB defenders during their international friendly yesterday evening at the COB soccer field. Turks won the game, 2-1, after COB won the first game of the two-match series, 2-1. KYLE SMITH / TNG

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Apr 05, 2012

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It certainly didn’t take long for the Turks and Caicos under-23 nationals to redeem themselves.

They salvaged the second game of a two-match international series against The College of The Bahamas (COB) men’s soccer team, winning the finale 2-1 yesterday at COB. The Turks squad scored early in the game, padded their lead to 2-0 early in the second half, and held off a late comeback attempt by COB.

In terms of goals scored, the international series ended in a 3-3 deadlock.

“These guys are definitely making progress,” said Turks’ Head Coach Ian Hurdle. “Both teams appear to be evenly matched, and it was a good battle both days. Our guys have lacked coaching from a young age – some of them just actually learnt how to dribble a soccer ball. We’re taking a lot of raw potential and trying to mold it, but we can see it coming together,” he added.

Evans Jean broke through for the Turks squad in the 17th minute. Fred Dorvil made it 2-0 Turks with a shot in the 49th minute, and after letting quite a few scoring opportunities slip by them, the COB Caribs finally got on the scoreboard with a goal in the 66th minute. Dwayne Beneby got his head on a beautiful goal post cross and pushed the ball past the Turks goalie.

“It was a good game... we just came out lackadaisical, and that’s what cost us in the end,” said Beneby. “It was wonderful exposure for us though. Having the Turks and Caicos come down was exactly what we needed. We needed more experience and they provided that for us. We feel like this series confirmed the fact that we need to work on our finishing. We felt that we had good build-up to strong plays, but [we weren’t] finishing in the end. It’s a little disappointing, but we got a win in the first game so we’re satisfied with that.”

Caribs’ Head Coach Vandyke Bethel felt they just came out lacking energy.

“I told the guys that we can’t live in yesterday’s glory... we have to live for the moment today, and that didn’t happen. As you can see, we didn’t come out with any energy,” said Bethel. “These guys are still learning, and they have to learn how to come out and be consistent. We came out sluggish in the first half, and at the beginning of the second half, they made some simple mistakes and that cost us.

“Hopefully as we continue to develop the program. They will continue to learn and be more soccer intelligent. I have to give credit to TCI (Turks and Caicos Islands) though. They came out a lot more hungrier than we did and it showed. They came at us hard and it paid off for them. We had some opportunities that we should have converted, but at the end of the day, the guys just have to be a bit more hungry. They have to push a lil harder and you just saw an example of a team which wanted it more,” he added.

Last year, the Turks and Caicos national squad lost a 10-0 aggregate to The Bahamas over two matches. Hurdle said that they obviously still have a lot of work to do moving forward.

“We had spurts for about 10-15 minutes where the guys actually followed what we were trying to get them to do. Overall, we actually felt we played better in the first game than we did in the second game - we just got the result today,” said Hurdle. “I think that we need to build on the success that we had here, and take that further,” he added.

Both squads welcomed the opportunity to compete against each other, and are looking forward to future encounters.

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