Bahamas advances to soccer semis
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: May 10, 2013
Nesley Jean’s one-on-one shot with goalkeeper Jersson Alas not only netted the biggest win for the men’s national soccer team, but it also landed them into the semifinals.
In the nail-biting game with Guatemala yesterday, The Bahamas prevailed with a 4-3 win and is now ready to play the United States. The semifinal matches start on Saturday. The Bahamas now has a 2-0 win/loss record in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers for CONCACAF, currently going on at the sand pitch located at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge.
The final possession won by Jean, in the physical match with Guatemala, is now being used as a confidence booster for the local squad. Jean, who got the pass from Ehren Hanna, said the team is hungry and can’t wait to play the squad from the U.S.
“It was very tough,” said Jean, after the game.
“It is up to us to go there and actually play a little better. I think we dropped our level a little bit to their standards. They are not a bad team, but I think we can play a lot better than we played in the last two games.”
Jean said they will have to play better against the U.S.
“We need a little more communication on defense because we gave up too many easy goals. We played quite fine on offense, it’s just defense,” he said.
“We’ve played the USA before and it is always a physical game because they don’t like us and we don’t like them, so we don’t want to lose to them. They beat us the last time, 4-3, so this time we are going for them.”
Scoring the first goal for The Bahamas was Mark Daniels. He kicked in that point around the 10-minute marker in the first period. Five minutes later, Wilson Gonzalez scored for Guatemala evening the score at one. Jean banged in a point from the corner in the second with seven minutes remaining. Shortly after the hometown goal, Eduardo Samayoa scored.
The Bahamas opened the third with Torino Ferguson, Daniels, Gary Joseph and Ehren Hanna. Just seconds into the quarter Hanna lined up for a free kick, sending the ball into the back of the net. The Bahamas was up by one.
Hanna’s second attempt to ink his name into the scorebook was spoiled by goalkeeper Edgar Montes, who slapped the ball down into the sand. Montes threw the ball over to Christian Sosa but Jean kicked it away. Guatemala was awarded the ball but Dwayne Forbes eventually recovered and kicked it over to Lesley St. Fleur. However, Samayoa recovered for his side. His long attempt was blocked and trickled down Ferguson’s fingertips landing just outside the goal. Ferguson threw his body on the ball before a member of the Guatemala team could kick it in.
The physical scramble continued between both teams even in the winding minutes of the game. Jean was warned by the referees at the two-minute marker, giving the Guatemala team a free kick. His aggression led to the goal scored with less than one minute left in the game.
The game with The Bahamas and U.S. will kick-off at 3:45 p.m. The Bahamas won its opening match against Puerto Rico on Wednesday.