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Bahamas to play for fifth

El Salvador nets an 8-4 win over Jamaica and clinches last spot in semifinal
  • The Bahamas lost its match to the USA yesterday at the CONCACAF World Cup Beach Soccer Qualifiers. AHVIA J. CAMPBELL

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: May 11, 2013

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It came down to goals for Team Bahamas who were left hanging on the wing, anxiously awaiting the results of the match played between El Salvador and Jamaica, yesterday evening.

The Bahamas was up two goals in the count and needed Jamaica to net a big win over El Salvador, holding them off by more than five goals. The 8-4 win, in favor of El Salvador knocked The Bahamas out of the semifinal round of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup CONCACAF Qualifier, set to start today. The local boys were knocking on the door of history after winning two games in the tournament. The first loss came on Friday when The Bahamas fell to the United States of America (USA) 9-2. The Bahamas/USA match was played just before Jamaica and El Salvador took to the sand.

El Salvador, USA, Costa Rica and Mexico are the four teams into the semifinals. The Bahamas has received a bye and will now play for fifth or sixth on Sunday, at 2:30 p.m.

Before that point, The Bahamas had two goals less than they have now scored, while El Salvador gave up two goals more than they had netted. When you combined that, The Bahamas had a four goal lead which meant El Salvador need to score more than five goals to book a spot in the semifinal. The Bahamas could have extended the goal count but only scored two in yesterday’s match.

“They came out a little bit flat and went away from the system that we had setup,” said Assistant Coach Julian Smith yesterday. “It happens at times when you get excited about the game, you tend to go away from your game plan and that is what happened. All three of the games, I think we were flat. They are going to have a hard time beating Jamaica, it is not going to be a pushover game. They played early and Jamaica is rested so it is going to be a hard game. The next game is [Saturday], we haven’t started prepping as yet. We are going to talk to them when the team has calmed down a little.”

Lesly St. Fleur and Gavin Christie netted the two goals scored in yesterday’s game. St. Fleur’s goal was scored in the winding minutes of the first; the USA had already scored two goals. Four goals were scored in the second by the team from the United States. Two of the four belonged to Brendon Taguinod, Nicolas Perara and Anthony Chimienti netted the other two. Perara also scored the first and eighth goal of the game, while Chimieni drilled the final goal.

The Bahamas will play without Mark Daniels today. Daniels was ejected after a hard front on collision with Taguinod, who nailed the penalty kick. As a result of the ejection, Team Bahamas had to play two minutes with just four players inclusive of goalkeeper Torin Ferguson. Christie was reinserted into the game after the penalty time.

Smith said: “When I looked at [it], he was in his bounds of giving a card, but I don’t think it was worthy of a red card. It was his first tackle, but it wasn’t a dirty tackle. He will be missed because he is one of the strong players.”

The games today will start at 1:15 p.m. That game will feature teams vying for the ninth and tenth spots. The match for seventh and eighth placing will go at 2:30 p.m. The first semifinal game will kick-off at 3:45 p.m. and the second will follow immediately after.

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