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Barbados dominate St. Lucia in football friendly
By Alan Harris
A DOUBLE-STRIKE from the boot of teenager Kadeem Atkins handed Barbados a comfortable 4-0 victory over St. Lucia, when the two teams met on Sunday night for an international friendly ahead of next month’s start of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Playing before a practically non-existent crowd, on a slippery - and sometimes unpredictable - surface at the National Stadium, the ‘Bajan Tridents’ put on a football clinic as they comprehensively schooled and outclassed their overwhelmed guests.
Colin “Potato” Forde, head coach of the national outfit, was in an experimental mood as he constantly changed the formations of a ‘new-look’ team.
He also made five substitutions, including goalkeeper Jason “Barbers” Boxhill in the 71st minute for Bentley Springer.
Adrian Chase, the recently recalled and vastly experienced goalkeeper, was rested for the match.
“I made a number of changes, but that was my objective - to give everyone an opportunity,” Forde told the Barbados Advocate.
“This was a game that I really wanted the guys to win. The result has given them the confidence and belief that they can indeed win at this level.”
From the opening whistle, St. Lucia, now ranked a lowly 183rd in the world, was firmly placed on the back foot.
The visitors struggled to contain the midfield of former captain Norman Forde, Jeffrey Williams and Renaldo Marquez, far less the advances of strikers Mario Harte and Riviere Williams.
And it was Williams, after gaining ground on the St. Lucia defence, who opened the floodgates in the 35th minute.
Nineteen year-old Kadeem Atkins, a former student of the St. Leonard’s Boys’ School, then netted the first of his two goals on the stroke of half-time.
“We didn’t concede a goal which was one of our main objectives, and I wanted the guys to score two goals in the first half which, we did,” Forde added.
“Overall, it was a good performance and the truth is, we dominated 90% of the game.”
But the second half was where the real domination came.
Ten minutes in, Atkins latched on to a perfectly flighted cross from the right wing for his second and Barbados’ third.
Now firmly in the ascendancy, Forde then made the bulk of his changes.
Defender Omar Archer replaced Renaldo Marquez in the 55th minute, and in a double-substitution in the 61st minute, Ramuel Miller came in for captain Barry Skeete, and the youthful Kyle Gibson, who scored Barbados’ fourth in the 90th minute, deputised for Riviere Williams up front.
In the 71st minute, midfielder Dwayne “Boot” Griffith was replaced by Jamal Chandler. Earlier, Dwayne Mars had replaced striker Mario Harte in the 46th minute.
Though St. Lucia was not the strongest of opponents, the result will do the local team a world of good before they tackle regional powerhouse Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Bermuda in next month’s CONCACAF Group B of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Barbados’ first assignment will be against Guyana in Georgetown on September 2.