National Under-17 starlet Thierry Gale will be hoping to make an impression at senior level. (FILE)
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All eyes will be fixed on the Usain Bolt Sports Complex today as the Barbados Tridents football team prepare to do battle with the Bermuda Gombey Warriors at 4 p.m.
It will be a redemption job for both teams. The visitors lost dramatically at home to the Bajans in October in the first meeting of the two. The Bajans, in their last international game on these shores,were unceremoniously eliminated from 2018 World Cup qualification by Aruba.
Last October, it was the Bajans who had the last laugh over their opponents when ace in the pack Dishon Howell came off the bench to score a brace and propel his team to a stunning victory.
Technical director Ahmed Mohammed and assistant coach Fitzgerald Carter will be hoping for similar productivity from the forwards, namely last season’s leading marksman Zeco Edmee and national Under-17 starlet Thierry Gale.
They will be ably supported by Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) midfielders Rashad Jules and Raheim Sargeant, who are enjoying a solid start to their Premier League campaign.
The home side is well stocked in terms of goalkeeping talent, with BDFSP stopper Kishmar Primus and overseas-based Keasel Broome in a rearguard that will be fortified by the robust and reliable Ranaldo Bailey and Teriq Highland.
The Bermudans, however, have made a few notable changes to the squad that was defeated in Hamilton last year.
Coach Kyle Lightbourne has put his faith in former Under-20 captain Liam Evans, experienced forward Corey Robinson, collegiate player Justin Donawa and 16-year-old prodigy Kane Crichlow, who recently completed a trial at English Premier League club AFC Bournemouth.
Senior players Zeiko Lewis, a professional currently plying his trade in Sweden, and national captain Reggie Lambe keep their places, and after their courageous showing away to Antigua and Barbuda, will be hoping for better against the Tridents.
The Gombey Warriors suffered a 3-2 defeat to Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday night, with Lambe getting on the scoresheet, but it was too late to spark a revival. The team then had to journey back to Miami before embarking on their flight to Barbados. As a result, the Bajans come into this game much fresher than their opponents.
Bermuda, ranked 184th in the world, embarked on a series of matches to improve their international ranking and to prepare adequately for the newly formed CONCACAF Nations League, which starts in September.
Barbados will also be hoping to make a good impression ahead of their proposed meetings with Guyana, El Salvador and the US Virgin Islands later this year. (NM)