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Waiting game


EZRA STUART

Waiting game

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IT IS now a wait-and-see period for Barbados after defeating Aruba 2-1 in their final Group 4 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Cup match at Kensington Oval on Thursday night.
Big defender Barry Skeete (21st)  and striker Mario Harte (56th), who was used in the centre of the attack, were Barbados’ goal scorers while Jean-Luc Bergen lobbed past new goalkeeper Kerry Holder for Aruba’s goal in the 32nd minute.
With the unbeaten Dominican Republic logging a heartbreaking 2-1 victory over Dominica in the preceding match to top the group on seven points, Barbados finished second with six points from two wins and a loss.
The Bajan Tridents will therefore now have to wait for the outcome in the other four groups to see if they will advance to the second round as one of the four best second-placed teams.
Recognizing that only a win will suffice, Barbados made three changes to their starting line-up. Armando Lashley replaced Tristan Parris, the more experienced Malcolm “Buju” Marshall came into the middle of midfield for Raheim Sargeant, and Holder was preferred to Jason Boxill between the uprights.
Barbados started positively and created a wave of goal-scoring opportunities that were squandered in the opening 20 minutes.
Lashley had his attempt blocked by Aruba’s goalkeeper Kendrick Dania; Kemar Headley shot wide of the far post with only Dania to beat; Harte was denied by the upright; and Andre Bourne was not able to nail the rebound.
Something had to give, and Skeete, after going forward for a corner, kept the ball in play along the goal line.
From an acute angle, he then squeezed off a shot, which went in off the leg of Aruba’s defender Francois Croes.
Aruba equalized against the run of play with the simplest of goals as Bergen slipped past Ramuel Miller on the left side of Barbados’ defence and curled the ball over the head of the retreating Holder into the far corner.
However, Barbados were not to be denied victory and Harte, enjoying his best game, courageously chased down a bouncing ball that was played forward. He reached it in the nick of time and flicked the ball over the advancing Dania to restore the lead.
Barbados continued to push forward but Harte, after dribbling his marker, hit wide while Williams also rattled the crossbar with a free kick.
Harte, overcome by cramps, and Lashley were subsequently substituted as Barbados held on for victory.  Aruba’s push for the equalizer was not helped by the 89th-minute ejection of their captain, Raymond Baten, by Guyanese referee Stanley Lancaster.
Baten could now be in hot water for returning to the field at the end of the game and confronting the referee.
Winless Aruba finished last in the four-team group on a solitary point from a draw with the Dominican Republic, while Dominica, who also lost two matches, were third on three points.

TEAMS
Barbados: Kerry Holder (goalkeeper), Barry Skeete, Ricardio Morris, Andre Bourne, Ramuel Miller, Ranaldo Marques, Malcolm Marshall (Jason Lovell), Jeffrey Williams (captain), Mario Harte (Tristan Parris), Kemar Headley, Armando Lashley (Raheim Sargeant).Aruba: Kendrick Dania (goalkeeper), Francois Croes, Theric Ruiz (Siem Brian), Ronnie Nouwen, Raymond Baten (captain), Rensy Barradas, Jean-Luc Bergen (Nunez Garcia), Rashidi Gilkes, Frederick Gomez, Ricangel De Leca, Jomar Martis.Referee: Stanley Lancaster (Guyana); Assistant referees: Venton Mars (Guyana), Ramon Louisville (Suriname); Fourth official: Jermain Elskamp (Suriname), Commissioner: Mark Campbell (Cayman Islands); Referees Assessor: Victor Stewart (Jamaica).Goal scorers: Barbados: Barry Skeete (21st), Mario Harte (56th). Aruba: Jean-Luc Bergen (32nd). Attendance: 500.

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