“…on the edge of the 18 yard box, who looped a ball into the box and over the keepers head to score the Bahamas 3rd goal.”
The National Under 15 Girls team played the first game in their attempt to qualify from the group stages of the CONCACAF tournament at the Disney sporting complex. The Bahamas team is in group D along with Antigua, Bermuda and Cayman, with the winner advancing to the Knockout stage.
The first game was against Antigua and after an early defensive blunder ‘Team 242’ found themselves a goal down with only 4 minutes on the clock. It was a very nervous start and it was only 6 minutes later when a similar mishap in defence led to Antigua’s second chance, which they failed to convert, thanks to great cover work by the Derika Ferguson and Danae Malcolm. At this point it was “settle down and play football or give up”, thankfully the innate talent of the team began to show; the midfield provided more ball for the forwards and one or two half chances for the Bahamas, gave them the confidence to settle down. This allowed them to pressure the Antiguan defence and after 13 minutes Tyra McKenzie pounced on a poor pass and hit a hard low ball past the keeper into the net to draw level.
The confidence improved further and an interchange of passing found Tyra McKenzie on the right wing and after a short defensive struggle she sent a hard low cross into the box where Abigail Simms was there to score the Bahamas second goal.
The second half saw a much more confident team take to the field despite losing defender, Danae Malcolm, to exhaustion. Both sides traded possession in the midfield but the Bahamian side had the edge when it came to creating chances to score. Gabby Simms and her sister linked well and Abigail outran the Antiguan defence a number of times, but was unable to beat the goalkeeper. The breakthrough eventually came in the 58th minute when a corner kick from Abigail found McKell Yallop, on the edge of the 18 yard box, who looped a ball into the box and over the keepers head to score the Bahamas 3rd goal. More pressure in the last 8 minutes led to mistakes by the Antiguan defence. A penalty was awarded for hand ball and MVP for the game. Tyra McKenzie stepped up and beat the goalkeeper to seal the win.