The British Virgin Islands under 20 national football team secured their first victory at the CONCACAF U20 Championship in Santo Domingo on Thursday, thanks to 70th minute goal from Luca Chalwell which saw the BVI defeating Sint Maarten 1-nil.
Chalwell dribbled across the top of the penalty area and then slotted the ball across the keeper inside the far post to secure his goal, which sparked celebrations that intensified at the final whistle.
Despite the lone goal from Chalwell, the overall performance was described to be a team effort which also saw goalkeeper Mekhi Walters coming to the rescue of the team with a superb early penalty save.
Speaking on the performance of the team was the BVI Football Association’s President Andy Bickerton who commended the boys on their historic victory.
He said, “It’s unfair to pick out individuals because it was such a good team performance and that’s what our National Coach, Chris Kiwomya, has been saying to the players over the course of the week so far.”
He added, “You must play a system, you must understand the system, know where your place is in the system and work hard. Once you do that then results will come and today, they got their result and we, the BVIFA are very proud of them all, we’re really, really proud of them all!”
Meanwhile, coach Clinton ‘Tinnie’ Percival was understandably a very happy man at the final whistle as he expressed his joy over the victory.
“I am really proud of them today for their team performance. We asked them to play for each other and they did, moving around well and making it hard for Sint Maarten to work hard to regain the ball. We’re working on a particular style of play, keeping the ball, and working hard as a team in and out of possession. The will to win the game tonight was very evident and I am very happy for the boys and can only see us going from strength to strength. Now we’re going to enjoy the victory tonight but get back to business for our next game against Dominica,” he explained.
The victory comes after the BVI suffered a 7-nil defeat to Curacao in their first match.
Group A will conclude on Saturday November 13 with Grenada and Curacao battling for the top spot and a place in the 2022 CMU20Q, while Dominica will clash with the British Virgin Islands also on that day.