The British Virgin Islands Under 20 football team finished the CONCACAF Under20 Championship in third position, after defeating Dominica 1-nil on Saturday November 13 to end the tournament with consecutive victories.

The lone goal came from Jake Forbes in the 38th minute, as he calmly converted a penalty to give the local boys a needed victory.

Speaking after the victory, Forbes said he took many positives from the game and hoped the victory made the BVI proud.

He said, “Their players were trying to put me off before taking it but I’m glad I scored and hopefully I’ve done my country proud… I was incredibly pleased with the overall team spirit throughout the tour. There were many positives and things that we can build on.”

Captain Malakai Stanners said his team continued to grow in confidence despite the rough start to the tournament.

“The team was much more confident due to the win against Sint Maarten and built on the positives from that game to give us the upper hand. We did have a rough start to the tournament, but to come back and win two games is amazing,” Stanners expressed.

Team will grow from strength to strength

Meanwhile, Coach Clinton ‘Tinnie’ Percival said the experience gained in the tournament will help the team continue to grow in stature ahead of other international tournaments.

He said, “I am really proud of the guys, they played with pride and a never say die attitude. Even though we had to play the game without three of our regular starters, the other players showed character and the will to fight until the end… Now that they have experienced the feeling of winning at this level, I can only see them going from strength to strength and we as the coaches will do everything that we can to assist them in the progress to greater things.”

Total team performance

Also commenting on the team’s success was the BVI Football Association’s President Andy Bickerton.

“We knew knew we had a lot of work to do, and everyone gave 100 percent, all of them worked so hard and we could have won by three or four. We controlled them, did not let Dominica get into the game, we harassed them and chased them, and you know that if you work really hard, you get the benefits,” Bickerton stated.

The FA president said the team collectively came together and relied on each other’s individual moments to pull off the victory.

“Having won two games, got six points to finish third in our group of five and then add getting our first win a day ago and now win again today against all the odds, then you know we had great performances out there, Mekhi Walters again was great in goal, Jakes Forbes out front was just constantly causing problems. He had a great game, but you know again, it is difficult to pick out players. Malakai Stanners, Captain for the day, he held the team together, playing out of position in the centre of the defence, Justin Smith was his normal unbelievable self both backwards or forwards, but these guys played together for each other, for their country and for national pride,” he explained.

National Coach, Chris Kiwomya was present during the game and he said he will be discussing with the team a number of weaknesses identified during the tournament to assist with strengthening those areas.

After losing their first game 7-nil against Curacao, the BVI bounced back to defeat Sint Maarten 1-nil prior to this second victory.