St Kitts, Antigua Notch Strong Wins to Remain Unbeaten

Photo: CMC

Keithroy Freeman’s brace handed St Kitts and Nevis their second straight win while former Charleston Battery forward, Quinton Griffith, also netted twice to keep Antigua and Barbuda unbeaten in the opening round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Saturday.

In a lopsided Group F contest at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau, St Kitts whipped hosts the Bahamas 4-0 with the 27-year-old Freeman netting on either side of half-time.

He opened the scoring in the 25th minute to give St Kitts a 1-0 half-time lead and added to his tally in the 65th, in between a 53rd-minute penalty from Kimaree Rogers and an 82nd-minute strike from United Kingdom-based Omari Sterling-James, who entered the game as a 77th-minute substitute.

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The victory was the second on the trot for St Kitts who edged Puerto Rico 1-0 in their opening game in the Dominican Republic four days ago.

Griffith, meanwhile, who spent several seasons with Battery in the United Soccer League, grabbed some of the spotlight as Antigua scored three first-half goals to brush aside US Virgin Islands in St Thomas.

Veteran 36-year-old striker Peter Byers gave the visitors the lead in the 26th minute before the 29-year-old Griffith struck in the 34th and 42nd minutes to dominate the Group A match.

Antigua was held to a 2-2 draw in their opener against Montserrat in Willemstad.

The other four fixtures on Saturday saw teams suffer heavy defeats.

At the neutral IMG Academy venue in Florida, Israel-based forward Nigel Hasselbaink smashed a hat-trick to inspire Suriname to a 6-0 crushing of Aruba in Group B.

The 30-year-old scored his first in the 37th minute to put the Dutch side up 3-0 before adding a brace in the second half.

In Group D at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Dorny Romero and Nowend Lorenzo both scored in either half to register doubles, and fire the Dominican Republic to a 6-0 thrashing of hapless Anguilla.

And in Group E at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal – another neutral venue – Turks and Caicos Islands suffered a chastening 7-0 defeat at the hands of a rampant Nicaragua, who were inspired by two goals each from Juan Barrera and Ariagner Smith.

At the Ergilio Hato in Willemstad, British Virgin Islands conceded twice in the first half of their Group C contest to go down 3-0 to Central American side Guatemala.

CMC

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