Benna Boys Beat Aruba, Avoid Demotion In CNL

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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys ended their dismal run in Group C, League B of the CONCACAF Nations League (CNL) on a winning note Monday when they edged Aruba, 3-2, in Curacao.

The match was purely semantic for both teams as they merely fought to restore pride. Antigua and Barbuda had already confirmed that they will remain in League B, while Aruba had already been relegated to League C for next year’s competition. 

Antigua and Barbuda twice had to play from behind before clinching a winner in the dying moments at the Ergilio Hato Stadium.

Joshua John put the home team ahead in minute 20 before Antigua’s Junior Benjamin drew the visitors level 16 minutes later.

Aruba then found themselves down a player in minute 62 when Nickenson Paul was red-carded. This, however, did not dampen their spirits as the home team regained the lead in minute 76 via a Noah Lucho Harms conversion to put Aruba up 2-1.

Harms quickly went from hero to zero as he cancelled out his 76th minute strike with an own-goal, which pulled Antigua and Barbuda level at 2-2 on minute 83.

England-based Daniel Bowry then found the winner for Antigua and Barbuda on minute 84, scoring his first CNL goal in the process.

Meanwhile, Jamaica finished the group with 16 points following a 1-1 draw with the visiting Guyana men’s team in Montego Bay also on Monday night.

Emery Welshman gave Guyana a 45th minute lead before Javon East pulled Jamaica level on minute 50.

The Jamaicans have qualified for the Gold Cup and gained promotion to League A, while finishing second has placed Guyana into the Gold Cup Qualification competition slated to begin in March next year.

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