By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda lost back-to-back matches in Group D of the Concacaf Under-20 Men’s Championships, recording their second loss in three days on Monday when they went under 3-0 to Costa Rica at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in Honduras.
The Benna Youths conceded all three goals in the second half after managing to hold an aggressive Costa Rica squad scoreless during the first half.
Brandon Delgado put Costa Rica ahead on minute 47 before Enyel Mendez widened his team’s advantage 30 minutes later. Dorian Nunez sealed the victory for Costa Rica in the dying stages, hitting the back of the Antigua and Barbuda net on minute 89.
Technical director Sowerby Gomes said the players failed to capitalise on their opportunities.
“Each team would have gotten their opportunities and we got our opportunities but we failed to execute. The other team capitalised on their opportunities and those are the results. But had we scored those opportunities we got, the results would have changed and we don’t know what would have happened. But it is what it is and we just have to move on from what has happened and learn from the situations that happen on the field,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda were beaten 3-0 by hosts Honduras in their opening encounter on Saturday and are currently at the bottom of the four-team standings without a point.
Gomes said the players and coaching staff must learn from the experience.
“We have to keep developing these young players because there is so much ability we are seeing in them. When you look within the first 15 to 20 minutes of the game, we see the mental toughness that is happening and we just have to keep encouraging these players to recognise that this game continues and the decisions we make will either build us or break us,” he said.
Costa Rica, who enjoyed 61 percent of the possession throughout the contest, picked up their first win in the group after having previously played to a 1-1 draw with Jamaica.
Antigua and Barbuda had 14 shots in the match, five of which were on target compared to a total of 21 shots and 10 on target for Costa Rica.
The young Benna Boys are slated to take on Jamaica on Wednesday at the same venue.