By Neto Baptiste
Coach of the Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys, Mikele Leigertwood, has described the team’s 3-0 loss to El Salvador in their Group A CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday as “frustrating”, adding that the team played well in the opening stages of the match in El Salvador.
Needing a victory in order to advance to the next round, the Benna Boys gave up goals in minutes 40, 68 and 85 to end their Group A campaign on seven points and third in the standings.
“We made it difficult for them for a long period of time so we tried to stick to a certain way of playing and we had to respect the sort of quality that they have in the end. It was frustrating, obviously, to concede the goals the way we did, but there was a lot of positive in terms of good performances, certainly from some of the experienced players and also some of the younger ones coming in,” he said.
Eric Zavaleta, Tony Rugamas and Walmer Martinez all scored for the home team as El Salvador finished atop the group with 10 points from their four matches.
The England-based coach said that although he was not pleased with the manner in which the goals were scored, credit must be given to the players for the fight they showed.
“I am not in the business of putting blame or pointing fingers. I think everyone did what they could. We look at certain decisions in and around both boxes which we could have done better, but I am in no way going to start pointing fingers or blaming anyone for mistakes that they made because everybody worked as hard as they possibly could,” the coach said.
Meanwhile, executive member and ABFA presidency hopeful, Barbara Coates, commended the team for their performance despite the loss.
“I think they looked a lot better than they did up at Sir Viv. I am not a coach but I think the coaches made some good decisions this time around and I saw that they had great opportunities in the first half but we just didn’t capitalise on them. I just want to say that these things happen and that next time around it would be better, it’s a learning experience,” he said.
Montserrat finished second in the group with eight points from their four showings.