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Barbados suffered an agonising 1-0 defeat to Antigua and Barbuda in their first match of the 2022-2023 Concacaf Nations League (CNL) football competition last night at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Gros Islet, St Lucia.
Russell Latapy’s men were the better team for long periods of the 90 minute contest but failed to convert several goal-scoring chances on the night, before substitute Shavron Philip scored an injury-time winner for the Benna Boys.
Eighteen-year-old striker Tajio James, on debut, squandered the best opportunity on the hour mark, latching on to a through ball from Keon Atkins, beating an advancing Nick Townsend in Antigua’s goal before firing wide of an empty net.
Earlier, James, who caused Antigua and Barbuda problems with pace, was also saved from inside the box.
Referee Moeth Gaymes denied Barbados a first half penalty when Omani Leacock was brought down in the box. The Tridents’ goal keeper Kishmar Primus was also brilliant in making four saves, but the game-changing moment came in stoppage time.
Philip scored the decisive goal in the 91st minute, prompting dramatic scenes when his right-footed effort from close range sneaked passed Primus and into the roof of the net.
It gave Antigua and Barbuda their maidenever win over Barbados in international football dating back to 1990 when the two nations first met.
Barbados are currently en-route to Havana, Cuba to take on the hosts in their second match of the campaign on Sunday with kick off set for 4:30 p.m. (AGB)