Team St. Lucia: Played 1, Won 1

Team St. Lucia, over the past few years has been constantly criticized for poor starts to tournaments in which they participate. Critics often blame dismal performances on the team’s supposed inability to perform at their optimum from the very first whistle.

The senior team participating in the Windward Islands Tournament this year rewrote the script by pulling off a magnificent victory over defending champions St. Vincent and the Grenadines last night.

Decked in yellow tops and blue shorts, the reinvented St.Lucian senior team, although by far the youngest group in the competition, were very fearless in their approach and  put on a show of formidability against their southern neighbours. The first half action was very much a midfield deadlock as both teams tried to impose their styles of play to influence the flow of the game. The gridlock lasted the entire half and the game was restarted for the second half with the scores still level.

In the second half team St. Lucia seemed a lot more composed and their pass completion and general interplay efficiency increased tremendously. The team was justly rewarded for the improved execution of their gameplay in the 74th minute when Malaneous Danny Mullarkey, the starting right back for the team, cracked up a long-range effort which zipped its way past the unknowing St. Vincent and the Grenadines goal keeper. Only six minutes later, Team St. Lucia doubled their lead through the effort of the talented W Connection midfielder Kurt Frederick. Kurt, who hails from the community of Dennery very adeptly crept his way into the box before slotting the ball past the St. Vincent goal keeper.

The defending champions, towards the latter minutes of the encounter ramped up the intensity in their play as they fought to rebound from the two-goal deficit. Their defiance payed dividends in the 89th minute after their constant pressure on the Lucian backline caused a breech in communication between the St. Lucian goal keeper and two defenders.  This error created an opening for the Vincentian team which was instantly converted. That goal though, would only served as mere consolation to the defending champions as the full-time whistle blew with the score line at 2 goals to one in favour of the men from sweet Helen.

The unusually positive start has left many filled with optimism as team St. Lucia goes into their second match on Friday. They will square off against the home team Grenada at 8 P.M. at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium.