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BVI U15 ballers wow at CONCACAF tournament

BVI Under 15 Boys football team.

The British Virgin Islands team, having surpassed expectation to reach the Division 3 final in the CONCACAF U15 Boys Championship, found French Guyana too hot to handle – losing 6-0 at the IMG Academy in Florida on Saturday.

The first half was evenly matched with, perhaps, the French Guyana team a little wasteful in front of goal. But the BVI also had chances to score, and who knows how different the outcome would have been if the BVI had fired one passed their opponent’s keeper.

As it was, the BVI boys had given their all to match the French Guyana team who appeared fitter and had a slight technical edge. And despite making several changes during the second half to stem an ever increasing flow of attacks, the BVI wilted in the heat of the day and conceded six goals.

Finishing as Group J Champions, in itself, was beyond the hopes of even the most ardent supporter or parent. Moreover, to end as runners up in Division 3 was a great performance from the BVI.

As Captain Guillaume Parkins said: “They were fitter, definitely. But we had a few opportunities that just didn’t end up in the back of the net. We could have played better overall, but I am pleased with how we did and it is what it is. We need to move the ball quicker, get fitter, and come back stronger. But take nothing away from us as we had a great tournament.”

In earlier group play, the BVI Boys beat Montserrat 8-2 as Bailey Rowe again led the front line with skill and an insatiable desire for goal; netting four times in a first half onslaught. Tyler Forbes scored twice, and Luka Chalwell scored once in that said half.

“It is a good experience playing with this team and scoring four goals was excellent,” said Rowe.

Coming out of the first half break leading 7-1, the coach was able to rest players and protect those on yellow cards from possibly missing out on the final game.

Marcus Butler was the fourth goal scorer for the BVI in that match.

Goalkeeper Alexander Keen, who has had virtually a ringside seat for the big victories, also had high praises for the team. “The team has done really well, especially scoring 19 goals in three games, that’s pretty impressive at any level.”

Keen was also keen to note that he had three assists in the victory against Montserrat and was quite happy with his “worldly pings”, which is smashing the ball as far as you can and hoping the forwards latch onto the ball and do something with it, like scoring goals.

The Turks and Caicos team were soundly thrashed, 7-3, even though the VI Coach, Marcos Falopa, made four changes to the team that started the 4-0 win over Anguilla. The new faces quickly put any doubts about the result to rest with a dominant display.

By halftime, the VI was already 3-0 ahead after goals from Charles Medway, who netted two, and Bailey Rowe.

Rowe would then make it 4-0 from the penalty spot early in the second half and complete his hat trick on the other side of a Marcus Butler goal to make it 6-0.

Several substitutions ensued and the Turks and Caicos boys pulled a goal back before Kahil Farrington made it 7-1 with a powerful header.

Farrington noted that he was surprised to score. “I knew I made good contact, but didn’t realise it was going in.”

The tournament began for the BVI with a comfortable 4-0 win over Anguilla.

The game, played in blistering heat at the IMG Academy in Bradeton, Florida began at a slow pace. But it was the BVI boys who were soon in the ascendancy. After a spate of chances that went begging, Miguel Marshall finally opened the scoring.

The BVI lead was soon doubled as Tyler Forbes rose high at the far post to get his head to a Luka Chalwell Cross.

Forbes then made it 3-0 early in the second half as he surprised everyone, springing the off-side trap and flicking the ball past the Anguillan goalkeeper.

Number 4 came from the boot of Marcus Butler and the game was all over.

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