After securing a comprehensive seven-nil victory over the neighbouring St Maarten, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are now the Division Three winners of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Boys’ Under-15 Championship.
Playing in Bradenton, Florida on August 10, the BVI boys opened the scoring in the 14th minute, thanks to a goal from Matthew Stephenson.
They found an additional three goals before half-time from Oliver Brown and Luka Chalwell. These goals came in the 25th, 28th and 31st minute as they led 4-nil into the whistle.
Resuming play, it only took the BVI boys six minutes to find the back of the net once again; this time from Malakai Stanners in the 49th minute.
Sheldon Toney and Milton Creque completed the scoring in the 51st and 69th minute, respectively, to give BVI the seven-nil win and the championship.
Speaking after the historic achievement, national team coach Dan Neville said he believes the team is ahead of where they should be in preparations for the 2026 World Cup.
He also said the future looks bright for the Virgin Islands
“I actually think we are a lot further ahead. When I first came in 2017, there was a lot of top talented young players in here and it was just really a case of putting a programme together and setting objectives and setting challenges to really push the group on,” Coach Neville stated.
He further said: “We were here two years ago, we came up a little bit short in the final but to get nine players that have actually trained in the national camp that we held in July, and four-five other players that are right now in the starting line up, I think if anyone had said that for 2017, it would have been a little bit optimistic, so to get those in the line up is really pleasing. For the group they’ve been excellent this week.”
The BVI’s CONCACAF division comprised teams such as Bonaire, Anguilla, French Guiana, Dominica, Montserrat and Turks & Caicos Islands, among other countries.
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