WC Qualifier: Cayman Islands suffers third consecutive defeat

A disappointing outcome for the Cayman Islands in what many considered their only chance to win a match in this year’s World Cup Qualifier.

Cayman lost 3-1 to Aruba Wednesday (June 2) evening at the IMG football field in Florida, a lost Cayman national head coach Ben Pugh described as misfortune. “Unfortunately, that’s football,” he stated in a Cayman Compass article.

Jonah Ebanks of Cayman scored a penalty to open the scoring. However, Aruba’s Joshua John and Terence Groothusen brought their team ahead, scoring respectively to close the first half. John doubled up with the game’s final goal in the second half.

The Cayman Islands current men’s national football team. Photo: Cayman Islands Football Association

One of Cayman’s key players’ Elijah Seymour who currently plays with CS Tunari in Romania was unable to make the trip due to Covid protocols. Players like Mason Duval and Joshewa Frederick were benched to the surprise of many local fans.

One reader anonymously wrote in, questioning Pugh’s decision, stating, “I don’t know who made the call to bench Josh, but it wasn’t wise and I think it possibly caused them the game…disappointing.”

Pugh acknowledged that he was missing his full squad but said the games are also used for exposure and experience.

“These games are all a big challenge and are essential in the players learning,” he said. “We also wanted to include a couple players from Europe who would have made a difference but travel restrictions prevented us from getting them.”

Cayman will play Bermuda this Tuesday in their fourth and final WC qualifying match.

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