SVG FOOTBALL IS ‘A WORK IN PROGRESS’
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ seventh attempt to be in the top thirty-two nations in world soccer ended miserably at Arnos Vale, on Friday 2nd September 2016.
Hosting The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) in the 4th round of matches in CONCACAF semifinals, Vincy Heat went searching for their first win in four matches, but the home team could not find the back of the net (except for two off-side attempts) after 90 minutes and failed for a second time against the USMNT; this time at home in front of an extremely enthusiastic crowd.
Last year in the USA, the score was 6-1 in favour of the USMNT. On Friday at Arnos Vale, USMNT (6): Vincy Heat (0).
As the disappointed fans left the Arnos Vale Playing Field, they had little concern for the status of our game or what it takes to be in the big league of soccer. The feeling of failure was visible on the face of many; the sudden burst of a torrential shower seemed to bring welcomed relieve from the stupor that had fallen over the crowd.
“Ah feel it,” lamented a respected veteran of the acclaimed 1970’s National team.
SVG’s quest to be in the world cup finals is still a work in progress. A Wikipedia account states that St. Vincent and the Grenadines started world cup campaigning for the first time in 1994.
During that time, the CONCACAF format was split into a Caribbean Zone and a Central Zone, with top qualifiers making the CONCACAF semi-final. St. Vincent breezed through the Caribbean zone moving onto the CONCACAF semi-final round one but got no further.
The next world cup saw CONCACAF moving to an open group format with first round qualification based on the FIFA rankings. As a result, St. Vincent had been making the entry every season at the second round stage, but consistently making an exit at the third round of CONCACAF qualifying.
For this, the 2018 campaign, elimination came in the fourth round. Therefore, in spite of the trashing by the USMNT, this signals an overall improvement in Vincy Heat’s performance.
So with another World Cup campaign behind them, and the next one around the corner, optimistic fans can remain hopeful. Among our small population are many fans of English Football, where last year (2015) underdogs Leicester City won the English Premier League title for the first time; 132 years after the club was founded!
Vincy Heat can certainly look forward to the 2022 campaign, as they are still “a work in progress”.
Photo and Tables courtesy Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. Article by Justin Douglas
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