Barbados, St Kitts first to advance

St. Kitts & Nevis (red jersey) and Turks & Caicos Islands
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Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis are the first two nations to win through to the second round of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™ qualifiers in the CONCACAF region after the pair after enjoyed comfortable victories on Thursday.

Barbados took to the field earlier in the day seeking to overturn a surprising 1-0 first leg defeat against US Virgin Islands on home soil in Bridgetown.

Boasting a far longer and more impressive history in the FIFA World Cup than their Caribbean rivals, the Barbadians went into the contest under pressure in Charlotte Amalie, however early strikes from Raheem Sargeant and Jamal Chandler turned the tie around by the midway point of the opening half.

A 4-0 second leg win was completed with goals from Mario Harte and Jabarry Chandler setting up a meeting with Aruba in June.

A few hours later St. Kitts and Nevis won their way through to a tough looking second-round contest against El Salvador after crashing their way past Turks and Caicos Islands.

St Kitts eased to 6-2 win on home turf last Monday, but Turks and Caicos gave themselves some hope after taking an early 2-1 lead built around Widlin Calixte’s brace of penalties.

However, St Kitts soon rediscovered their first-leg rhythm, scoring five without reply to reprise the first leg scoreline for a goal-laden 12-4 aggregate victory. Leicester City based striker Harry Panayiotou scored a hat-trick, while Joash Leader netted twice.

In the day’s only first-leg tie, Dominica collected a hard-fought 3-2 victory at British Virgin Islands, having taken the lead for the first time late in the contest thanks to a Randolph Peltier winner. The victor after Sunday’s second leg will meet Canada in the second round tie in June.

Meanwhile, the final first-leg tie will take place on Friday when Patrick Kluivert’s Curacao host Montserrat in Willemstad.

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