The opening round of the CONCACAF preliminary qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ continued this weekend as the Bahamas and US Virgin Islands got winning starts.
In the first of their two-leg tie the US Virgin Islands got their maiden win in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, beating close neighbours the British Virgin Islands 2-0. An early strike from Alderman Lesmond provided a solid platform for the US isles to build on, before Reid Klopp sewed up the victory.
Klopp came close to adding a third moments later, but the British isle’s chance of a recovery was hampered when they were reduced to ten men with Jhon Samuel being given his marching orders. The result saw the US Virgin Islands triple their overall scoring record, having scored one and conceding 35 in their previous five FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Elsewhere, the Bahamas gave themselves a healthy lead in the race for the next round of qualifiers by defeating Turks and Caicos 4-0 in their first-leg away in Providenciales. Nesly Jean opened the scoring on 32 minutes before Cameron Hepple doubled three minutes late. Jean got his second of the match on the hour mark before Jackner Louis seemingly wrapped up the tie with goal in stoppage time. They will take the four goal lead back to Nassau on 11 July, while the US Virgin Islands will hope to defend their lead in Tortola a day earlier.
This week will also see the commencement of the region’s two other preliminary ties, with Anguilla hosting the Dominican Republic and Aruba hosting St Lucia on 8 July. Anguilla will travel for the return leg two days later while St Lucia will host the conclusion of their tie on 12 July.