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FOOTBALL-LEAD Huge win for T&T, but Antigua & Barbuda pipped on the line 2nd round – Caribbean Times


Miami, CMC- All the visiting teams, except Antigua & Barbuda, won their matches on Saturday in the second round of Concacaf qualification for the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

Caribbean Football Union No. 4 Trinidad & Tobago had the biggest win on Match Day 3 in this current window of qualification for the global showpiece to be co-hosted in two years by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

CFU No. 3 Curaçao and No. 6 Suriname had predictably logged second successive wins, but CFU No. 21 Cayman Islands used home advantage to their advantage and upset the fifth-ranked Antiguans. The Central American pair of Guatemala and Nicaragua also had easy second wins.

AT THE SKNFA TECHNICAL CENTRE: T&T crushed The Bahamas 7-1 in their Group B match in the St Kitts & Nevis capital of Basseterre after Malcolm Shaw and Duane Muckette hit braces.

Shaw struck from short distance for the opening goal in the sixth minute, connecting on a service into the box from Muckette, and returned to extend the lead of the Soca Warriors, as T&T are known, with a diagonal strike from within the box in the 66th minute.

Muckette scored twice inside the final five minutes of the first half to give T&T a 4-0 lead after Alvin Jones scored from the penalty spot in the 14th minute to put them ahead 2-0 following a tackle on Soca Warriors defender Triston Hodge.

A long-range strike in the 43rd minute got Muckette on the cards, and he followed up with a stoppage-time goal from the left side of the penalty box.

Reon Moore scored his second goal in consecutive matches in the 56th minute, and Nathaniel James struck a fierce goal in the 84th minute to round out the T&T scoring before Wood Julmis offered the only reply from the Bahamians three minutes later when he pounced on a rebound.

The Soca Warriors will take a break on the final match day of the qualifiers for this current window with four points in hand, while The Bahamas will stay in Basseterre to face hosts St Kitts & Nevis on Tuesday at the same venue.

AT THE GUILLERMO PROSPERO TRINIDAD SPORTS COMPLEX: A pair of second-half goals from Juninho Bacuna and Xander Severina enabled Curaçao to waltz past neighbor hosts Aruba 2-0 in their Group C contest in Oranjestad.

Bacuna broke the deadlock in the 59th minute, putting the finishing touch on an individual play inside the box from Jearl Margaritha. Severina struck deep in second-half stoppage time to secure a second consecutive win for Curaçao.

Aruba travel to Bridgetown, Barbados, and will face St Lucia in their next match on Tuesday at the Wildey Turf, while Curaçaoans also catch a break.

AT THE RAYMOND GUISHARD STADIUM: A double strike from Tyrone Conraad set up Suriname for a 4-0 win against hosts Anguilla in their Group F match in The Valley.

Conrad struck in the 10th minute, connecting on a pass across the box from Jaden Montnor to put the visitors ahead 1-0, which they kept until half-time, and he returned in the second half to put his head to another cross from Montnor in the 76th minute.

In between, Shaquille Pinas scored a left-footed rocket into the bottom right corner of the goal in the 63rd minute, and to add injury to insult, Sheraldo Becker forced an own goal from Anguilla defender Austin Steven in the 88th minute to also give the Surinamese their second successive win.

Anguilla travels to Bayamon on Tuesday to face hosts Puerto Rico on the final match day of this current window, while Suriname takes a break.

AT THE TRUMAN BODDEN SPORTS COMPLEX: Joshwa Campbell scored a stoppage-time winner, and hosts Cayman Islands started their campaign with a confidence-boosting 1-0 against Antigua & Barbuda in George Town.

Campbell scored a header at the right post after Trey Ebanks provided the cross for the match-winning goal.

The Caymans will travel to Santiago de Cuba on Tuesday to face hosts Cuba, and the Antiguans will take a break on the final match day.

AT A.O. SHIRLEY RECREATION GROUND: Concacaf No. 10 Guatemala outclassed hosts British Virgin Islands 3-0 in Group E in Road Town, Tortola.

Oscar Castellanos opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a right-footed blast from outside the box.

Rubio Rubin put the Guatemalans ahead 2-0 at half-time when he scored for the second time in as many matches after Jose Ardon assisted with a header near the left post to redirect a cross into the box from Jose Morales.

Jose Pinto scored the penalty spot in the 47th minute, and the Central American side kept a clean sheet for the rest of the match thanks to goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen.

The BVI will visit the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, the final match day of this current window, while the Guatemalans take a break.

AT THE FFB STADIUM: A pair of goals from Bancy Hernandez enabled Nicaragua to win their all-Central American clash against Belize 4-0 in Group D in the Suriname capital of Paramaribo.

Hernandez had a hand in the first three goals for the Nicaraguans after he put them ahead 1-0 at half-time with a strike from the top of the box in the 40th minute, then earned a penalty that Juan Barrera converted in the 56th minute and got his second of the night in the 65th minute. In contrast, Jaime Moreno converted a second penalty in the 89th minute to complete the rout.

Nicaragua takes a break, currently leading the group with two wins, while Belize will face Guyana on Tuesday at the Wildey Turf Barbados.

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