Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dominican Republic shock Antigua


Match winner: Former W Connection striker Jonathan Frias, right, celebrates with teammate Kerbi Rodriguez, after scoring the winning goal as the Dominican Republic edged hosts Antigua and Barbuda 2-1 on the opening night of the 2012 Caribbean Cup on Friday at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

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FEARED former W Connection striker Jonathan Fana Frias scored a minute from the end and then celebrated "Gangnam Style", to give the Dominican Republic a 2-1 win over hosts Antigua and Barbuda on the opening night of the 2012 Caribbean Cup.

One would not have wanted to be a "Benna Boy" after the defeat, the local fans being in bitter mood, even moreso than the T&T fans the Soca Warriors sometimes face.

Frias cut inside and put a bullet of a shot past Antigua and Barbuda goalkeeper Molvin James in the 89th minute, as a young Dominican Republic team rallied from a goal down to win the match with second half goals.

John Cruz initially squared the match at 1-1 in the 74th, tucking a low shot to the corner. Playmaker Domingo Peralta also had a headed second half goal disallowed, the ball going out before reaching him, and late on, Antigua keeper James also kept the Dominican Republic from getting a third goal on several occasions.

Antigua and Barbuda fielded and old but fairly recognised team containing Gason Gregory (San Juan Jabloteh), Peter Byers (San Juan Jabloteh), 35-year-old George Dublin (Tobago United) and 34-year-old Ranjae Christian (Joe Public), all of whom played in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League at one time, but looked near the end of their international careers.

Gregory struck a post with a free-kick in the opening seconds, almost giving the hosts a perfect start. And Byers eventually gave Antigua and Barbuda a 1-0 lead in the 17th with a clinical volley from inside the penalty area. Both Byers and Gregory threatened to double the hosts' lead on the counter-attack in the second half, but mainly, the young and skillful Dominican Republic team, of average age 22, dominated the match.