Taylor leads Montserrat to victory

Published on 08 June 2021

GEORGE’S, Grenada (June 8, 2021)—A Lyle Taylor brace gave Montserrat a 2-1 victory over host Grenada in their World Cup Qualifier Group A closer on Wednesday.

The prolific goal scorer left it late but still managed to come up with the goods when his team needed him the most. Grenada, playing at home and playing for pride, started as the early aggressors.

Looking to make home field advantage count, the Spice Boys managed to carve out a few half chances in the early portion of the game. The first real chance, however, fell to Montserrat’s Kaleem Strawbridge-Simon who popped up in the penalty area completely unmarked but could only muster a tame effort directly to the Jayson Belfon in goal for Grenada.

Montserrat began finding their rhythm soon after, mainly through the midfield combination of James Comley and Matthew Willock.  Using slick passing and interchanging of positions, Comley was able to pick out Taylor in the penalty area. Taylor found the back of the net with a well-placed header, only to be ruled offside. 

Montserrat continued to pile on the pressure and Comley again produced a great pass, again finding Taylor, who should have taken a shot at goal instead of passing. Danger averted by Grenada.

Grenada resorted to getting numbers behind the ball and long, searching clearances, and were almost rewarded for their endeavors late in the first half, but Dejon Noel-Williams could net get his headed effort on goal after some good work down the left side resulting in a cross into the penalty area.

The teams went into the halftime break nil-all.

The second-half introduction of US-based Shavorn John-Brown seemingly brought the Grenadians to life and they were soon on the scoreboard as Saydrel Lewis outpaced the Montserrat defense to slot the ball past Corin Brooks-Meade in the Montserrat goal. Grenada one goal to the good.

Meade was again called into action soon after, and he made a great save off a shot destined for the bottom corner to keep his team trailing by a single goal. 

Montserrat, chasing the result ramped up the pressure, mainly through Comley’s decisive play on both sides of the ball.  Meade again kept Grenada from increasing their lead, pulling off multiple saves in a relatively short space of time.

Those saves proved to be the crucial as an 86th minute long throw from Comley was flicked on by substitute Adrian Clifton and found Lyle Taylor unmarked just around the penalty spot. The usually clinical finisher gladly accepted the gift to draw his team level.  A minute later Montserrat, were awarded a penalty for a mistimed challenged in the area. Taylor made no mistake with the spot kick to notch his second of the match and give his team a 2-1 win and eight points after their full complement of matches.

The win landed Montserrat in second place behind El Salvador, who defeated Antigua and Barbuda 3-0 to progress to the next round.

Other Caribbean teams were in action on Wednesday’s final day of group action away from the do-or-die matches.

Cuba had the better of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1-0 with Meykel Reyes getting his name on the scoresheet in minute 64 in Group B.

In Group F, Puerto Rico beat Guyana 2-0 thanks to goals from Ricardo Rivera (12’) and Isaac Angking (25’ P).

Substitute Niall Reid-Stephen put one on the cards for Barbados, a goal answered in the 57th minute by Dominica’s Julian Wade as both teams played to a 1-1 draw in their Group D match-up.

In Group B, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands also had a 1-1 draw. The Cayman Islands went ahead courtesy Mark Ebanks (23’) but Kole Hall (65’) brought the game back to an even keel.

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