A decisive header from Jamaican International Christopher Harvey in the 60th minute and a close range strike from Stefan Smith in the 77th minute was enough to secure the three points for Antigua Barracuda FC and a 2-0 victory, to consolidate their position as leaders of the USLPRO International Division and their fifth consecutive victory.
The game started under cloudless skies and for large periods of the first half, the home team pressed and hurried the visitors preventing their usual smooth silky passes and any comfort of time to negotiate and exploit any weaknesses in the team.
As the game continued though the influence of Peter Villegas, Captain and engineer of almost every attack initiated by River Plate PR, became more influential. On the other hand, the power and pace of Byers and Smith, along with the individual skill of Tamarley Thomas and Orlando Mitchum did provide their share of concerns for the visitors defence.
The first real opportunity for the visitors fell to Villegas who should have done better when he beat the off side trap only for Goal Keeper Keita DeCasto to affect an important save.
Minutes later, Big Pete Peter Byers was put through and much to the dismay of the home crowd kicked wide to maintain his scoreless record at home.
The second half saw the visitors adapt a more direct approach that presented some problems for the Barracuda defence but the discipline of the team prevailed.
Commenting on the game in his post- match interview, Coach Tom Curtis said, “We worked really hard out there tonight, they are a good team but we wore them down tonight and we had two good goals from Chris (Harvey) and Tommy (Smith).”
Harvey delighted to get on the score sheet for his first Barracuda FC goal stated, “I am happy with my performance tonight, I still believe I can do better so you can look forward to much more from me.”
Stefan Smith recorded his fourth goal for the ‘Cudas’ and his second in as many matches was happy to put this team away and secure their position at the top of the table.
“After our long road trip it’s really nice to secure this victory in front of our fans. They deserve it and we hope to make it six straight on Sunday night.”
Manager of the River Plate PR team was not so happy with the result and blamed it entirely on the referees.
“They changed the course of the game, they do not deserve to be referees at this level.”
With another game scheduled for Sunday night and the bench of the visitors extremely short they must be carrying a few concerns going into the next few days.
Meanwhile a rampant and buoyant Barracuda FC can look forward to further enhance their stock as front leaders as they carry the fight for club and country.