By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
Team Bahamas was blanked for the third consecutive match in the opening round of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers for the CONCACAF region.
The Bahamas suffered a 7-0 loss to Puerto Rico last night at the Mayaguez Athletics Stadium in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
The hosts posted their first score of the match just three minutes in, on a goal from Gerald Diaz.
Ricardo Rivera scored at 13’ followed by Isaac Angking at 31’.
Rivera sent his side into the half with a 4-0 lead when he successfully converted a penalty kick.
In the second period, Devin Vega (62’) scored, followed by late game substitution Jaden Servania’s goal at 66’ and Nicolas Cardona capped the scoring with his goal in stoppage time.
“Puerto Rico is a very good team, they were well organised, well led, and tactically caused a lot of problems in the midfield. They did a really good job of moving, really good job of just getting into the defence and making us make decisions.
“At the end of the day, as a defender, I didn’t do the best job that I could, but they did a really good job of causing problems. As a result, they blew goals by us early and just kept going,” said team captain Dylan Pritchard. “There are positives that we can take from it, but definitely a lot to learn.”
The Bahamas will return home to host Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday afternoon at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. That match is scheduled for 5pm.
“Unfortunately, we gave up two early goals, put our backs against the wall and it was pretty much an uphill fight from there,” coach Kevin Davies said. “My boys, they hung in there, I think they gave it their all, they left everything on the field, they fought to the end, they never gave up but unfortunately, the result is the result.”
The Bahamas remains the lone team in Group F without a point. They are currently 0-3 with a -15 goal differential.
Team Bahamas opened Group F play with a 4-0 loss at home to St Kitts and Nevis on March 27 at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.
Three days later, The Bahamas suffered their second consecutive shutout loss in the current group stage with a 4-0 loss to Guyana at Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium in Santiago, The Dominican Republic.
St Kitts and Nevis leads the group with a 2-0 win/loss record, scoring six points. Trinidad and Tobago has four points after recording a win and a loss, Guyana has three points thus far, Puerto Rico now has four points after a win, a draw and a loss.
The Qatar 2022 qualification process features three rounds. The First Round (30 teams) will feature CONCACAF teams ranked 6-35 based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings. Groups will compete in a single round robin format.
Each team will play every other team in their group once, playing a total of four matches - two home and two away.
At the end of the first round the six group winners will progress to the second round. The second round (six teams) will be played between the group winners from the first round in a home-and-away direct elimination format.