Basseterre, St. Kitts – In front of a packed Warner Park Stadium on Friday night, (11th November, 2011), St. Kitts and Nevis and Canada played to a nil nil draw, in their World Cup Qualifier match.
The game however did live up to its hype as the two teams delivered 90 minutes, of superb ball play but despite three minutes added time for injury and other stoppages, they failed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities.
The home side should have walked away with at least a two nil victory, given the close chances that came their way. There was also a moment when the excited fans were certain that a penalty would have resulted from a foul in the second half but the referee awarded a free kick instead just outside the box.
St. Kitts and Nevis could be very proud of itself for the splendid ball play exhibited against the Canadians who played the Kittitians and Nevisians hard; and at times being very physical, pulling and tugging the home team players. To many it was very surprising that no Yellow Cards were issued for such actions but the ref was fair in his allowance of some minor infractions from both sides.
Recognizing the importance of the game, the local association made a strong appeal for public support and residents and nationals of the twin island nation did respond in their thousands, dressed in their red replica jerseys of the national side, and outfits representative of the colours of their national flag. Others came with their flags and noise makers helping to add to the carnival type atmosphere that was created by the sounds of the Iron Band and the soca band Nu Vybes International.
There was also a small but very vibrant crowd of Canadians who are attending various medical universities on the island. They however were outdone by the larger local crowd that had the support of hundreds of other students who too are attending the St. Kitts based universities. If for no other time, Friday night, these “foreign” students adopted St. Kitts and Nevis as their own and came prepared in their numbers, dressed in the colours of the local flag and were among the loudest voices shouting support for the home team.
Now the attention turns to Toronto, Canada when the return leg is hosted on Tuesday 15 November. Many nationals of this country are already preparing to travel to Canada from the US, to support the St. Kitts-Nevis side. This is the first time both teams have played each other but according to the Canadian coach, they were aware of the talents of the local side and were not taking any chances.