BASSETERRE, Saint Kitts – Saint Kitts and Nevis held off the visiting Aruba in a hard-fought 2-0 win at Warner Park on Monday night to grab first place in League C Group B with an impressive 10 points from four matches.
The first real chance of the match came in the 21st minute for the hosts when Omari Sterling-James’ left-footed effort bounced off the post. Saint Kitts managed a staggering 12 shots in the opening period, but Aruba certainly looked dangerous at times as well.
The Sugar Boyz were rewarded for their good play with a goal in the dying moments of the half, as Keithroy Freeman chipped Aruba keeper and captain Eric Abdul in the 46th minute after running down a long ball over the top.
Abdul was fabulous all night, and his finest save came in the 74th minute when he punched an absolute thunderbolt from Freeman over the bar.
And though his heroics kept Aruba in the game, they were forced to open up as time expired and were caught on a counterattack in the 80th minute that led to Freeman’s second goal of the day, putting the match to bed.
The Sugar Boyz will return to League B for the next Nations League Cycle and will travel to the Gold Cup Prelims. If Saint Kitts can advance from the Prelims, they will qualify for their first-ever Concacaf Gold Cup.
Aruba finish the group in second place, having made a good showing of themselves, with a total record of 1W-1D-2L, highlighted by the 3-0 victory over Saint Martin.