Despite a valiant effort from the Sugar Boys, the St. Kitts and Nevis Senior Men’s National Team fell down 2-0 to Suriname at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium on Saturday night, March 25, 2019 in the Suriname capital of Paramaribo. Stefano Rijssel scored the first goal in the first half and Ivenzo Convalius sealed the deal in the 78th minute for the host side. The loss was a tough one for St. Kitts and Nevis, as this means they will miss out on qualifying for the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer, which was poised to be a historic feat.
Coach Jacques Passy after the match, while disappointed with the result, was introspective. He told the local media in Suriname that his strategy was not to go all out and attack too early in the match, but to control the tempo of the game, so Suriname’s attack and then launch attacks for goals. However, that strategy, he said obviously did not work. “Unfortunately at this time, the strategy was not right. Maybe I should have attacked from the very first minute; that’s something we would have to analyze but we did not feel the urgent need to attack because we did not want a do or die from minute number one,” Coach Passy said. “We wanted to control the game and then attack and then start scoring before Suriname started scoring.”
Team Captain Romaine Sawyers, on behalf of the team took responsibility for the defeat. He noted that the coach would have conveyed the game plan but the execution is up to the players and so they must take responsibility for the result.
Meanwhile, Suriname’s Coach Dean Gorré said he had rightly predicted the result based on the strategy he had devised for his team. He explained that the key was to neutralize the threat of Sawyers and that would have effectively swung the game to their advantage. “St. Kitts—I studied them with the boys; we had a game plan. We knew their strength. Obviously their biggest strength is the captain and if we get him under control, that would be our biggest asset for the game. The game plan worked,” Gorré said.
After the match at the team hotel at the Marriott Courtyard in Paramaribo, Coach Passy spoke positively to the players, noting that while the loss was bitterly disappointing considering how close they were to qualifying for the Gold Cup, they can suffer the loss together and examine why they, yet again missed out on making the grand tournament. He commended the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) for the professional manner they allowed for the preparation for the match and throughout the Concacaf League of Nations. He encouraged the players to look forward to resumption of the Nations League in September 2019 and in the meantime to give their best to their respective clubs. St. Kitts and Nevis, by virtue of their performance in the Nations League have qualified for Division B of the three tier league.
The team departed Suriname early Sunday morning and returned home Sunday night. Each player now returns to their respective clubs locally and overseas.
The local-based players will return to action in the SKNFA National Bank Premier which is now in the business end of the season with the crucial round three now in full swing.
Caption: Coach Jacques Passy addresses team members at the team hotel, the Marriott Courtyard in Paramaribo, Suriname after their match on Saturday.