ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua Barracuda FC had mixed results in the United Soccer League (USL) Pro Division over the last four days, beating the visiting Charlotte Eagles 3-2 on Thursday before going under 2-0 to the same opponents on Saturday night.
The latter was Eagles’ first victory of the season as they revenged their previous loss to the home team at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.
The visitors were ahead in as early as the sixth minute of play via an own-goal by defender Luke Blakely while, in the second half, forward Daryl Roberts put the icing on the cake when he nudged home from close range. Ironically, the 57th minute conversion took a deflection off Blakely before ending up in the back of the net.
The home team would have gone into Saturday’s contest with confidence following their 3-2 victory on Thursday but were pleasantly surprised by a more robust and aggressive Eagles.
The visitors got their first goal when, Blakely, in an attempt to clear from a low cross, inadvertently put the ball past his own custodian, Molvin James, and into the back of the net.
Misfortune reared its nasty head once more when, some 12 minutes after the interval, a low attempt by Roberts’ came off Blakely’s feet and flew into the net.
Barracuda should have pulled a goal back three minutes later after they were awarded a penalty for a hand-ball in the Eagles’ penalty area but striker Stephan Smith put the kick over the bar.
Meanwhile in Thursday’s fixture, a second half double by Smith led the ‘Cudas to their 3-2 victory over the Charlotte Eagles.
Striker Peter “Big Pete” Byers put the home team ahead in minute 12 before Jorge Herrera brought Eagles back on leveled terms with a free-kick in minute 37.
The ‘Cudas were back in-front within 10 minutes of the second half when Smith collected a pass in the area before slamming past the Eagles’ custodian.
Smith completed his double in minute 60 when he got onto a long throw for Byers before slamming into the back of the net. Substitute Luke Williams gave the visitors hope late in the contest but Eagles cold not find the extra drive to complete the job.
Antigua will now engage in a road trip that will see the team matchup against Wilmington Hammerheads this Wednesday night at Legion Stadium, followed by a trip to face the Charleston Battery on Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium.
Before the Barracudas return home, they will also be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League in Trinidad, from May 6 to 10.