Renewed Local Derby opens Digicel Caribbean Championships – Netherlands Antilles Curacao in scoreless stalemate with Aruba
Netherlands Antilles Curacao
Netherlands Antilles Curacao kicked off the third Digicel Caribbean Championship by renewing a local derby against Aruba for the first time in 4 years in front of 2,000 excited home fans who were treated to a spectacular opening ceremony from the sponsors Digicel before kick off.
After narrowly exiting to Haiti in the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers by one goal to nil, Curacao were looking to ensure that they had no slip ups in the opening Group A of the DCC by brining in 4 Dutch National League players including Herenveen?s Chirino and Bacuna as well as the influential Ascenion and Martha.
It was Netherlands Antilles who started the brighter and should have taken the lead when first Bicintini was guilty of missing a guilt edged chance by scuffing his shot into the ground when he should have hit the target after only 10 minutes and one minute later Espacia shot narrowly past Werleman?s post when the goal was at his mercy from 8 yards.
After arriving to the country just 2 hours before kick off due to flight delays, Aruba finally got into the swing of things and after 30 minutes Sylvester Schwengle saw his looped shot cleared off the line by a massive one handed save from Pisas who seemed to scoop the ball from behind him.
Curacao Coach Gisbertha obviously had a few harsh words to say at the half time break as his charges came looking like a team with serious intent and after only 2 minutes of the restart were ruing yet another golden opportunity missed. This time the heroics of keeper Werkleman saved Aruba who were stretched at the back after some great work by captain Martha set Ascenion up, the Dutch league player could not steer the ball past the long legs of the onrushing Aruban keeper.
Aruba were riding their luck and a goal seemed likely to arrive but for the incredible wastefulness of Curacao in front of Werkleman?s goal. On 66 minutes Ascenion turned provider for Martha who incredibly shot wide when it seemed easier to score.
Competing for the first time in the past 8 years in the Digicel Championships, Aruba were determined to come back with a bang and on 68 minutes almost broke the deadlock when Ridderbo seemed odds on to score when he was through one on one with the experienced Pisas in the Curacao goal. The veteran keeper however proving too daunting a sight and Ridderbo softly pushed the ball over the dead ball line and out for a goal kick.
The game seemed destined for a draw and in the second minute of stoppage time substitute Djarston Torbed had the chance to write his name up in the headlines but when put through with a glorious ball from Biscintini he swung and missed the ball completely from 16 yards out. One can only assume Torbed was still reflecting on the fantastic opening ceremony when Digicel performed their usual incredible event spectaculars with marching bands, dancing girls and acrobatic performers.
Grenada await Aruba for match day 2 on Tuesday next with Group hosts Curacao facing Grenada on match day 3 on Thursday July 31. If Digicel?s fireworks display at the end of the game tonight were anything to go by, we should be in for a real treat of football for the remaining match here in Willemsted in Group A of the Digicel Championships.
Netherlands Antilles Curacao: 18. Marcello Pisas, 3. Danielo Trinidad, 2. Richene Doran, 5. Curtly Hooi, 7. Johsua Bicintini, 4 Shayron Anastatia, 12 Curly Hooi (John Bacuna 51mins), 6 Eugene Martha 8 Djuric Ascendo 17 Benjamin Martha (Djarston Torbed 69 mins) 9 Everon Espacia (Joreilly Chirino 35 mins)
Aruba: 1 Jeffrey Werkeman, 5 Theric Ruiz, 2 Aldrick Connor, 3. Jesus Paesch (Francois Croes 58 mins) 15 Regilio Kartoredjo 9 Sylvester Schwengle 8 Clayon Maduro 7 Jonathan Oduber (Albert Grovell 68mins) 14 Marinanus Ridderbo (Jerneen Robert 80mins)11 Delano Cruden, 6 Giovanne Thode