CONCACAF says League C of the 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League continued on Monday with Aruba and Saint Martin earning key victories in their quest for promotion.
CONCACAF said on Tuesday that the first match-up of the day saw Aruba come away with a late 2-1 win over the Cayman Islands in Group B at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Cayman Islands.
With the win, Aruba is atop the group with three points after one match, while Cayman Islands are third with one point, CONCACAF said.
It said “fans could not have asked for a more exciting start with two goals inside the first six minutes of play.”
Striking first was Aruba inside the first 90 seconds, “as a ball played in from the left wing met the stabbing foot of Rovien Ostiana for a 1-0 lead to the visitors,” CONCACAF said.
“The hosts answered right back in the 6’, as Christhofer Nunez got loose on the left edge of the area and from the slimmest of angles, fired in a shot that deflected off the leg of Aruba GK Matthew Lentink and into goal to make it 1-1,” CONCACAF said.
It said “some heroic defending from the Cayman Islands in the 58’ with a ball cleared off the goal-line kept the draw intact, but Aruba would land the decisive goal 21 minutes later in the 79’ through Darryl Baly, who got low to steer home a header off a corner kick for the 2-1 Aruba victory.”
CONCACAF said te second game of the day in League C was decided on “some late fireworks”, with Saint Martin rallying to edge Bonaire 2-1 in Group A action at the SKNFA Technical Centre in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
“With the result, Saint Martin now sit firmly atop the group with six points through two matches, while Bonaire are still with no points after one match,” it said. “An even first half in which neither side were able to break through gave way to a more open second stanza, but the first goal would not arrive until the 67’.”
CONCACAF said the man to do it was Sheehander Martinus, “who was at the right place at the right time, turning in a rebound after back-to-back shots off a free kick for a 1-0 Bonaire lead.”
“Saint Martin quickly got back on level terms though, thanks to Axel Raga, who scored his fifth goal of this CNL in the 75’’” CONCACAF said.
It said Keelan Lebon’s shot from distance took a deflection off a Bonaire defender and fell right to Raga at the far post, making for an easy stroke into net for Raga.
“The momentum was now with Saint Martin, and they made the most of it, getting the winning goal in the 87’ after an own goal from Bonaire’s Jurven Koffy when a cross deflected off his leg and into net,” CONCACAF said.