BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados captain Gabriella Lopez muffed a penalty late on as Barbados were frustrated by Grenada and held to a 1-1 draw in a women’s international friendly here Tuesday night.
With the scores locked 1-1 with four minutes left in the encounter at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex and Barbados pressing for the winner, Grenada captain Chelsey La Touche tripped Rianna Cyrus in the box, to set up the ideal opportunity for the hosts.
However, Lopez, who had been a shining light for Barbados up until then, blasted the resulting shot onto the crossbar, as Grenada escaped with a share of the honours.
The visitors had earlier taken the lead against the run of play when Merissa Charles struck with a low drive in the 62nd minute.
Almost on the very next play, however, Barbados equalized through Kimberley Ellis who was a constant threat throughout.
Barbados, though, were guilty of failing to nail their chances and Lopez said this came down to fitness.
“Granted it’s all well and good and to say we could have [put away the chances] but at the same time when fatigue hits your legs it means you’re not as fit as you need to be for an international match like this,” Lopez said.
She added: “Watching players develop from where they were in the [domestic] league to international play, was a positive. A lot of players got experience for the first time and I think that will be good for them.”
Grenada also spurned their chances, shooting wide on a couple of occasions and also striking the uprights late in the game.
Despite the result, La Touche had nothing but praise for her side.
“They tried their best. They worked hard and they trained hard, and we just came out to do our best,” she told reporters afterward.
“They are very determined so with a little more practice, and motivation and confidence, we will be successful in the future.”
Following a goal-less first half, the game erupted in the second half, as both teams hunted the opening goal.
Barbados looked the more dangerous, Lopez volleying just wide with a left-footed shot and Tianna Hackett managing only to get off a weak shot from close range after getting free of defenders.
Ellis then threatened after twice finding herself in goal-scoring positions. In the 51stminute, she managed to get off a shot following a goal-mouth scramble only to have it blocked and four minutes later, sent a header wide from a Hackett corner.
Grenada had been threatening on the counter-attack and eventually stunned the Barbadians with a well-orchestrated move, that was finished off by Charles.
Barbados wasted little time in getting even. They got down the right flank with pace, with Shontelle Small sending a searching cross the face goal. Ellis arrived with pace through the middle, eluding her marker to stab home from virtually point blank range.
The game became an even more open affair as both teams went for the win. Shikkira Charles shot wide from close range on 75 minutes and Jemeilla John found the uprights late on with a rasping drive.
Lopez had the last real chance to change the game but fluffed her lines.