TEAM ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA DRAWS WITH GUADELOUPE ON THE ROAD TO HAITIMonday 7th November 2011
Antigua and Barbuda held Guadeloupe to a nil-all draw in the men from Wadadli's final test ahead of this Friday's crucial World Cup Qualifier.
The friendly match on Saturday tested the mettle of home team, which is preparing to take on Haiti in a few days.
"It was a good showing from the guys. We had one or two things we needed to look at and we got the chance to do so Saturday night. We are quite satisfied with how the team performed," Manager Fernando Abraham said.
Among the things evident Saturday was team Antigua and Barbuda's maturity and finesse, with responses to the visitors that showed more tactic than just sheer bravado.
Abraham said the team will use the time between now and the Haiti encounter, which is dubbed 11-11-11: The Big One, to fine tune the unit.
This includes merging the overseas-based players, who will all be on island by Wednesday.
"The mood is upbeat; we are ready to go," Abraham said.
As the guys prepare on the field, the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) is working to whip up national support.
ABFA General Secretary Gordon "Banks" Derrick has reiterated that this moment in football history is a national event and not one reserved for the football fraternity.
"The team is doing well; the programme is doing well, and where we are today and where we will be in terms of FIFA world ranking and international attention when we beat Haiti at home and away will be about the nation, not just the team," Derrick said.
Antigua and Barbuda is currently ranked at 90, the best to date. A win in the away leg on November 15 will catapult the team to 70.
But, for now, the ABFA says the focus is on one game at a time, starting with Friday's 7 pm showdown at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
Tickets go on sale from Monday, with the first two days attracting an early bird special price of $20. Regular admission is $30 for adults, $10 for children under 12.
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