National football team suffers heart breaking defeat in ‘battle of David vs Goliath’ (with videos)

Dominica and Dominican Republic battle it out in match 3. Photo credit: DFA Media

The Men’s National football team put on one of their best showings ever on the international stage, but they came up just short of a major upset in their world cup qualifying match against Panama the top ranked team in group D on Sunday.

Forced to play their home fixture in the Dominican Republic because of the covid-19 pandemic, Dominica entered the match, knowing that all odds were against them, and knowing that they were up against a team that had made it all the way to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Panama started the game ranked at number 78 in the FIFA World Rankings, while Dominica at 184 out of the 210 playing nations.

The National team started off brightly and weathered the early Panama attack. The team defended well as a unit, and kept Panama at bay. Unfortunately, they conceded a goal in the 28th minute when Briel Thomas turned a cross whipped across the face of goal back into his own net.

The National team did not drop their shoulders and continued to fight. The scores remained 1-nil until the 82nd minute when substitute Audel Laville produced a moment of magic to grab the equalizer for Dominica. He won the ball back deep in the Panama half and then fired a left footed volley that beat the diving goal keeper.

Dominica looked set to hold on for a historic draw, but conceded a heart breaking second own goal in the 86th minute of play when Travist Joseph’s desperate diving effort to prevent the ball from falling to the feet of the on rushing striker, Jose Fajardo was unsuccessful and it got past Glenson Prince in goal.

The Full Time score: Panama 2, Dominica 1.

Head Coach of the team, Rajesh Latchoo, says despite the loss, Dominica showed the world that they are capable of competing against the big teams.

Coach Latchoo and Audel Laville spoke with DFA Media after the match (videos courtesy of DFA Media).

Dominica has been placed in Group D of the Concacaf Qualifiers alongside Panama, The Dominican Republic, Barbados, and Anguilla.

Group results so far:

Dominican Republic – 1
Dominica – 0

Panama – 1
Barbados – 0

Dominican Republic – 6
Anguilla – 0

Panama – 2
Dominica – 1

Group D Standings
Dominican Republic – 6 points
Panama – 6 points
Barbados – 3 points
Dominica – 0 points
Anguilla – 0 points

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  1. click here
    March 31, 2021

    Amateur footballers will never be able to compete with semi-pro and professional football players. PERIOD. Semi and professional players drink eat sleep football. they train, they dont practice. Most do not have 9-5 jobs like our players. They dont have to wait until they leave work at Astaphans to go train. the pros have strict regimens, for training, classroom studies, meal and nutrition regimens, fully equipped gymnasiums with saunas, ice baths, swimming pools and all the necessary equipment WITH multiple trainers and specialists on staff. Here in Dominica, we continue to make excuses and shift the blame. The Ministry of Sports has NO interest in developing sports in Dominica any time soon, at least in a sustainable manner. That is IF the Minister herself knows anything about sports. Her PS looking like he cannot even bounce a ball, much less to run with while it bouncing.

  2. What He Said
    March 30, 2021

    Not bad for a bunch of rank amateurs who are the cream of the footballing crop among a nation of 70,000 with no professional contracts, no modern training facility, just a love for the game and pride in representing country.

    Why not Dominica? After all, lesser ranked countries like Bhutan, Anguilla, Pakistan, and Somolia all cherish the opportunity to participate in World Cup qualifying. Football is the only global sport in which the ultimate winner can truly lay claim to the title of World Champion. So play on fellas and strive for victory, albeit in your dreams!!!

  3. our Sisserou laying Eggs
    March 29, 2021

    we did alright. but i think the biggest problem for us isn’t the coaches or the trainers. it’s the players. now hold your horses just a bit. what i meant was that we need full time athletes. not persons who work normal jobs and make the special effort to do a few extra hours after work. 100% football. 100% every single day at it. when you’re not on the field training, you’re either at the gym getting your body improved or you’re in class somewhere looking at the playing techniques of other international footballers, and learning how to be better than them. And please read: the art of war

  4. Ibo France
    March 29, 2021

    Team Dominica gave a good account of themselves. They lost both football games but sure did not embarrass the country. Yes, there needs to be improvement but all Dominicans should feel a sense of pride in the manner the boys represented the country.

    Sports should be an integral part of youth and human development in Dominica because of the good it does or can do. Therefore, it is imperative that the government invest in more modern facilities for the youth population.

    There definitely should be more and better football fields/stadiums fitted with modern equipment to accommodate 24/7 football play.

    Better outcomes next time guys with more hard work and practice. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Continue to practise and improve.

    • Pipo
      March 30, 2021

      Ibo, I agree except for more stadiums. Be real, we only have a population of Maybe 70,000 and have one underused stadium already. That should be made available for international soccer matches, not only cricket, However we should have more properly equipped and maintained training pitches. As for players, our football association could give budding talent a contract, develop them and then get them placed with international clubs with recall to the national squad for international matches, like African and South American countries do. That really would put us on the map and would be a source of income for our football association, have Dominica as a nursery for young talent. Our team did well, given the circumstances and limitations and our players should be encouraged and not disheartened. And we definitely do not need Matt pontificating on this for mor than an hour yesterday in an attempt to avoid giving time to more pressing matters.

  5. zandoli
    March 29, 2021

    The final score should be Dominica 3: Panama 0.
    We scored all three goals.

  6. Jules Vert
    March 29, 2021

    Kudos to the Dominica National Team! The team played really well considering that Panama is ranked so much higher by FIFA. BTW, I don’t like the fact that our team colours look so much like Jamaica’s. Why is it that we don’t use some red to distinguish ourselves? The little bit of white we use is hardly distinguishable.

  7. click here
    March 29, 2021

    We need more sporting facilities not just degraded fields and savannas. Sports needs to be taken seriously once again. In remember in the 80 and early 90’s football was huge in Dominica. We need fields with proper lighting for night games, bleachers for spectators, well maintained rest rooms for guest, changing/locker rooms for teams, storage for equipment, laundry facility, etc etc.. these are basic ammenities for a sports facility. Lets rebuild sports in Dominica.

  8. Dominicafootball
    March 29, 2021

    I saw a young team with a lot of promise! Prince and LaVille have great skill. Dominica would benefit greatly from a semi-pro league but that will hopefully come with patience and dedication. You made Dominica proud 🇩🇲🇩🇲

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