MIAMI, Florida – 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying produced its fair share of magical moments.
Over the course of four match-days from September 2018 until March 2019, 68 matches were played among the 34 teams in action with some notable performances at the team and individual level.
On a team level, the CNLQ saw Bermuda and Guyana qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup for the first time in their respective nations’ history. Bermuda finished in fifth place with a 3W-1D-0L record and a place in League A, while Guyana punched their ticket to the Gold Cup thanks to a seventh-place finish and a spot in League B.
From an individual perspective, one would be hard-pressed to find a better display than Duckens Nazon in Haiti’s opening 13-0 win over Sint Maarten. Nazon scored five goals which helped the Les Grenadiers FW finish CNLQ as the joint-leader in scoring with six goals.
Not to be outdone was Curacao FW Rangelo Janga, who tallied six goals in Curacao’s first three matches, including a hat trick in the 10-0 win over Grenada in week one. Rounding out the list of week one stars was Domingo Peralta of the Dominican Republic, who as a second half substitute scored a hat-trick in just 23 minutes to help lift the Dominican Republic past Bonaire, 5-0.
Also on matchday one, the most seasoned and veteran of players saw a full 90 minutes of action, with then-44-year-old Dominica DF Euclid Bertrand going the distance in the 0-0 draw versus Suriname. At the other end of the spectrum, 16-year-old Ian Lowe came on as the substitute goalkeeper and performed admirably for Bahamas in its 4-0 loss to Belize.
One of the highlights of week two was the special atmosphere at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, Puerto Rico where Puerto Rico played its first home match since Hurricane Maria in 2017. The Boricuas put forth an inspiring performance but were narrowly edged by Martinique 1-0.
There were also an astounding number of hat-tricks in week 2, with six players scoring a trio of goals in their team’s respective victories: Myles Weston of Antigua and Barbuda, Zeiko Lewis of Bermuda, Reggie Lambe of Bermuda, Sheldon Holder of Guyana, Emery Welshman of Guyana and Atiba Harris of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
In week three, there were a number of firsts as well for teams like Bahamas, Anguilla and Cayman Islands, who all earned their first points in CNLQ, while Bonaire earned its first victory since 2014 in defeating British Virgin Islands 2-1 thanks to Jermaine Windster’s dramatic 88th minute winner.
Rounding out CNLQ in week four was the memorable battle between neighbors Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, who produced arguably one of the best matches of the entire tournament that saw the Dutch side of the island emerge with a 4-3 win against their French counterparts.