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Nations League challenge a welcomed task for Curacao
Defender Jurien Gari # 13 who scored one of the most memorable goals in the Concacaf Gold Cup seek for the ball against Jamaica´s Junior Flemmings on June 25, 2019, at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
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MIAMI.- It seems success has come step by step for Curacao, and Remko Bicentini’s squad is looking to take the next step as it begins Concacaf Nations League play.

The former member of the Netherlands Antilles started carving its path in 2011 and since then has seen plenty of growth. 2017 brought the nation’s first appearance at the Gold Cup, which 2019 brought the first goal, first point, first win and first knockout round match in the continental championship.

Now, Curacao wants more, hoping to top a difficult Group D that includes Gold Cup semifinalist Haiti and traditional power Costa Rica. If past history is any indication, they won’t shy away from the task.

Bicentini’s squads have defended staunchly, allowing multiple goals in just one match over the past 10 games - a 2-1 loss to Antigua and Barbuda in Nations League qualification. Even meeting teams like Honduras, Jamaica and the United States in the Gold Cup, Curacao either kept a clean sheet or allowed just one goal.

Some of that is down to Eloy Room, the goalkeeper who should be in good form for the CNL after moving to the Columbus Crew from PSV. He’s once again getting the No. 1 minutes at club level. Cuco Martina and Darryl Lachman have been pillars in defense as well.

It’s not only about the defenders, though, with Curacao often forcing the issue with a more attacking style of play. Rangelo Janga tied for Nations League qualification leading scorer with six goals, while Cardiff City midfielder Leandro Bacuna is always a threat to set up a goal or score his own effort from distance.

It will all need to come together well for Curacao to add another accomplishment to its list of achievements by moving to the Nations League final in June, but the team certainly feels it’s ready to take that next step.

 
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