MIAMI.- Concacaf Nations League Qualifying didn’t have the smoothest start for Turks and Caicos with a loss to Cuba, but it ended with some very positive results.
A round 3 home victory over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a statement win, and the dramatic late winner by then 19-year-old Jepthe Francois made it all the more special.
Vincy Heat followed that up with an away draw against the British Virgin Islands that again featured late heroics; down 2-0 after 85 minutes, Billy Forbes and Fred Dorvil scored just seconds apart in the 86th and 87th minutes to rescue a point and close out the campaign with a lot of momentum. Now the goal is to take that momentum and catapult themselves to League B.
Turks and Caicos bring some interesting faces to the table. Forbes is chief among them, having had an extensive career in the minor leagues of the United States. His crowning moment came when he scored the game winner in the 2014 NASL Championship game for the San Antonio Scorpions.
Forward Marc Fenelus has carved out an extraordinary career in Taiwan, becoming a superstar for Tatung FC. Fenelus scored 35 goals in 28 games for Tatung during their championship season in 2017, and repeated as golden boot winner in 2018 as Tatung were crowned champions again. In all, he has compiled 110 goals in 75 matches in Taiwan.
Another positive for Turks and Caicos is AFC Academy. The largest soccer club in the country supplies roughly half the players on the national team, which is a huge boost to chemistry and familiarity with one another.
This is a team that is absolutely brimming with potential and full of confidence after a good close to qualifying, and they certainly feel like they have that winning magic about them right now. Sint Maarten will be improved and Guadeloupe are certainly very dangerous opposition, but Turks and Caicos are not just here to take part, they are ready to contend for Group D.