Antigua and Barbuda national football team

Antigua and Barbuda
Nickname(s) The Benna Boys
Association Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA)
Confederation Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)
Sub-confederation Caribbean Football Union (CFU)
Head coach Derrick Edwards
Captain Joshua Parker
Most caps Peter Byers (84)
Top scorer Peter Byers (42)
Home stadium Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and Antigua Recreation Ground
FIFA code ATG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 126 (16 August 2018)
Highest 70 (October 2014)
Lowest 170 (December 2003 – January 2004)
Elo ranking
Current 159 (22 May 2018)
Highest 131 (November 2010)
Lowest 179 (November 2007)
First international
 Trinidad and Tobago 11–1 Antigua and Barbuda 
(Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; 10 November 1972)
Biggest win
 Antigua and Barbuda 10–0 U.S. Virgin Islands 
(North Sound, Antigua & Barbuda; 11 October 2011)
Biggest defeat
 Trinidad and Tobago 11–1 Antigua and Barbuda 
(Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; 10 November 1972)

The Antigua and Barbuda national football team is the national team of Antigua and Barbuda and is controlled by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, a member of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football and the Caribbean Football Union.

Nickname

The official nickname of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team is The Benna Boys due to the indigenous music of the country. The name was selected in a contest with the fanbase in 2012 after the team advanced to the third round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. The Benna Boys beat out other entries in the contest such as Beach Boys, Iron Bandits, Rhythm Warriors and Party Crashers.[1] In the past, the national team was unofficially known as the Wadadli Boys, another name that was in the contest but did not win.[2]

History

(1972) First international matches

The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association became affiliated with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in 1970. The first official FIFA match played by Antigua and Barbuda was away against Trinidad and Tobago in Port-of Spain, Trinidad on 10 November 1972 for a home and away series during 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification. Trinidad and Tobago won the first match 11–1, making this result Antigua and Barbuda's worst loss in team history. The Soca Warriors also won the second leg in St. John's, Antigua 2–1 nine days later.

(1998) Fourth place finish in the 1998 Caribbean Cup Finals

The 1998 Caribbean Cup, hosted by Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, saw Antigua and Barbuda, led by Serbian coach Zoran Vraneš, serve up a surprise as they reached the semi-finals of the competition. In the qualifying round, the Benna Boys had an unbeaten string of matches securing progression to group stages of the finals. Antigua were placed in Group 4, along with Grenada, Guyana and Anguilla. A 2–2 draw to Guyana in the opening game was followed by a 7–0 thrashing of Anguilla – in which The Benna Boys were rampant. All this before a narrow 2–1 victory over Grenada, who finished in second spot on 6 points. Winning two matches and drawing one saw Antigua and Barbuda topped the group with 7 points, sealing their progression to the group stage of the Caribbean Cup Finals.

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Antigua and Barbuda 73210113+8
 Grenada 63201174+13
 Guyana 43111174+13
 Anguilla 03003135−34

In the group stage, there were two groups. Antigua and Barbuda were put into Group A with their first match coming against a very talented Trinidad and Tobago team, a match they narrowly lost 3–2. A 2–1 win over Dominica followed, with Derrick Edwards and Winston Roberts grabbing the crucial goals that gave Antigua the platform to carry onto the final tie against Martinique, and a 5–1 hammering of the latter was assured. The performances in the aforementioned three matches saw Antigua and Barbuda get second place in the group and qualify for the knockout phase of the tournament.

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Trinidad and Tobago 93300133+10
 Antigua and Barbuda 6320195+4
 Martinique 3310278−1
 Dominica 03003215−13

The Benna Boys' first and only qualification to the knockout round saw them pitted against the heavy favourites of the tournament, Jamaica's Reggae Boys. Antigua and Barbuda did so well to keep their fierce rivals at bay for normal time, until Onandi Lowe struck in the 110th minute of extra time to send Antigua and Barbuda into a 3rd Place Playoff with Haiti who lost to Trinidad & Tobago in the other semi-final. That would produce a magnificent encounter, with Antigua ending up the losing team in a five-goal thriller. Vaughn Christopher and Ranjae Christian bagged the duo of goals for Antigua and Barbuda but it wasn’t enough to grab third place and a bronze medal. To this day, placing fourth in this edition of the Caribbean Cup is the highest achievement for the Benna Boys.

Semifinals

 Jamaica 1–0 Antigua and Barbuda
Onandi Lowe  110'

 Trinidad and Tobago 4–1  Haiti
Stern John  1', 60'
Irasto Knights  15', 42'
Eddy Cesar  85'

Third Place Playoff

 Haiti 3–2 Antigua and Barbuda
Jean Bernard Fleurial  72'
Jean Robert Menelas  27'
Abrahim Mackenzy  71'
Vaughn Christopher  53'
Ranjae Christian  58'

(2005) First UEFA opponent

On December 17, 2005 the Antigua and Barbuda national team played their first and only ever match against a European opponent after the Hungarian Football Federation invited the Benna Boys to play Hungary in an international friendly at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This was the first match coached by former national striker Derrick Edwards. Antigua and Barbuda went down early in the 10th minute when Krisztian Vadocz tricky footwork saw him evade three defenders and fired past goalkeeper Elvis Anthony to make it 1–0. Then in the 32nd minute, the Hungarians doubled the scoreline when Robert Feczesin easily redirected a Daniel Tozser free kick with his head past Anthony, who failed adjust quickly enough. The Hungarians then added a third 10 minutes from time through Istvan Ferenczi, who fired home from just outside the six-yards box.[3]

(2011–2012) Historical run in 2014 World Cup Qualifying

Antigua and Barbuda led by Tom Curtis made a historic run to the third round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They received a bye from the first round of CONCACAF qualifiers and were grouped with the U.S. Virgin Islands, Curaçao and Haiti in the second round. Their first match was at home to Curaçao. After conceding the first goal, the Benna Boys came back to win the match 5–2. Next, Antigua and Barbuda played away to the U.S. Virgin Islands and won convincingly 8–1. In their third fixture, Antigua and Barbuda had to play a tricky away match at Curaçao. Tamarley Thomas scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute to give Antigua and Barbuda all 3 points. Up next in their fourth fixture of the second round was a home match versus the U.S. Virgin Islands. Antigua and Barbuda wasted little time before scoring the opening goal. In this match, the Benna Boys made history with an emphatic 10–0 win that saw Peter Byers and Tamarley Thomas both scoring hat-tricks. This was the biggest win in Antigua and Barbuda football history. While Antigua and Barbuda easily beat the U.S. Virgin Islands, Curaçao drew away at Haiti. This meant that Haiti needed at least a draw in their next match in Antigua to stay alive in the competition. On November 11, 2011, Antigua and Barbuda played versus Haiti at home. This match proved difficult for the Benna Boys. For large spells of the match Haiti had majority of the possession and almost scored on a number of occasions including hitting the post twice in the first half. In the second half, Haiti was content on settling for a draw knowing that the next match was in Port-au-Prince and would be favoured to win. In the 82nd minute, Antigua and Barbuda opened up the deadlock with a strike from Kerry Skepple. After the goal, Haiti pressed for the equalizer and forced goalkeeper Molvin James to make some terrific saves. Antigua and Barbuda won this match 1–0 and advanced to the third round of CONCACAF qualifying thus eliminating Haiti with a game to spare. In the final match, the Benna Boys lost in the return leg in Haiti 2–1. Winning this group saw Antigua and Barbuda's FIFA World ranking go to 83rd, their highest ever at the time.

{{2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Second Round Group F |expanded=yes |fixtures=yes}}

In the third round, Antigua and Barbuda were grouped with Jamaica, Guatemala and the United States. The first fixture in his group was an away match to the United States. Most people were expecting a convincing win by the U.S. but Antigua and Barbuda made it a competitive game. After conceding the first two goals from Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey in the 8th and the 44th minute respectively, Peter Byers scored a goal on a through pass from Mikele Leigertwood to bring the match to 2–1 in the 65th minute. The Benna Boys were somehow trying to equalize but that came to an end in the 72nd minute when Hercules Gomez scored a goal. The match ended in a 3–1 loss but Antigua and Barbuda gained respect for standing toe to toe with a CONCACAF giant. Up next was a home match to Jamaica. It ended in 0–0 draw gaining their first ever point in the third round of World Cup qualifying. Next, was another tough road test versus Guatemala in the pouring rain that saw some areas of field flooded. Surprisingly, Antigua and Barbuda opened the scoring in the 39th minute from Peter Byers and took the lead into half time. In the second half, Carlos Ruiz leveled the match at 1–1 in the 60th minute. It went from bad to worse when they were reduced to 10 men. Molvin James received a second yellow card for time wasting and Ruiz scored another goal to take the lead 3 minutes later. In the 91st minute Dwight Pezzarossi sealed the match 3–1. The return leg against Guatemala in Antigua saw Guatemala win 1–0 on a wonder strike from Carlos Ruiz in the 25th minute. A home match versus the United States was the next on the schedule. The United States opened up the scoring in the 20th minute on a header from Eddie Johnson but then 5 minutes later the Benna Boys leveled the score from Dexter Blackstock from a Peter Byers pass. The match saw both teams have chances to take the lead even though the U.S. had majority of the possession. Unfortunately, Antigua and Barbuda conceded a late goal, again off of an Eddie Johnson header in the 90th minute. The match ended in a 2–1 defeat thus eliminating them from advancing to the next round. The final match of the third round was a 4–1 loss away to Jamaica ending their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

{{2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Third Round Group A |expanded=yes |fixtures=yes}}

(2016) Friendly arranged with Estonia

It was announced by the Estonian Football Association on May 2, 2016 that their national team will play Antigua and Barbuda in an international friendly on November 22. It will be the Benna Boys second match ever versus a European opponent. Estonia won the game 1–0.[4]


(2018) Drug bust in Jamaica after two creditable friendly results

During the March of 2018 FIFA International window The Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys first played Bermuda at home at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and won narrowly 3-2 through Rhys Browne in the first half, capitalizing on a defensive error and Joshua Parker from a header off of a short corner kick and two minutes later Myles Weston dribbling past a defender on the right wing and curling in a shot in the top corner of the goal. A few days later Antigua and Barbuda earned a hard fought 1-1 draw away to Jamaica at Sabina Park, levelling in the last seconds of match from a header from Peter Byers. On the team's preparation for their departure back to Antigua, assistant coach Derrick Edwards and equipment manager Danny Benjamin were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, dealing in marijuana, taking steps to export marijuana, and conspiracy at the Norman Manley International Airport. Shocked by this discovery of this crime, it is made to believe that they may have been set up by an unknown person or persons. Initially Edwards was awarded bail but Benjamin was held without bail but after a month both Edwards and Benjamin were placed under house arrest and curfew along with giving up their travel documents. [5] Both men have since been acquitted of the crime on June 14th, citing there was not enough evidence to prove their involvement in the carrying the drugs with the intention of smuggling the drugs out of Jamaica.

Rivalries

The Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys' biggest rivals are with the Saint Kitts and Nevis' Sugar Boys dating back from the inauguration of the Leeward Islands Tournament in 1949. In that tournament in particular, Saint Kitts and Nevis has the majority of wins in the head to head meetings. Although in FIFA 'A' international matches both teams have the same number of wins in the head to head meetings whether in Caribbean Cup Qualifying or international friendlies. The rivalry has calmed down a bit due to the Leeward Islands Tournament not being played since 2003. Another rival to a much lesser degree is with Haiti. Overall, Haiti has the better all time head to head record with seven wins to Antigua and Barbuda's two along with three draws between them. The rivalry in recent years comes from both World Cup Qualifying and Gold Cup Qualifying with Antigua and Barbuda eliminating Haiti in 2011 in the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers and then the following year in 2012, Haiti eliminated Antigua and Barbuda from reaching the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Stadiums

Antigua Recreation Ground

The original home stadium of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team. Located in the heart of the capital, Saint John's, right on Independence Avenue. The maximum capacity that this stadium can hold is roughly 12,000 spectators. Currently the team plays there for international friendlies and sometimes the Caribbean Cup. In 2008, FIFA banned the ABFA from using this stadium for World Cup Qualifiers, citing that it is a safety hazard. The last World Cup Qualifier at the Antigua Recreation Grounds was a 1–0 victory against Aruba on March 26, 2008.

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Another home venue for the Benna Boys, which is located in North Sound, a 10–20 minute drive from Saint John's, the capital city. This more modern, state of the art venue holds up to 10,000 people. Since 2008, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium has hosted mainly World Cup Qualifiers, the first match being a 4–3 loss to Cuba on June 17, 2008.



Past and present crests

These are the crests used over the years by the Antigua and Barbuda national football team.

Kits

Kit manufacturer

The current kit of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team are manufactured by British company Admiral on June 2016 in time for the second round of the 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifiers. The first kit is the gold combined with black for mainly the home matches and the red with the black are the away uniforms. Before Admiral, the team kits were from China-based Peak Sportswear. The Benna Boys have worn that brand since 2012, after they qualified to the third round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Kit manufacturer Period
Virma 2000–2003
Adidas 2006–2011
Peak 2012–2016
Admiral 2016–current


Kit evolution

These are some of the kits worn over the years by the Antigua and Barbuda national football team over the years.

2000 Virma Home Uniform
2006 Adidas Home Uniform
2011 Adidas Home Uniform
2011 Adidas Away Uniform
2012 Peak Home Uniform
2012 Peak Away Uniform
2016 Admiral Home Uniform
2016 Admiral Away Uniform


Results and Fixtures

2018

2019

All-time record against all opponents

These all-time records are exclusively class 'A' internationals matches.[6]

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against
 Anguilla5500283
 Aruba330061
 Bahamas000000
 Barbados6015714
 Bermuda113441214
 British Virgin Islands84221410
 Cayman Islands201113
 Cuba5014313
 Curaçao320185
 Dominica158432718
 Dominican Republic6123811
 Estonia100101
 French Guiana110021
 Grenada5230127
 Guadeloupe401327
 Guatemala6105315
 Guyana104331216
 Haiti122371119
 Honduras100101
 Hungary100103
 Jamaica10127521
 Martinique4103612
 Mexico100108
 Montserrat3300184
 Puerto Rico110132
 Saint Kitts and Nevis239593031
 Saint Lucia135352315
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines137241720
 Sint Maarten320172
 Suriname6123415
 Trinidad and Tobago1320111241
 U.S. Virgin Islands3300201
 United States200225
Total200713891299337
Key

  Winning record   Equal record   Losing record

Competition records

World Cup record

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA PTS Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Did Not Enter Did Not Enter
1934
1938
1950
1954
1958
1962
1966
1970
1974 Did Not Qualify 4004322
1978 Did Not Enter Did Not Enter
1982
1986 Did Not Qualify 210125
1990 200214
1994 411256
1998 201146
2002 6123415
2006 210123
2010 420278
2014 125163218
2018 420266
2022 To Be Determined To Be Determined
2026 To Be Determined To Be Determined
Appearances: 0/21 -- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 42 13 5 24 66 93

Gold Cup record

CONCACAF Gold Cup record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA PTS
1991 Did Not Qualify
1993 Did Not Qualify
1996 Did Not Qualify
1998 Did Not Qualify
2000 Did Not Qualify
2002 Did Not Qualify
2003 Did Not Qualify
2005 Did Not Qualify
2007 Did Not Qualify
2009 Did Not Qualify
2011 Did Not Qualify
2013 Did Not Qualify
2015 Did Not Qualify
2017 Did Not Qualify
Appearances: 0/14 -- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Caribbean Cup record

CFU Caribbean Cup record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA PTS
1989 Did Not Qualify
1990 Did Not Qualify
1991 Did Not Qualify
1992 Group Stage 3 0 1 2 2 12 1
1993 Did Not Qualify
1994 Did Not Qualify
1995 Group Stage 3 1 0 2 3 5 3
1996 Withdrew
1997 Group Stage 2 0 0 2 1 5 0
1998 Fourth Place 5 2 0 3 11 9 6
1999 Did Not Qualify
2001 Did Not Qualify
2005 Did Not Qualify
2007 Did Not Qualify
2008 Group Stage 3 0 2 1 3 6 2
2010 Group Stage 3 1 0 2 2 4 3
2012 Group Stage 3 1 0 2 3 3 3
2014 Group Stage 3 0 1 2 2 7 1
2017 Did Not Qualify
Appearances: 8/18 Best: Fourth Place 25 5 4 16 27 51 19
***Red border color indicates that Antigua and Barbuda was the host nation.
Key

  Champion   Runners-up   3rd Place   4th Place   Qualified

Honours

Regional Competition

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for a International Friendly versus Jamaica. Caps and goals updated as of April 29, 2018 after match against Jamaica.

Match Dates:
29 April 2018
Opposition:
 Jamaica


No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
18 1GK Molvin James (1989-05-08) 8 May 1989 36 0 Tryum
1 1GK Brentton Muhammad (1990-09-11) 11 September 1990 16 0 Tindastóll
3 2DF Vashami Allen (1997-05-09) 9 May 1997 4 0 Grenades
4 2DF Karanja Mack (1987-08-04) 4 August 1987 43 0 Parham
6 2DF Connor Peters (1996-01-26) 26 January 1996 14 0 Unattached
8 2DF Courtney Wildin (1996-03-30) 30 March 1996 6 0 Nantwich
17 2DF Leroy Graham (1999-12-07) 7 December 1999 1 0 Five Islands
19 2DF Joel Jacobs (1992-10-08) 8 October 1992 2 0 Swetes
13 3MF Tamarley Thomas (1983-07-28) 28 July 1983 63 12 Greenbay Hoppers
7 3MF Adriel Jared George (1996-12-13) 13 December 1996 3 1 North Ferriby United
22 3MF Duran Martin (1996-03-11) 11 March 1996 7 0 Banbury United
11 3MF Brandon Emanuel (1996-07-20) 20 July 1996 1 0 Five Islands
14 3MF Raheem Deterville (1999-12-01) 1 December 1999 0 0 Old Road
19 3MF Juwan Roberts (1996-04-05) 5 April 1996 1 0 Swetes
16 4FW Peter Byers (1984-10-20) 20 October 1984 84 42 SAP
12 4FW Nathaniel Jarvis (1991-10-20) 20 October 1991 9 2 Bath City
23 4FW Mervyn Hazelwood (1991-12-06) 6 December 1991 4 1 Tryum
9 4FW Javorn Stevens (1998-05-09) 9 May 1998 8 1 Greenbay Hoppers
10 4FW Junior Benjamin (1992-08-13) 13 August 1992 1 0 Ottos Rangers
18 4FW Shalon Knight (2000-03-24) 24 March 2000 1 0 Swetes

Recent Call-ups


These are the players that were selected for the Antigua and Barbuda national football team in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Quinton Griffith (1992-02-27) 27 February 1992 52 5 Unattached @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
DF Akeem Thomas (1990-01-05) 5 January 1990 49 3 Parham @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
DF Zaine Francis-Angol (1993-06-30) 30 June 1993 20 0 AFC Fylde @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
DF Mahlon Romeo (1995-09-19) 19 September 1995 10 0 Millwall @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
DF Daniel Bowry (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 2 0 Charlton Athletic @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
MF Joshua Parker (1990-12-01) 1 December 1990 26 5 Gillingham @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
MF Calaum Jahraldo-Martin (1993-04-27) 27 April 1993 21 3 Newport County @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
MF Eugene Kirwan (1993-01-01) 1 January 1993 12 0 Greenbay Hoppers @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
MF Thomas Bramble (2001-05-09) 9 May 2001 1 0 Gillingham @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
MF Luther Wildin (1997-12-03) 3 December 1997 2 0 Stevenage @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
MF Kieran Richards (1995-06-29) 29 June 1995 2 0 Grenades @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
FW Rhys Browne (1995-11-16) 16 November 1995 9 2 Yeovil Town @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018
FW Myles Weston (1988-03-12) 12 March 1988 6 3 Ebbsfleet United @  Jamaica, 25 March 2018

Coaches

Current Coaching Staff

This is the current coaching staff of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team.

Current Coaching Staff
Name Nat Position
Rolston Williams Technical Director
Derrick Edwards Head Coach
Fernando Abraham Team Manager
Danny Benjamin Equipment Manager
Janiel Simon Goalkeeping Coach
Julio Gonzales Physiotherapist
Troy Gibson Media Officer

Coaching history

These are some of the head coaches of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team throughout the years.

Past and Present Coaches

References

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