James made a number of brilliant saves during the team’s Group B fixture at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Wednesday, allowing the Benna Boys to come from two-nil down and earn a 2-2 draw in the exciting contest.
Head coach Rolston “Debu” Williams said other players were impressive as well, but singled out James for his heroics.
“I thought Myles Weston was quite brilliant, but the player of the match was the goalkeeper Molvin James. I thought he was brilliant, he kept us in the game in the first half by making a number of clinical saves so I thought Molvin James was the standout player in the game yesterday (Wednesday),” he said.
Antigua & Barbuda were 2-0 down within 36 minutes of play following goals from Jean Alcenat in the 23rd minute and Kerven Belfort in the 36th minute.
Second half conversions from England-based striker Myles Weston in the 50th minute andPeter “Big Pete” Byers in the 52nd minute, salvaged the draw for the Benna Boys which resulted in a share of the points.
Williams said his team played poorly in the first half.
“I just thought that we made some silly mistakes in the first half in terms of back-passing instead of being positive, but I thought we were more negative (tentative) in our approach. Also, I think that we gave the Haitians too much time on the ball to play because they are very good on the ball and we gave them too much time to play so they were dominating,” he said.
“They were overloading the middle of the field and so they had a lot of possession and even though we tried to make the adjustments, it was quite difficult to stop them,” Williams added.
Antigua & Barbuda will face hosts Jamaica Reggae Boyz in today’s feature match, starting at 7:30 pm and Williams believes it’s a game his team can win.
“They are playing the same formation; they are not doing anything different than what we saw on the tapes so I think we have seen enough of them to be able to put plans in place to counter them. I think they will come with more hunger and we will have to soak up the pressure, especially in the first 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.
In Wednesday’s feature match, Jamaica and Martinique played to a 1-1 draw.