Antigua and Barbuda national football team
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.
- 1 Nickname
- 2 History
- 3 Rivalries
- 4 Stadiums
- 5 Past and present crests
- 6 Kits
- 7 Latest results and all-time record
- 8 Competition records
- 9 Honours
- 10 Players
- 11 Coaches
- 12 References
- 13 External links
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. In the past, the national team was unofficially known as the Wadadli Boys, another name that was in the contest but did not win.
(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.
|Antigua and Barbuda||7||3||2||1||0||11||3||+8|
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.
|Trinidad and Tobago||9||3||3||0||0||13||3||+10|
|Antigua and Barbuda||6||3||2||0||1||9||5||+4|
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.
29 July 1998
|Jamaica||1–0||Antigua and Barbuda|
|Onandi Lowe 110'|
29 July 1998
|Trinidad and Tobago||4–1||Haiti|
|Stern John 1' 60'
Irasto Knights 15' 42'
|Eddy Cesar 85'|
Third Place Playoff
31 July 1998
|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.
(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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Latest results and all-time record
Latest results and upcoming fixtures
|23 March 2016 2017 CFU Caribbean Cup qualification – First Round||Antigua and Barbuda||2–1||Aruba||North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda|
|19:30 EDT||Parker 4'
|Report||Gomez 28'||Stadium: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
Referee: Wilson Da Costa (Bahamas)
|29 March 2016 2017 CFU Caribbean Cup qualification – First Round||Saint Kitts and Nevis||1–0||Antigua and Barbuda||Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|20:00 EDT||Panayiotou 67'||Report||Stadium: Warner Park Sporting Complex
Referee: Sherwin Moore (Guyana)
|4 June 2016 2017 CFU Caribbean Cup qualification – Second Round||Puerto Rico||2–1 (a.e.t.)||Antigua and Barbuda||Bayamón, Puerto Rico|
|19:30 EDT||Ramos 6', 115'||Report||Blackstock 35'||Stadium: Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium
Referee: Sandy Vásquez (Dominican Republic)
|7 June 2016 2017 CFU Caribbean Cup qualification – Second Round||Antigua and Barbuda||5–1||Grenada||North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda|
|19:30 EDT||Byers 52'
Jahraldo-Martin 68', 85'
|Report||Charles 73'||Stadium: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
Referee: Rodphin Harris (Trinidad and Tobago)
|5 October 2016 2017 CFU Caribbean Cup qualification – Third Round||Curaçao||3–0||Antigua and Barbuda||Willemstad, Curaçao|
|20:00 EDT||Bacuna 12'
Van Kessel 90'
|Report||Stadium: Stadion Ergilio Hato
Referee: Adrian Skeete (Barbados)
|8 October 2016 2017 CFU Caribbean Cup qualification – Third Round||Antigua and Barbuda||2–0||Puerto Rico||Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda|
|19:15 EDT||Byers 43'
|Report||Stadium: Antigua Recreation Ground
|22 November 2016 International Friendly||Antigua and Barbuda||0–1||Estonia||Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda|
|19:00 EDT||Report||Marin 25'||Stadium: Antigua Recreation Ground
Referee: Tristley Bassue (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
Win Draw Loss
All-time record against all opponents
These all-time records are exclusively class 'A' internationals matches.
|Opponent||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals For||Goals Against|
|British Virgin Islands||8||4||2||2||14||10|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||23||9||5||9||30||31|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||13||7||2||4||17||20|
|Trinidad and Tobago||13||2||0||11||12||41|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||3||3||0||0||20||1|
Winning record Equal record Losing record
World Cup record
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Did Not Enter||Did Not Enter|
|1974||Did Not Qualify||4||0||0||4||3||22|
|1978||Did Not Enter||Did Not Enter|
|1986||Did Not Qualify||2||1||0||1||2||5|
|2022||To Be Determined||To Be Determined|
Gold Cup record
|CONCACAF Gold Cup record|
|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|
Caribbean Cup record
|CFU Caribbean Cup record|
|1989||Did Not Qualify|
|1990||Did Not Qualify|
|1991||Did Not Qualify|
|1993||Did Not Qualify|
|1994||Did Not Qualify|
|1999||Did Not Qualify|
|2001||Did Not Qualify|
|2005||Did Not Qualify|
|2007||Did Not Qualify|
|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.
Champion Runners-up 3rd Place 4th Place Qualified
22 November 2016
|#||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Brentton Muhammad||11 September 1990||15||0||Tindastóll|
|GK||Prince Walter||30 June 1995||0||0||Central|
|DF||Karanja Mack||24 August 1987||42||0||SAP|
|DF||Shavorn Phillip||9 September 1996||3||0||Liberta|
|DF||Jamarlie Stevens||20 April 1997||3||0||Swetes|
|DF||Vashami Allen||9 May 1997||2||0||Central|
|DF||Mervyn Hazelwood||6 December 1991||1||0||Tryum|
|DF||Joel Jacob||8 October 1992||1||0||Swetes|
|MF||Tamarley Thomas||28 July 1983||56||11||Greenbay Hoppers|
|MF||Randolph Burton||14 January 1987||38||15||Parham|
|MF||Calaum Jahraldo-Martin||27 April 1993||19||3||Oldham Athletic|
|MF||Eugene Kirwan||1 January 1993||10||0||Greenbay Hoppers|
|MF||Novelle Francis||10 March 1993||3||0||Greenbay Hoppers|
|MF||Avier Christian||16 January 1996||3||0||Liberta|
|MF||Kemoi Williams||3 July 1994||0||0||SAP|
|MF||Juwan Roberts||19 April 1995||0||0||Swetes|
|FW||Peter Byers||20 October 1984||76||40||SAP|
|FW||Stefan Smith||11 August 1989||18||2||Old Road|
|FW||Javorn Stevens||9 May 1998||6||1||Seattle Sounders 2|
|MF||Deny Henry||15 June 1997||0||0||Parham|
The following players have also been called up to the Antigua and Barbuda squad within the last twelve months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Eric Klenofsky||21 September 1994||0||0||Richmond Kickers||v. Curaçao; 5 Oct 2016 DEC |
|DF||Quinton Griffith||27 February 1992||50||5||Charleston Battery||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|DF||Akeem Thomas||5 January 1990||50||3||Parham||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|DF||Zaine Francis-Angol||30 June 1993||18||0||AFC Fylde||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|DF||Connor Peters||21 June 1996||13||0||Braintree Town||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|DF||Mahlon Romeo||19 September 1995||8||0||Millwall||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|DF||Courtney Wildin||30 March 1996||4||0||Nuneaton Town||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|DF||Blaize Punter||26 December 1996||1||0||Rugby Town||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|MF||Rhys Browne||16 November 1995||6||0||Yeovil Town||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|MF||Duran Martin||11 March 1996||5||0||Gosport Borough||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|MF||Keiran Murtagh||29 October 1988||22||5||Boreham Wood||v. Curaçao; 5 Oct 2016 WTD|
|FW||Tevaughn Harriette||26 June 1995||16||5||Parham||v. Puerto Rico; 8 Oct 2016|
|FW||Dexter Blackstock||20 May 1986||6||2||Rotherham United||v. Curaçao; 5 Oct 2016 INJ|
- WTD = The player was called up and then the player withdrew from the squad.
- INJ = The player pulled out of the squad due to injury.
- DEC = The player received a call up but it was then declined.
These are some of the head coaches of the Antigua and Barbuda national football team throughout the years.
- "Text to 774 – 3307 your choice for the name the team contest".
- "Football Team Nicknames".
- "Caribbean Net News: Hungary beat Antigua-Barbuda in exhibition match". caribbeannewsnow.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Eesti Jalgpalli Liit". jalgpall.ee. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Antigua And Barbuda national football team statistics and records: All-time record". 11v11.com.
- "ABFA Announces training squad for Estonia Friendly". antiguafootball.com. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Fido, Austin (23 September 2016). "NYRB U-23 keeper talks college and call-ups". onceametro.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.