Montserrat to confront El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada & US Virgin Islands
Montserrat will encounter El Salvador for fourth time in two years
Massiah McDonald talks with Concacaf.com about the group’s ongoing advancement
For the fourth time since September 2018, Montserrat will encounter El Salvador, this time in Group An in the first round of Concacaf FIFA World Cup Qualifying for Qatar 2022™.
The different sides met in week one of Concacaf Nations League (CNL) qualifying in September 2018, trailed by a couple of challenges last fall in Group B of League B of the 2019/20 CNL.
Each of the three of those undertakings finished with El Salvador acquiring a success, however by slender edges, including a 1-0 El Salvador win in San Salvador in the CNL with the solitary objective in the latest possible time.
Be that as it may, the Emerald Boys will get another break in 2021 at the Cuscatlecos on home soil bearing in mind the end goal of gathering a gigantic three focuses.
“El Salvador were the biggest test the last time we played. By the balance of play, they deserved to win, but the goal that they scored was in the 90th minute, yet again, which they seem to do all the time,” said Montserrat midfielder Massiah McDonald in a restrictive meeting with Concacaf.com following the starter draw.
“It could have been an alternate story; it could have been a draw. It was a decent an ideal opportunity for the young men and a defining moment since we’re little Montserrat and we took El Salvador until the 90th minute. We’re discussing full-time players who play in the US or El Salvador and we’re playing our hearts out.
“Every game is a cup final for us. It means the world. We’re going to give it our all. People might think we’re the old Montserrat, but that’s not the case. We have good players.”
In expansion to confronting El Salvador in Group A, Montserrat, who completed 11th in CNLQ and scarcely passed up the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, will go head to head with Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and US Virgin Islands. McDonald recognizes that it will be hard to head the gathering, however he sees Montserrat being serious until the end.
“If I’m being honest, winning the group would be a big ask, but we seem to pull surprises out of the hat all of the time. People didn’t expect us to be where we were when we barely missed out on the Gold Cup. We came a long way in such a short time and I think some people started paying attention to us. We have a group of players who can come together in a short span of time and put it together,” said McDonald.
A main impetus behind Montserrat’s development lately is a gathering of England-conceived and based players who are qualified to play for Montserrat. That center gathering of players, joined with the calculated difficulties of rival groups showing up to Montserrat, have transformed Montserrat into probably the hardest group to look in the Caribbean.
“It’s hard to get to Montserrat,” said McDonald. “It includes a ton of voyaging, with the goal that causes us out a great deal since we are so used to the voyaging in any case and we’ve just been there five days while different groups are coming up a day ahead of time. It’s hot also, however we’ve adjusted to the conditions and our strategy has consistently been English style and I feel that is the reason groups truly don’t care for playing against us.
“We’re quite physical, but we also have ball-playing players and have one of the best strikers in the English Championship (Lyle Taylor). There are a lot of players who are playing at high levels of English football and putting the calibers of players together, it’s a good mix.”
The 29- year-old is additionally cheerful that as Montserrat keeps on creating consideration with their football, that it can give a monetary advantage to the island.
“It’s a beautiful country, it has a lot of nice beaches that aren’t really visited by tourists. The scenery is amazing, there is greenery everywhere, the views are incredible, so it’s nice to put Montserrat back out there so it gets people thinking about Montserrat. Hopefully it gives something back to the country in an economical and financial sense,” said McDonald.
© Concacaf Another key perspective to Montserrat's rise has been the consistent hand of lead trainer Willie Donachie, a 68- year-old Scotsman who has an abundance of experience.
“He is one of the most experienced coaches we could have. He knows his stuff, he played for Scotland in the World Cup, he played for Manchester City. He knows what he’s talking about and he knows how we can win games and it works. He’s been a breath of fresh air. Everyone does their bit and plays their part. To play for Montserrat now as this is happening and where it could potentially be is going to be something that I can tell the grandkids,” said McDonald.
However McDonald rushes to feature the work put in by others, including the nation’s young players who help the public group in all stages, in addition to the veteran players who stayed with the program in any event, when Montserrat were experiencing disproportionate misfortunes in past cycles.
“To be a piece of what Montserrat has become after what it used to be, I came in when it was beginning to change. There are players who have been there when there was nothing, as midfielder Dean Mason. These are the players who were there when Montserrat were losing 7-1 and they’ve stayed by. A few players would have said I’m not doing it any longer, however they stayed by and I offer credit to them. They stayed and we are the place we are on account of them.”