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Justin Smith netted a 95th minute equaliser for the BVI in a 2-2 draw with the Turks and Caicos Islands, on Monday 16th October, earning his team a hard-fought point in the search for Concacaf Nations League promotion.

Having raced into an early one goal advantage courtesy of a well-placed, first-time effort from Josh Bertie, following a dynamic run from Miquel Marshall in just the 3rd minute of the group C game in Providenciales, the BVI should have put themselves in a position of complete dominance. However, a few guilt edged opportunities went begging and instead the hosts were allowed back into the game when Daniel Gilford made a rash challenge and conceded a penalty in the 26th minute.

Billy Forbes calmly slotted home for the hosts to make it a 1-1 game and from there on it the game became a scrappy affair with neither side able to control the ball for long periods of time.

At half time BVI Coach Chris Kiwomya had some harsh words for his team “we had the best chances, one on ones, but just couldn’t score. Then we let them back in the game, the momentum changed, and I told them I wasn’t happy with the performance, and we had to get better”.

Unfortunately, the second half unfolded with the Turks and Caicos continuing to be a threat, with the BVI looking to counterattack, but it was the hosts who went ahead in the 76th minute when Forbes fired home a free kick from 20 yards out.

Kiwomya was forced into making several changes in an attempt to get something from the game and it was Smith who came on as one of those subs that was on hand to finish a smart move in the 95th minute, after Tyler Forbes flicked a pass onto Jomari Lacey. Lacey then flashed across the box where Smith was waiting.

“I kept encouraging the players to stay forward and try catch them on the counter, as we may as well have lost 3 -1 and had to try to score again and it worked. We got off the hook today, but have come along way and are drawing games, we would historically have lost. We are heading in the right direction, but we now have to work on changing the mindset!” concluded Kiwomya.

Unbeaten in three straight games the BVI have 5 points to top the League C, Group C standings, with Dominica second on four points. A win in the return fixture on the A.O. Shirley ground on November 16th at 4pm, will see the BVI gain promotion to division B next season.

A draw could mean Dominica, if they get a win from their last game against the TCI, can pip the BVI to top spot.