Commendations have been expressed, by the executive of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, to The Benna Boys, for a hard-fought battle during the Road to Rio campaign.

With a game outstanding against Jamaica in the Group A World Cup Qualifying semifinal round, Antigua and Barbuda’s bid to advance is over.

The USA beat The Benna Boys 2:1 in the dying moments of a keen contest before a fantastic home crowd on Friday night.

“We are proud of our team, for what they did on the field at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds on Friday, and for how they have represented the country for the entire FIFA World Cup qualifiers,” ABFA President Everton “Batow” Gonsalves said.

“There are people out there who are disappointed over the scoreline in Friday’s game, and there are many pundits who feel strongly, one way or another, about strategies used over the life of the campaign. At the end of the day, a holistic review will conclude that we have much more to celebrate than to hang our heads over,” Gonsalves said.

The Road to Rio campaign used the tagline “Antigua and Barbuda ready for the world.” Among the objectives were to showcase the football programme and the players, and to advertise the tourist dependent island. With over fourteen international and several regional media houses covering the game, I believe we have achieved a significant part of our overall objective”

“The Benna Boys gave Antigua and Barbuda a boost. They gave a credible account of themselves as individual players and as a team, and we at the ABFA are extremely proud of them, and we know that the nation of Antigua and Barbuda is proud of them as well,” Gonsalves said.

The team will depart for Jamaica on Sunday, ahead of the final encounter on October 16.Gonsalves urged the country to support the team to the end, borrowing from the national anthem.

“We must stand strong and firm with our national team to see this campaign through to its logical conclusion,” Gonsalves said. “And we must support them going forward, because this run is not the end; it’s just begun