Heartbreak for ex-Bohs winger Kaleem Simon as Montserrat's 2022 World Cup dream fades away

by Andrew Dempsey

Former Bohemians winger Kaleem Simon missed out on reaching the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers with Montserrat as they were pipped to qualification by El Salvador last night.

The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’s opening two group games cost them dearly as they finished two points behind their eventual group winners.

That was in fact after Montserrat had won last night, earning a dramatic 2-1 victory over Grenada.

24-year-old Simon started the game and came off the field of play with just under twenty minutes to go.

At the time, Montserrat were a goal behind, but they would win late on thanks to two late goals from Nottingham Forest forward Lyle Taylor who struck in the 85th and 89th minute.

However, due to their inferior goal difference, Montserrat would have missed out on qualification even if El Salvador dropped points against Antigua as they only won 2-1 against Grenada.

Prior to linking up with his adopted nation – who he qualifies to play for via his grandmother – the Dubliner told extratime.com: “We probably should have beaten Antigua, and we could have beaten El Salvador as well, we had chances to win the game.

“To not put either team to bed is quite frustrating but if we can win our next two games, hopefully things will go our way.

“If we do, we could be playing against the likes of the US and Honduras in the second round of qualifiers, so we just have to hope and pray.”

In the first game of this international window, Montserrat saw off the US Virgin Islands by four goals to nil.

And the former Longford Town & UCD forward grabbed two assists in that game as Montserrat ended a 21-year wait for a victory.

But it was not to be for Simon and his Montserrat teammates who missed out reaching the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers last night.

However, they do have a Gold Cup qualifying campaign to look forward to in the coming months as they look to shake off their World Cup disappointment.