Soccer-Bahamas sneak through qualifier on technicality

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 30 Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:53am BST

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 30 (Reuters) - Bahamas overcame British Virgin Islands on away goals in their World Cup qualifying tie on Sunday, despite playing both legs at home.

The two-leg first preliminary round tie ended 3-3 on aggregate after the teams drew Sunday's second leg 2-2 in Nassau.

However, as British Virgin Islands were technically the home side, Bahamas qualified on away goals.

Bahamas, who had officially hosted Wednesday's 1-1 draw also played in Nassau, will face Jamaica in the next stage of the marathon CONCACAF qualifying tournament in June.

Michael Bethel and Demont Mitchell scored either side of halftime to put Bahamas in control before Anadale Williams netted twice in the last 12 minutes, including a 90th-minute equaliser, for the British Virgin Islands.

British Virgin Islands agreed to play both legs in Nassau after their own stadium was ruled unsuitable under new FIFA regulations.

Bermuda completed the line-up for the second preliminary round -- when regional big guns such as Mexico and United States enter the fray -- with a 3-1 win away to Cayman Islands in George Town.

Bermuda's Devaun Degraff scored twice in eight minutes before halftime and Kwame Steede added a third in the 52nd minute. Marshall Forbes pulled one back for Cayman Islands with a penalty.

Bermuda, who won 4-2 on aggregate, meet Trinidad & Tobago.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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