Leeds United old boy inflicts surprise defeat on Yorkshire and Championship rivals in peculiar mid-season game

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Former Leeds United midfielder Vurnon Anita featured from the start in Caribbean nation Curaçao’s somewhat unexpected 1-0 friendly win over Hull City on Thursday afternoon.

The Tigers are currently in Turkey taking the opportunity to put the majority of Liam Rosenior’s squad through their paces at a warm weather training camp during this month’s international break, but we’re on the wrong end of a peculiar friendly defeat prior to their return to Championship action. Hull are in the hunt for a play-off spot come the end of the Championship campaign and are next in domestic action on Good Friday, before their visit to Elland Road on Easter Monday. Rosenior’s men have not played a competitive fixture since March 9 - a 2-2 draw with title hopefuls Leicester City at the MKM Stadium - and have decided to spend their 20-day break between games by arranging a friendly with the small Caribbean nation and former Dutch colony of Curaçao. An XI featuring ex-Leeds striker Billy Sharp and Aaron Connolly were unable to find a way through their opponent’s rearguard, in front of a small crowd in Antalya, partly made up by 50 Hull supporters on an all-expenses-paid trip to the country, courtesy of chairman, owner and Turkish television tycoon Acun Ilicali. The Curaçao line-up, selected by former Rangers and Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat, included the likes of Vurnon Anita, who spent one season at Elland Road during 2016/17, and ex-Swansea City midfielder Kenji Gorré. Birmingham City’s Juninho Bacuna also featured for the CONCACAF-affiliated nation, while Rangelo Janga netted the game’s only goal, adding to his record 18 strikes in a national team shirt. These days, Anita turns out for Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Orobah, with whom he is second in the second tier, trailing first place Al-Qadsiyah who signed former Leeds goalkeeper Joel Robles last summer. Anita has two goals and two assist for the Middle Eastern club during 2023/24 after spells at CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria and Dutch side RKC Waalwijk following his brief Leeds stint. A number of Hull’s regular starters including centre-forward Noah Ohio were unavailable for this fixture due to international duty, while others including centre-half Jacob Greaves and preferred goalkeeping duo Ryan Allsop and Matt Ingram were rested. Nevertheless, Rosenior is unlikely to have been impressed by those on the fringes ahead of the Tigers’ Elland Road visit in just under a fortnight.

Curaçao are currently ranked 91st in the FIFA Men's World Rankings, sandwiched between Haiti and Uganda.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.