Soca stars forced to dance to Gombey beat
Bermuda: F Hall, T Burgess, K Tucker, J Barry Nusum, D Tankard, T Manders (S Darrell, 85), K Steede, N Wells (C Caisey, 79), L Dill (D Ming, 67), A Russell, K Smith. Subs not used: T Bell A Simmons,
Red Card: T Bell, 38
Trinidad: M Phillip, Adams, J James, O Telesford, H Tinto (H Hughton, 34), K Hyland, K Molino, L Peltier, S John (D Jorsling, 59), K Daniel (K Connell, 67), S Power. Subss not used: C Leon, M Williams, A Pacheco, J Williams
Yellow card: Hyland
Referee: J Solis (costa Rico)
Man of the match: Nusum (Bermuda)
Bermuda 2 Trinidad 1
Bermuda proved lightning can strike twice with another famous victory over Caribbean powerhouse Trinidad and Tobago to keep their World Cup qualifying hopes alive.
The night may have started in an inauspicious fashion with the public address system playing the US rather than the Bermudian national anthem, but it was the Soca Warriors who were made to dance to a Gombey beat at a jubilant National Sports Centre.
Thankfully that embarrassing mistake by the PA announcer was just about the only thing that went wrong for Bermuda, whose feel-good victory was no more than their workaholic display deserved.
Second-half goals from Antwan Russell and Nahki Wells provided Devarr Boyles with his first win as Bermuda coach and breathed fresh life into their qualifying campaign.
Bermuda have become somewhat of a bogey team for Trinidad in recent years, having beaten them by the same scoreline in a qualifier in Port of Spain three years ago.
While they were forced to spend the majority of that backs-to-the-wall win repelling wave after wave of Trinidad attacks, it was a very different story last night with the hosts outplaying their more decorated counterparts for large portions for the game.
Trinidad, for all of their physical threat and professional experience, rarely troubled Freddy Hall's goal with Bermuda creating by far and away the better scoring opportunities.
They drew first blood midway through the first period when Lashun Dill's right wing cross picked out Russell who probably should have done better, putting a free header over the bar.
Bermuda were then denied by the woodwork when Wells released Dill with a defence-splitting pass, with the pacey winger driving into the Trinidad box only to see his curling effort cannon off the crossbar.
Trinidad, missing five players from the side which defeated Bermuda 1-0 last month, were struggling to find any passing fluency with their top all-time goalscorer Stern John cutting an isolated figure upfront.
Such was their attacking impotency, Trinidad coach Otto Psfister didn't even wait for the half-time whistle before shuffling his pack, hauling off the ineffectual Hayden Tinto for Hughton Hector.
The switch made little difference, though, and at half-time Bermuda's only real concern was that their substitute keeper Tahj Bell had been bizarrely dismissed for relieving himself at the far corner of the NSC while warming up.
With the wind on their backs, Bermuda started the second half with real purpose and their endeavour was rewarded when they broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with a goal that sent the NSC crowd wild with delight.
Taurean Manders robbed Trinidad defender Akeem Adams in a perilous position, and with the Trinidad defence static, pulled the ball back for Russell who supplied a close range finish.
Ten minutes later the shell-shocked visitors found themselves further behind when Kwame Steede teed up the superb Nahki Wells on the edge of area who hammered a first-time effort into the top corner.
A cause of concern for Bermuda was seeing Manders, who delivered a tigerish display in midfield, stretchered off on 82 minutes to be replaced by Seion Darrell.
Trinidad poured forward in the closing stages and set up a tense finale when Bermuda conceded a dangerous free kick which pinballed around the box before Kevin Molino scrambled it home.
But with Bermuda's defence impressively marshalled by the imperious John Barry Nusum, Trinidad were unable to find an equaliser, which left a serious dent in their qualifying aspirations.
While Bermuda's victory will mean nothing unless they beat Guyana at home on Tuesday, Boyles side are at least firmly in the race to claim the all-important Group B top spot.
“We're over the moon, this is big, this is new ground for us. I'm pleased for the boys this is a great result for us and it sets us up nicely, now it's just a matter of us being disciplined tonight, tomorrow, and Monday in preparation for Tuesday,” said Boyles.
“It's very rewarding, we felt that on the balance of the play we deserved it, so all credit to us. Trinidad are very powerful and it was a good game.”
A disgruntled Trinidad coach Psfister bemoaned the fact he was missing several key players but insisted he would not be pressing the panic button just yet. The Soca Warriors are now three points behind Guyana who defeated Barbados 2-0 last night.
“I think this Bermuda team played a very good game and we were not 100 percent concentrating. Okay, I know I look for sorry or something but we have three key players who don't play today, and three players who play the first time with me in a game,” said Psfister
“I don't see them in a game before, Devorn Jorsling, Osei Telesford and (Kevin) Molino, it was difficult for the co-ordination. We sleep in the first half and I was only happy with the last 20 minutes when we pressed which was our plan from the beginning.
“Football you have three possibilities, you draw, you win, or you lose. Today we lost, the first game that we win and we have to try in three days to win again.”
* For many more pictures of the game click here.
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