Battling Bermuda lose to Canada
The Bermuda under-17 women’s football team produced a battling display against Canada in the opening match of the Concacaf Championship in Nicaragua last night.
However, despite a string of saves from goalkeeper Zakhari Turner and some tidy defending by Bermuda captain Danni Watson, Canada ran out comfortable winners at the Nicaragua National Stadium.
Debutant Kaila Novak scored twice in the second half after Jayde Riviere’s strike from distance gave Canada a 1-0 lead at the interval.
While the superb efforts of Turner, who hobbled around for most of the match with a foot injury, and Watson owed much to the respectable scoreline, Bermuda also rode their luck as Canada struck the woodwork on three occasions. Novak also had a 90th-minute goal waved off for offside.
Midfielder Lellani Nesbeth went closest for Bermuda when she had a shot from outside the box tipped over and a free kick saved by goalkeeper Anna Karpenka.
Bermuda suffered a setback when Edwards injured her right foot while gathering a rebound after making an initial save.
Bermuda survived a scare when Jordyn Huitema placed a free header from Riviere’s cross wide from close range. But just when it seemed Bermuda would get to the break unscathed Riviere broke the deadlock. The midfielder intercepted a poor clearance from left back Koa Goodchild and took a touch before smashing the ball from 30 yards out. Bermuda were fortunate not to concede again as Edwards did well to tip Anderson Williams’s cross onto the post.
Canada nearly doubled their lead when Huitema’s header hit the post, while Watson made two vital tackles to thwart substitute Oluwateniola Akindoju.
The goal Canada’s relentless pressure warranted arrived in the 63rd minute when Novak exchanged a short corner with Aaliyah Scott and then squeezed a left-footed shot inside Edwards’s near post. Nesbeth responded at the other end with rasping drive that Karpenka brilliantly tipped over.
Edwards was called into action again at the other end before substitute Maya Ladhani’s thumping 30 effort crashed onto her crossbar.
There was a sense of inevitability to Canada’s third goal which arrived when Novak capitalised on Edwards’s wayward goal kick in the 80th minute.
Novak was then denied what would have been a memorable treble after her late effort was flagged for offside.
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