Bermuda upbeat despite defeat
Jamaica 4 Bermuda 0
Bermuda senior women’s football team captain Marley Christian said that the margin of defeat by Jamaica in the Concacaf Women’s Championship Qualifier last night is not a true reflection of the team’s capabilities.
The visiting side were playing their first game in the Caribbean final round and were up against a Jamaican team high on confidence after their 9-0 win against Antigua & Barbuda on Saturday. Christian said that the team is not too disheartened by the result.
“I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed in the team performance,” Christian said. “I think for us, [it comes down to] our mental preparation, I think we’re going to go into this tournament very strong and we’re not afraid of the rest of these opponents. Don’t be surprised if we end up in the top three, that’s all I have to say.”
Her coach, Naquita Robinson, described the team as performing above expectation, because of the challenges faced in preparing for the tournament.
“We have girls playing in the UK, Canada and the US, so we don’t really get the opportunity to get together and train together,” Robinson explained. “Those chances were few and far between.
“We don’t really have any leagues in Bermuda. We’re punching above our weight in the sense that we have to utilise the other [international] tournaments — the under-15s, under-17s, the under-20s to get our girls ready. I’m very, very proud of our girls because we knew we were up against a very, very tactically gifted Jamaica team.”
Despite the first chance of the game coming to Jamaica in the fourth minute when midfielder Ashleigh Shim fired a shot from a cross over the bar, Bermuda tried to keep pace. Teyah Lindo, playing just behind striker Deshae Darrell in attacking midfield, curled an early effort high and wide in the fifth minute.
That was to be their only meaningful attack for a long while as Jamaica took charge of possession and kept the ball in the Bermudian side of the pitch for the rest of the half.
Jamaica went in front in the seventeenth minute when midfielder Trudi Carter, the best player on the park on the night, latched on to a pass on the edge of the area. She managed to squeeze her shot through the Bermudian defence and into Micah Pond’s goal.
Jamaica kept their high tempo going and continued to test Pond, who did a commendable job of keeping the scoreline relatively low.
However, she was again beaten in the 32nd minute. Jamaica captain and defender Konya Plummer received a pass deep into the Bermuda half and skipped by Christian. Pond, being the last option left to stop her, was forced to rush out off her line and Plummer finessed her shot beyond her into the empty net.
Bermuda were determined to give a better account of themselves in the second half and they started brightly. Jamaica’s Plummer slipped on a pass just outside her penalty box and Darrell pounced on it, however, had she shown more composure in front of goal, she would not have blasted her shot high over the bar.
Jamaica regained control of the game and in the 61st minute, midfielder Marlo Sweatman’s shot from about 22 yards out curled wide of the target.
The resulting goal kick was poorly taken by Pond and tournament top scorer Khadija Shaw latched on to it and fired towards Pond’s far post to triple Jamaica’s lead.
Six minutes later, Carter broke down the left-hand side and tucked a pass inside the area to Shaw, who forced a double save out of Pond.
Bermuda’s best chance of scoring came in the 76th minute when Darrell broke down the right-hand side and floated a cross to Eva Frazzoni, unmarked on the opposite flank. However, with just Jamaica’s goalkeeper Sydney Schneider to beat, Frazzoni’s poor touch saw the ball tangled between her legs before the keeper took possession.
Lindo, who improved on a poor first-half showing, was able to find Darrell down the right-hand side once more in the 84th minute but her shot from an angle was easily saved by Schneider.
The miss of the game went to Jamaica just three minutes later. Substitute Sashana Campbell evaded left back Keunna Dill and played the ball across goal. Jamaica’s Chyanne Dennis fired over the bar from point-blank range, before falling to the ground in disbelief and embarrassment.
The fourth goal came a minute in stoppage time when midfielder Giselle Washington was given too much space just outside the area to drive her shot beyond Pond, who was left flat-footed on her line.
Bermuda now face Cuba tomorrow, who thrashed Antigua and Barbuda 7-0 in the opening game of the day.
“You’re gonna be treated to our attack in the next few matches,” Christian said of the next three games. “The team showed glimpses of what it can do. I think that for those next matches, we’re gonna move our [defence] line even higher and press even higher. We’re gonna be successful. We were glad that this was our first match, so we can gauge the rest of the tournament off it.”
Jamaica: T Carter 17, K Plummer 32, K Shaw 61, G Washington 90+1.
Jamaica: S Schneider — L Silver (sub: C Swaby, 79min), K Plummer, C Asher, A Shim (sub: S Campbell), M Sweatman, K Shaw (sub: C Dennis, 69), D Bond-Flazer, T Carter, T Patterson, G Washington. Substitutes not used: Y Jamieson, C Chung, D Blackwood, J Matthews, A Swaby.
Bermuda: M Pond — M Christian, T Edwards, K Burch Waldron, A Furbert (sub: L Darrell 66), D Darrel, E Frazzoni, T Lindo, T Fubler, K Dill, J Stewart (sub: K Brangman, 59). Substitutes not used: C Harvey, E Butterfield, V Davis, S Lowe Darrell, A Simons, N Christopher, D Place, K Nanette. Booked: T Edwards.
Referee: L Venegas (Mexico).