Lightbourne reflects on worthwhile experiment’
Kyle Lightbourne said Bermuda’s goalless draw at home to Guatemala in their friendly last night served as a perfect opportunity to experiment before their Concacaf Nations League finale next month.
The Bermuda coach made a slew of changes to the team that lost 5-1 to Mexico in the regional competition last Friday, many of them forced with Nahki Wells, Zeiko Lewis and Reggie Lambe returning to their professional clubs.
In the absence of his big hitters, Lightbourne handed starts to youngsters Paul Douglas and Liam Evans while Knory Scott, Diego Richardson and Keishon Bean featured as second-half substitutes.
While Lightbourne was encouraged that Bermuda kept a clean sheet, particularly as they had conceded nine goals in their previous two home outings, he said there was a lack of cutting edge in attack.
“Keeping a clean sheet was a positive because we’ve shipped goals in our last two home matches and it was nice to take a look at Paul Douglas and Liam Evans,” Lightbourne said.
“Overall, I’m happy that we didn’t get beat and it was a great exercise for us to play without the pressure of needing a result.
“Yes, we were at home and wanted to win, and it was disappointing that we couldn’t score. But we didn’t have Nahki, Zeiko and Reggie and that’s our cutting edge right there.
“Guatemala were organised and it was difficult for us to play through them. I thought it was a comfortable game for both teams and, in the end, a draw was the right result.”
Although Bermuda’s final group match in the Nations League is still more than a month away, and with another friendly earmarked before then, Lightbourne admits the defensive shape of his side was partially influenced by their forthcoming game away to Mexico.
“My main objective from tonight was having us trying to work a few patterns out of defence and our midfielders rotating, getting into space, and picking the ball up, which we did,” he said. “We just didn’t have the penetration.
“It tells me something that we had Roger [Lee] and Tre [Ming] in the team when we beat Panama away [2-0 last month]; they played again tonight and both times we’ve kept clean sheets.
“Generally, we play brave and sometimes they’re not the right clientele when we want to be brave. We’ve had personal meetings with Roger and Tre and have some fantastic midfielders in our squad.”
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