Lightbourne takes positives from DC defeat
Bermuda suffered a 4-2 defeat in their friendly against DC United at the Bethlehem Soccer Complex in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, last night.
The Major League Soccer side appeared to be in full control after jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Ola Kamara and Gordon Wild.
However, Bermuda rallied and hit back with goals from Zeiko Lewis and Osagi Bascome leaving the teams deadlocked at 2-2 at the half.
The contest hung in the balance after the restart until Griffin Yow struck a double salvo to complete what was ultimately a comfortable win for United.
The match was a warm-up for Bermuda ahead of their final group B game in League A of the Concacaf Nations League against Mexico in Toluca on Tuesday, with national coach Kyle Lightbourne making ten substitutions as he experimented with various tactical formations.
Jaylon Bather, the centre back, was the only player that played the entire match.
“We tried a little something different tonight with the three at the back just with Mexico in mind,” Lightbourne said. “We’ve done a little bit of work on it, and this was a great opportunity to try something. We were able to see, but we reverted back to the way we usually play.
“We were 2-0 down playing like that, which was more of a negative way, and then we changed the shape and got back into the game.
“Getting back to 2-2, we looked a lot more comfortable and made a good game of it and then in second half we made more changes.”
Despite the loss, Lightbourne says there are positives to take away from the match, pointing to the impact substitutes Liam Evan and debutant Eusebio Blankendal made coming off the bench.
“There’s some pluses with Eusebio Blankendal coming in, I thought he did quite well for his debut,” Lightbourne added. “He came on second half and did really well and I thought Liam [Evans] came on and did well at centre back as well.
“All in all, some of our players needed that run out and remember we were playing against full-time professionals, so it was difficult for our players. We have to play at our maximum in order to get results, and were are really, really grateful of that match to get us in the right space for the game against Mexico.”
Dante Leverock, the Bermuda captain, said playing against a quality side like United was ideal preparation for the upcoming crucial match against Concacaf powerhouse Mexico.
“It was an exercise so we tried different formations and different personnel,” he added.
“Some players needed to be looked at by the coaching staff and some players needed to get some match fitness, so overall it was good to play a high level team in preparation for Mexico.”
Bermuda lost 5-1 to Mexico in the Nations League at the National Stadium last month.
Lightbourne’s team were bottom of group B on goal difference, four inferior to second-place Panama, who hosted Mexico at the Estadio Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez late last night. The bottom nation after Tuesday’s match will be relegated to League B.
Bermuda started their Nations League campaign with a 4-1 defeat to Panama at the National Stadium before avenging that loss by beating the Central Americans 2-0 three days later thanks to a Nahki Wells brace.
They secured a top seat at the Nations League table by finishing fifth in the qualifiers, which also led to them reaching the Gold Cup for the first time last summer.
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