Bermuda’s women ecstatic after booking place at CAC Games
Bermuda 1 Guyana 0
Mallory Towlson’s dramatic, late winner punched Bermuda’s ticket to the Central American and Caribbean Games at the Flora Duffy Stadium today.
The forward converted from open play after breaking away on a counter-attack with less than a minute remaining to secure the island’s spot in El Salvador with a game to spare.
Isabel Roe’s long pass pierced the Guyana defence and sent Towlson in the clear with only goalkeeper Alysa Xavier to beat. The forward kept her composure as she rounded Xavier before slotting home from an angle.
“We came in with a target of going harder today and I am so proud of the girls,” Kovin Moodley, the Bermuda coach, told The Royal Gazette.
“You come to a tournament and you obviously want to win every single game, and to be able to achieve that is icing on the cake.”
Bermuda went into the match knowing a win would see them through and ultimately were equal to the task.
“They realised what was at stake and they had me on edge,” Moodley added. “I lost my voice and my heart was racing, but this is why we love sport.
“It was a 0-0 game all the way up until the end and it was that counter-attack goal. Really exciting for us and we are off to the CAC Games.”
Tse Minors, the Bermuda captain, was equally as thrilled to see the home side achieve their objective.
“It feels great and I literally spoke this into existence, so that feels awesome,” she said.
“I know I kept saying it, but to see everything come to light and see how it worked just means everything to us.”
As for Towlson’s late winner, Minors added: “These girls never put their heads down. Our heads always stayed up and we literally fight to the last second, and that’s what happened.”
Bermuda were thoroughly deserving of the victory, as they dominated possession and created more chances than their rivals.
Maya Palacio, Jessica Hollis and Towlson each had shots saved by Xavier, who was kept on her toes throughout the match.
Bermuda defended superbly, with goalkeeper Christina Stephen called upon only twice to make saves.
The home team remain unbeaten, having come from behind to edge Jamaica 2-1 in the opening match of the tournament.
Bermuda top the group standings with six points and will look to finish strongly against Puerto Rico, who are also unbeaten, in their final match tomorrow.
“We have one more game, so we are not going to just go out there and just play,” Minors said. “We want to stay at the top of the table.”
Second and third-placed Puerto Rico and Jamaica are the remaining teams in contention for the final qualifying spot up for grabs, as Guyana have been eliminated.
Jamaica and Guyana will do battle in their final group game tomorrow.
Bermuda: Towlson 59
Bermuda: C Stephen, A DeSilva, M Palacio, G Harris, E Stewart, M Clarke, L Cardwell, J Harris, A Harper, T Minors, T Botelho, J Chisnall, I Roe, L Tavares, K Robinson, M Towlson.
Guyana: A Xavier, G Xavier, M Fiedtkou, M Harding, T Woodroffe, A Gordon, P Wilke, K Gomes, C Bobb, S Klautky, U Sutherland, S Fernandes, M Fernandes, M Rahaman, K Chinian.
Umpire: L Sarabia (United States).