Robinson bemoans defensive mistakes
Cecoy Robinson believes his Bermuda side could have advanced to the round of 16 in the Concacaf Under-17 Championships had they cut out their defensive lapses in concentration.
The under-17s bowed out of the competition after losing 4-2 against Jamaica in Bradenton, Florida, at the weekend, finishing bottom of group E with three straight defeats.
They also lost 3-1 to Trinidad & Tobago and 5-0 to Mexico, the defending champions, to miss out on one of the three qualifying berths.
Robinson, the under-17 coach, says his side put themselves “behind the eight ball” by conceding early goals in all three matches and took too long to find their attacking fluency.
“We kept on putting ourselves in a hole by giving away goals straight from the outset,” Robinson said. “We wanted to play attacking football, but the main thing was not to give away goals. In the first 15 minutes [against Jamaica], we just weren't up to it defensively.”
Bermuda made a lethargic start to their must-win encounter against Jamaica, conceding three quick goals. They improved greatly after the break, scoring in the 48th minute through substitute Jayce Basden, but Jamaica quickly restored their three-goal cushion when Rayjay Wright completed his hat-trick.
Arnezha Astwood, the Bermuda captain, scored a penalty in the 64th minute and Ne-Jai Tucker almost added a third but was thwarted from close range by the Jamaica goalkeeper.
“At half-time we talked about Jamaica not being better than us and that we needed to give ourselves a fighting chance,” Robinson added.
“We said we needed a goal in the first five minutes and within three minutes we got that, but then Jamaica go down the field and score from a set-piece. It was frustrating.”
Robinson singled out Astwood, Nehje Smith and goalkeeper Colridge Fubler Jr for special praise and said his team had learnt plenty from playing against regional heavyweights.
“We didn't get on the ball enough in the first half [against Jamaica],” said Robinson, who will likely be part of Bermuda's squad for the Gold Cup next month.
“In the second half, we were able to cause them a whole load of problems. It's definitely been a good experience.
“For some of the boys, it was their first time playing at the international level.”