Bermuda squeak victory despite missed chances
Bermuda kept their unblemished home record intact after coming from behind to beat 10-men Barbados in this 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Centre yesterday.
Goals either side of the half from skipper Khano Smith and Kwame Steede cancelled out Diquan Adamson's 18th minute strike, that ultimately proved to be nothing more than a consolation for the Bajans, whose quest for a first win in these qualifiers continues.
Despite having 'keeper Jason Boxill sent off in the 27th minute for pulling down Damon Ming in the box, the Bajans created enough chances to come away with at least a share of the spoils. But their defending, which was shaky at best, perhaps showed just why they find themselves winless and rooted firmly at the bottom of Group B.
Time and time again the visitors were left completely exposed at the back and had it not been for some poor finishing on Bermuda's part the margin of victory could've easily been wider. Bermuda sub Reggie Lambe was one of the reasons why it wasn't as he squandered multiple chances to put the match further beyond the Bajans' reach after jumping off the bench.
Domico Coddington, Steede and Ming also wasted golden opportunities in front of the uprights when scoring seemed easier. But fortunately for the hosts these glaring misses did not come back to haunt and in the end Bermuda were more than deserving of victory in a match of very little significance as both combatants have no chance of advancing in the competition.
One can only imagine what position Bermuda might've been in had they not forfeited the right to play their second Group B match against Guyana at home rather than on the road having gone unbeaten in their last three 2014 World Cup qualifying matches.
That Bermuda prevailed yesterday owed much to the hustle of midfield trio Sammy DeGraff, Steede and Tuarean Manders who had a hand in the build-up that led to the hosts' first goal.
“When we needed them to step up, they did,” commented Bermuda skipper Smith. “And that's what matters when the game is on the line.”
The only thing at stake in yesterday's contest was pride and Bermuda's may have been shattered when the Bajans took lead against the run of play with a powerful finish from Adamson. The Barbados forward smashed his shot over the head of the onrushing Mikkail Crockwell after Norman Forde's deft chip unlocked the Bermuda defence.
Up until then it was Bermuda who dictated the tempo and they should've taken the lead when Coddington found himself alone yards out but headed tamely into the arms of 'keeper Boxill.
However, the Bajans' luck finally ran out in the 27th minute when Bermuda were awarded a penalty after Ming was tripped up just inside the area by Boxill who promptly received his marching orders. Skipper Smith made no mistake from the spot to add parity to the scoreline.
Bermuda then cashed in on their numerical advantage right after the break when Steede scored the eventual game winner with a spectacular scissors kick, with his back to goal, that soared inside the far post.
From this juncture Bermuda should have blown the visitors clean off the pitch. But poor finishing by Lambe and Ming, who both missed sitters, and Steede spared the visitors further blushes.
Bermuda: M Crockwell (D Eve, 45 mins), T Burgess, J Nusum, K Smith (capt), D Tankard, D Ming, T Manders, D DeGraff (A Simmons, 70 mins), K Steede, Q Maynard, D Coddington
Booked: T Burgess.
Goals: K Smith (27th), K Steede (48th)
Barbados: J Boxill, B Skeete, J Straker, D Adamson, R Burgess (J Parris, 32 mins), R Marques, N Forde (capt), K Gibson (B Springer, 26 mins), R Miller, D Griffith (D Mars, 76 mins), S Grosvenor
Booked: R Marques, N Forde
Sent off: J Boxill
Goals: D Adamson
Referee: R. Barrios (Guatemala).