Brave Bermuda denied a place in the final
National Academy director Richard Todd praised the Bermuda Under-17 women's national team's determination as they fell short of reaching the next round of the Under-17 World Cup qualifying tournament last night.
Previously unbeaten, Bermuda lost to host nation Haiti in the semi-finals, thus surrendering any hopes of progressing to the regional final.
With the winners of the two semi-finals automatically advancing to the next round of qualification, a lot was at stake for the side, who fought admirably.
“The players and coaches will be disappointed to not advance but have every reason to be proud of their performance in the tournament thus far,” said Todd.
“They have demonstrated that the level of play for the women's programme is improving in Bermuda and the future is bright. I am proud of them and I believe that this experience will stay with them for a long time and they can only learn and grow from it.”
Bermuda were down as early as the seventh minute after goalkeeper Micah Pond was beaten.
While the score remained the same until the break, it would prove to be the hosts' day as they would double the lead after Pond was exposed following a defensive error, resulting in the second goal and left the visitors facing an uphill battle.
Two goals in quick succession would confirm the side's demise.
After giving away a penalty which was duly converted to make the score 3-0, they would lose possession quickly after the restart, resulting in the Haiti winger collecting a wayward pass and unleashing a shot from 25 yards to put the result to bed.
Although the result wasn't what Bermuda wanted, Todd was keen to focus on what is next — a clash against Puerto Rico on Sunday.
“They will have a chance for a rematch with Puerto Rico in the third-place game on Sunday, and we encourage them to continue to keep their spirits high.
“I will discuss with the coaching staff and players on their return plans to keep them active with events on the calendar for this year.
“They have shown that “Girls can play too, and deserve the opportunities to compete and continue to develop.”
The squad had an encouraging run to the semi-finals, beating the Dominican Republic 3-1, before defeating group favourites Trinidad and Tobago 1-0.
Their final group game was a comfortable 2-0 win over Grenada.
Bermuda team: Pond, Dill, Burch-Waldron, Burgess, Fubler, Lespere, Gibbons, Greaves, Darrell, Frazzoni, Nolan