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Marauding Bailey gets Bermuda off to a flyer

Bahamas 0

Bermuda 4

Bermuda got their CFU Under-17 World Cup group four qualifying off to the best possible start last evening in 90 degree heat in Bahamas when they beat the host country 4-0 with left back Jerome Bailey netting twice.

And with Martinique beating Puerto Rico drawing 2-0 in the opening match at Roscow RL Davies Stadium, Bermuda already lead the group on goal difference going into their second match tomorrow evening against the Puerto Ricans in the opening match of the double-header (6.00 Bermuda time).

Bermuda dominated the first half but only Bailey's opener three minutes before the break separated the teams. Bailey overlapped with pace down the left, skipped past his marker and fired his shot past the goalkeeper. Tahzeiko Harris then headed against the crossbar from a corner later in the half as Bermuda continued to looked sharp.

“A good performance and result in the opening match,” said a delighted Mark Wade, head of the Bermuda delegation. “The coaches will ensure the team remains focused for the next match; the job is not done yet. I am positive the team will get better with each game.”

Bermuda failed to capitalise further on their dominance in the first half as Oneko Lowe side-footed over the top from close range after a corner was not cleared. Then Jahkari Furbert had a couple of good chances, the first which was saved by the goalkeeper with his feet and the second which he smashed against the crossbar from 20 yards.

Minutes later Bermuda were on the attack again when the ball was cleared off the line from a Bailey free kick. Bermuda were virtually camped out in the Bahamas half as both full backs continued to surge forward. Furbert headed an effort over the crossbar before Oneko Lowe shot straight at the goalkeeper.

A stern half-time talk from coach Andrew Bascome produced the desired result in the second half as Bermuda scored three unanswered goals. He demanded more effort and discipline and urged the players to play without fear and they responded. Bermuda struck 15 minutes into the second half when Bailey, a North Village youth player, unleashed a 30-yard rocket that caught the goalkeeper by surprise before smashing into the top corner.

Bermuda became a little complacent after the second goal and began to give the ball away, as they made their first substitution, bringing on Macquille Walker for Judah Chapman, the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, who required treatment for a knock two minutes earlier. Then Azende Furbert came out limping after winning the ball in a 50-50 tackle; shaken but able to continue.

Harris had a header from a corner cleared off the line as Bermuda search for more goals. Bermuda put the match out of the Bahamas reach in the 75th minute when Bascome delivered a fine through-ball to Lowe who won it inside the penalty area, only to be hauled down by a Bahamas defender for a penalty. Bascome stepped up to score to the goalkeeper's left.

Coach Bascome makes a change in formation late in the match as Ahria Simons came on for Jahkari Furbert with nine minutes remaining. Simons made an immediate impact with his pace as Bermuda relied on long balls to the target man Walker. Bahamas had another speculative effort easily dealt with by goalkeeper Ajai Daniels.

Bermuda closed out the scoring in stoppage time when substitute Simons used his pace to go past three players and supply a cross to Walker, who was fouled outside the box.

Walker got up and curled the ball around the box and to the goalkeeper's left to close out the scoring as the referee immediately blew the final whistle.

Jerome Bailey: two-goal hero

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Published July 24, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 24, 2014 at 2:20 am)

Marauding Bailey gets Bermuda off to a flyer

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