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Signs promising approaching Bahamas tie

Two games, two different teams, two different results.

Bermuda have come through their warm-up matches against Grenada unbeaten and, while it is dangerous to put too much stock in the result of an international friendly, there is certainly reason for optimism.

Andrew Bascome made ten changes to his starting line-up, only the impressive Zeiko Lewis kept his place, and although a few questions remain, the future is that much clearer.

For one, Bermuda appear to be a team to be reckoned with, in the Caribbean at least, and while there is no arguing over whether Grenada have been poor, yesterday Bascome's side ran out comfortable winners, denying their opponents a meaningful shot on target.

Much of that had to do with a defence that looked solid, organised and largely maintained its discipline, helped by the calming, and controlling influence of Tre Ming, who played in just in front of the back four. Of the eight defenders who have played over the past three days, Jalen Harvey and Jaylon Bather both did their World Cup ambitions the power of good. Tyrell Burgess merits some consideration, too. Solid at the back, he is a central defender by trade and seems best suited to playing in that position given his inability to cross the ball, which he was required to do yesterday playing on the right side of defence.

That solid platform allowed the midfield to harry Grenada to the point of distraction and both Bermuda's goals having come about by defensive errors being forced was particularly impressive.

Up front, Antwan Russell held the ball up well with his back to goal, brought the midfield into play and took his header with a minimum of fuss. In the fight to be included alongside Nahki Wells, Russell is certainly top of the pile, helped immeasurably by Rai Simons missing three golden opportunities when he came on with 30 minutes left.

Even Simons's hand in Casey Castle's stoppage-time goal is unlikely to boost his claims to move ahead of Russell, especially as his touch let him down more often than not.

Victory moves Bermuda one step more along in their journey to the World Cup qualifiers against Bahamas this month, games they should feel confident of winning. However, Bascome is too good a coach to allow this result to mask some of the obvious deficiencies that plague his team.

For all their movement, and the space that they create, Bermuda still struggle to supply good balls into the box on a regular basis, especially from the right-hand side. It may be that Reggie Lambe will help to solve that problem if he plays, but it is a problem.

Some of the passing, too, was lazy yesterday, or downright bad, and there are older players in the squad who do not appear to be good enough to play at this level.

These though are relatively easy fixes, and there is the bones of a good team that, boosted by the return of Wells, Lambe, Jonté Smith and Dale Eve, could cause a few problems for sides beyond the first round of games against Bahamas.

The future: Marco Warren runs at the Grenada defence (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 09, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 09, 2015 at 2:06 am)

Signs promising approaching Bahamas tie

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