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Bermuda given clue as to height of their task

Positive signs: Bascome saw enough in Bermuda's defeat to Mexico to feel confident about the future

Andrew Bascome found plenty to be pleased about despite watching Mexico Under-23 comfortably beat his side at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento yesterday.

Three second-half goals from Marco Bueno, Armando Zamorano and Alfonso Tamay gave the home team a win that the Bermuda coach said was fully deserved.

As expected, Bermuda struggled in the high altitude of Mexico City and the players’ fitness levels was Bascome’s main area of concern.

“Not taking anything away from the Mexican team, they’re a fantastic team, we can’t discredit them, but we struggled as the game went on,” Bascome said. “Of course, I would have liked a better result, but you also have to be realistic.”

Bermuda more than held their own for the first hour yesterday and could have gone ahead shortly before half-time, but Tyrell Burgess headed wide from a Zeiko Lewis corner. Mexico had chances of their own, and Roger Lee, returning in defence after injury, needed to be at his best to keep the home side at bay.

Dale Eve was called on to make a couple of smart saves in the first half, as was Freddy Hall, who was of seven changes that Bascome made at half-time. Hall could do nothing, however, about Bueno’s opener, which came with little more than an hour gone. Cecoy Robinson was beaten on the left wing, the cross found Bueno unmarked 15 yards out and the Mexico striker gave Hall no chance.

Zamorano scored a second five minutes later and, as Bermuda tired, Tamay added a third six minutes from time.

“There were definitely some pleasing things for me,” Bascome said. “The first half, we were very organised; the second also, but the level dropped, the quality of the play when we had the ball dropped. The first two goals came from our errors and we got punished; that’s what happens at this level. Of course, once you’re tired your decision-making goes.”

With the likes of Nahki Wells, Reggie Lambe, Jonté Smith, Rai Simmons and Danté Leverock missing, Bascome took the opportunity to look at the rest of his squad. Damon Ming and Angelo Simmons did their causes no harm with solid displays, while Bascome said he thought Lee had been “fantastic at the back”.

The coach said: “Considering the players that didn’t come, I’m very pleased with them all.”

The Bermuda squad returns home tomorrow and the coach has no doubts who will be included for the final warm-up game against Puerto Rico on June 5, before the first leg of their World Cup qualifier against Guatemala a week later.

Those that are selected face two weeks of hard work, especially if Bascome fails to convince the Bermuda Football Association that his side should fly to Guatemala, another high-altitude destination, a week early.

“There’s no ifs and buts now, there were one or two who I thought were on the fringe, but I definitely know now,” Bascome said. “I don’t know what we can do to get adapted to the environment unless we are in the environment for longer periods.

“Once we get back to Bermuda, we need to get the team in camp and we must work hard, hard, hard, especially on conditioning.”


Bermuda (probable; 4-5-1): D Eve — T Burgess, R Lee, J Bather, J Harvey — T Ming, K Bean, Z Lewis, L Simmons, D Ming — A Simmons. Substitutes: F Hall, A Russell, C Robinson, S Smith, M Hill, J Raynor, R DeShields, C Castle, D Bascome.