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Bermuda’s cup hopes dashed

Second defeat: Bermuda women's Under-17 team

Bermuda’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the Caribbean Football Union Under-17 Championships were dashed last night in Puerto Rico when they were beaten 5-1 by Jamaica.

The women’s team sit bottom of group A, with two losses and with only one match remaining. The top two teams advance to this weekend’s semi-finals along with the top two teams from group B.

Bermuda were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Cuba on Friday and will play Puerto Rico tomorrow.

Both Bermuda and Jamaica had early chances yesterday with Bermuda’s Symira Lowe Darrell again causing havoc to the opposition with her pace.

Jamaica took an early lead through Marley Fray in the sixth minute. However, that did not dampen Bermuda’s spirit as chances fell to LeiLanni Nesbeth, Lowe Darrell and Nia Christopher.

Just when it seemed Bermuda were gaining the upper hand they were rocked again by Fray in the fifteenth minute when she scored her second goal. Again Bermuda continued to press the Jamaica defence and almost pulled one back in the 35th minute when Zakiyah Durham’s long-range effort was pushed onto the crossbar by the Jamaica goalkeeper.

Minutes later Nesbeth found herself with only the goalkeeper to beat but sailed her effort over the bar from a tight angle instead of squaring the ball to a team-mate.

Once again Bermuda’s pressure was offset by a Jamaican goal against the run of play, this time in the 44th minute.

The energetic Christopher almost pulled one back on the stroke of half time but watched as her effort clipped the base of the post.

Bermuda started the second half on the front foot and were finally rewarded for their efforts when Christopher steered a fierce 25-yard effort past the hapless goalkeeper.

Christopher’s goal seemed to lift the Bermuda spirits and the team continued to press the Jamaicans with attack after attack. Darrell found herself with back-to-back golden opportunities to score which she failed to convert.

Jamaica found the back of the net for a fourth time after Micah Pond’s save fell to the feet of the Jamaican forward. Pond dived to her right a few minutes later to smother a penalty attempt. The tenacious effort and fight from Bermuda soon took its toll and Jamaica slowly controlled the final fifteen minutes of the game before scoring a fifth goal.

“The coaching staff were proud and happy with the effort put forward by our young girls,” Manny Faria, head of the Bermuda delegation, said. “The scoreline truly did not reflect the performance put forward.

“The difference in this match was the conversion of chances. We were rather unfortunate in front of the goal. The girls finished the game with their heads held high, knowing they can play with any team in our region and look forward to proudly showcasing their brand of football on Tuesday against the host nation.”