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Robinson preparing team for toughest test

Naquita Robinson, the Bermuda coach, admits today's quarter-final match against the United States will be the team's biggest test so far in the Concacaf Under-15 Tournament in Orlando Florida.

Bermuda won all three of their matches in the group stage, beating Cayman Islands 3-0, before following up with a 3-1 win over Bahamas the following day.

On Sunday, needing one point against bottom team Antigua & Barbuda to advance, Bermuda romped to a 7-1 victory as LeiLanni Nesbeth led the way with a hat-trick. This morning they play the US who put 22 unanswered goals past Trinidad and Tobago in their opening group match, before Mexico and Haiti held them to close 1-0 losses.

“We are now preparing for our toughest test to date, playing against the USA,” Robinson said.

“Tomorrow's game is more about the game than the result. The game will be about the girls winning their individual battles in order to achieve the team objective. We will break the game down for the girls with specific objectives.

“ We are well aware that we are not afforded the same opportunities as the USA players but our girls will leave it all on the field.

“We are mentally preparing the girls for the game not the result. The girls will show they deserve to be here playing against the best in the world.”

The Bermuda girls have been getting ready for the tournament since last October, training with Muhsin Nasir at Beast Gym and playing matches against Maceo Dill's Valencia boys team.

“The girls played their first game on August 12 against the Cayman Islands,” Robinson said. “The girls started very slow as expected with this being the first international tournament for the majority of them.

“We did take the lead in the seventh minute through a well-taken goal by Adia Gibbons who chased down a bad back pass. Cayman Islands pinned us in our half after that for most of the first half. Gaiya Melakot made three very impressive saves to keep us in the game.”

A well-taken goal by Nesbeth in the 28th minute doubled the Bermuda lead before Nia Christopher closed out the scoring with the third in the 55th minute.

“A misplaced free kick from Danni Watson saw the ball skip past the Cayman back line and was chased down by Adia Gibbons from the centre forward position,” Robinson said.

“She muscled the defender off the ball and passed it inside to captain LeiLanni who unleashed a powerful left-footed shot from 25 yards out that hit the upper left side of the net. We took a 2-0 lead into the half.

“Jaden Masters put on a fine display and kept the Cayman defenders guessing. She worked tirelessly and should have rewarded herself on a few occasions.

“In the 55th minute Masters worked the ball down the left side and sent in a perfect cross to find Nia Christopher at the back post. Nia took the ball cleverly out of the air and slotted past the advancing keeper. Trinae Edwards was the MVP of that game.”

Nesbeth was voted the MVP in the match against Bahamas after her two-goal performance in the 3-1 victory.

“Again our girls started a bit slow but quickly switched gears and played with a much higher tempo,” Robinson stated. “In the 22nd minute LeiLanni pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired a left-footed shot hard and low past the keeper. Ten minutes later she dribbled from the halfway line past four defenders and struck a lethal 25- yard right-footed shot past the keeper to make it 2-0.

“We made early changes in the second half and the game changers proved too much for the opposition as well. In the 45th minute Nia got on the end of another Masters cross and slotted past the oncoming ‘keeper.”

Jaden Masters was the MVP in the final group match. Bermuda will play the US at 9am, the same time as the Canada v Curaçao match. Costa Rica play St Lucia, and Puerto Rico taking on Mexico in the 11am matches.

High on confidence: an unbeaten Bermuda team face their toughest test yet in Orlando

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Published August 17, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 17, 2016 at 2:02 am)

Robinson preparing team for toughest test

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