Haiti game a must win for Bermuda
The Bermuda Under-17 side’s chances of advancing to the finals of the Caribbean Under-17 Championship are hanging by a thread ahead of today’s match against Haiti.
Finishing as the best third-place team is the only qualifying route available to coach Ray Jones’s side, who lost their opening two games 6-2 to Jamaica and 3-2 to host side Trinidad and Tobago.
Bermuda, whose squad includes several overseas-based players, face Haiti in their final group A game today at the Alto Bolden Stadium in Couva.
Jamaica lead the group ahead of second-place Haiti on goal difference with four points, while Trinidad are third on three points and Bermuda bottom.
Bermuda will need to beat Haiti by a comfortable margin and hope Trinidad suffer a heavy defeat against Jamaica in their final game today in order to progress.
From the eight-nation, two-group tournament, the top-five teams will advance to the Concacaf Under-17 Championship to be held from April 21 to May 7 in Panama City.
Bermuda fell behind in their opening game against Jamaica last Friday to a fifth-minute goal by Raewin Senior followed by a seventeenth-minute penalty from Kaheem Parris before pulling a goal back on the half-hour mark through Rahzir Smith-Jones.
Jamaica restored their two-goal cushion through Kendall Williams in the 36th before Nicque Delray added a fourth in the 42nd.
Parris scored a fifth in the 72nd before Enrique Russell struck Bermuda’s second in the 81st and then had the misfortune of scoring a last-minute own goal.
In Bermuda’s second game against Trinidad on Sunday, Russell gave Jones’s side the lead in the eleventh minute before adding a second in the 26th.
Trinidad, however, dominated the second half, scoring three goals through Che Berry and a brace from Jaydon Prowell to claim the victory.
Mark Wade, Bermuda’s assistant coach, admits the team were disappointed at surrendering their two-goal lead against Trinidad but insists they have not given up hope of qualifying.
“We had a tough start against a good Jamaica team who on the day were more clinical in their finishing,” Wade said.
“In the second match we improved, but a bit of inexperience cost us in the end and we weren’t able to hold on to a two-goal lead.
“The boys left it all on the pitch and they feel a bit down on themselves, but the effort they put in was fantastic.
“Mathematically, we’re still in it and have to get a really good result against Haiti. There’s still some hope there.”
Bermuda under-17: Lejaun Matthews, Robert Edwards, Blaiz Hall, Link Smith, Brandon Jones, Mateo Isaac, Moziah Selassie, Rahzir Jones, Diego Richardson, Richard Jones, Edry Moore, Quinaceo Hunt, Enrique Russell, Simeon Burrows, Jaquari Paynter, T’ai Williams, Kane Crichlow, Mical Hardtman, Keishon Bean, Zuhri Burgess