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Lightbourne hails Bermuda battlers

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Bermuda coach Kyle Lightbourne hailed his team's gutsy display in an impressive 1-1 draw against Trinidad & Tobago in their opening Concacaf Under-20 Championship group C match at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa yesterday.

Bermuda were forced to chase the game after falling behind to Kathon St Hillaire's 23rd-minute opener after a defensive lapse.

However, Lightbourne's charges are made of stern stuff and came roaring back through Oneko Lowe's equaliser with 20 minutes remaining in the Costa Rican capital to earn a precious point against their opponents.

“Overall, I thought the guys worked hard and I am very pleased with them,” Lightbourne said. “They worked hard today and showed a lot of character against a very good Trinidad team.

“I would have liked the victory and we had a couple of good chances first half with Tehvan [Tyrell] and Oneko.

“But in the end I think a draw is fair result.

“We had the first chance of the game that we didn't take and then we sort of lost our way after 20 minutes and Trinidad started to take over the game.

“It was difficult to go behind at a stage of the game where I felt we just needed to keep the ball a little better.

“Trinidad had a couple of chances to go 2-0 up in the second half but we stuck in there and got the equaliser.

“We have the belief within our team that none one can beat us 1-0 and Jaz Ratteray-Smith definitely gave us some energy when he came on up front. I am very pleased that Jaz came on and did well. Tehvan would be disappointed with his performance today but that's part of the game and maybe next game will be his.”

Liam Evans, the Bermuda captain, who put in a workmanlike shift in midfield and during the latter stages as a centre back, said that he and his colleagues never panicked after falling behind.

“Once we had gone down 1-0 we didn't drop our heads and we knew we were going to come back,” he said. “It was just a matter of time and taking our chance — and we did.

“We had some good chances to take the lead in the first half. But that's football, anything can happen. But we got a decent result, and so I am pretty pleased.”

Trinidad dominated possession and came close to nicking the game when captain Jabari Mitchell's free kick struck the woodwork.

“I thought we had the better of the game before falling apart slightly in the second half,” Brian Williams, the Trinidad coach, said. “But hats off to Bermuda for keeping in the game and really working hard.”

El Salvador top the group after beating the host nation 1-0 yesterday.

Big stage: Swan goes on the attack at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa (Photograph by Aldo Navarro/futboldecostarica.com)

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Published February 20, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated February 20, 2017 at 9:56 am)

Lightbourne hails Bermuda battlers

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