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Burchall scores beauty in Bermuda defeat

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Burchall, right, got on the end of a free kick from Bascome, left, for Bermuda’s consolation goal (Photograph by Colin Thompson)

Mazhye Burchall scored arguably the goal of the tournament, but it was not enough to prevent Bermuda from slumping to defeat at the Estadio Nacional last night.

Kyle Lightbourne’s team put on a brave display against heavy favourites El Salvador, who have now qualified from group C.

Three goals down in the 67th minute, Bermuda rallied with forward Burchall, one of four changes Lightbourne made to his line-up from the 1-1 draw against Trinidad and Tobago in the opening game, pulling a goal back with a spectacular volley from an Osagi Bascome free kick.

But that was as close as Bermuda got as El Salvador put up the shutters to secure the points.

Had Bermuda taken their early chances it might have been a different story.

However, those missed opportunities coupled with some poor defending ultimately came at a costly price for Bermuda.

Lightbourne’s side played most of the first half behind the ball in an attempt to frustrate their opponents.

But El Salvador’s pace down the flanks and ball movement kept Bermuda’s back four on their toes and it always seemed only a matter of time before they would breakthrough.

Bermuda goalkeeper Detre Bell rushed off his line in the sixteenth minute to bravely save at the feet of El Salvador striker Marvin Marquez.

The forward collided with Bell in the process and had to receive treatment.

But Marquez returned to the pitch shortly after to have a major say in his team’s opener.

Marquez crossed in the middle where Roberto Dominguez, the El Salvador captain, tapped in from close range following Josue Santos’s dummy after beating Bermuda left back David Jones to the ball despite the defender being goal side of his man.

After absorbing enormous pressure, Bermuda began to venture forward and threatened just before the interval with centre back Zenawi Bowen having two attempts at goal.

First, he had shot deflected off Dominguez for a corner and then from the ensuing set piece dragged a poor clearance wide.

Lowe, Bermuda’s saviour against Trinidad, also had shot from distance deflected for a corner.

Bermuda survived a scare early in the second half when forward Marcos Rodriguez crashed a shot onto the post after Bermuda gave the ball away cheaply deep inside their own half.

Lowe, the Dandy Town forward, nearly brought Bermuda level with a lob that was saved by goalkeeper Mario Martinez.

But just when it seemed the tide had turned in Bermuda’s favour Fernando Castillo, the El Salvador forward, doubled their lead with a neat finish against the run of play.

The goal clearly stunned Bermuda and before they recovered they fell further behind when substitute Josue Rivera scored two minutes after coming off the bench.

Still, Bermuda battled on and were rewarded when winger Burchall controlled substitute Bascome’s free kick on his right foot and volleyed into the top left corner.

El Salvador substitute Hector Quinteros headed against the bar in the closing minutes.

Bermuda goalkeeper Bell also made a series of saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

Bermuda play their final group game against host nation Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional on Saturday at 6pm Bermuda time.