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Wells header near replica of his coach’s ‘famous’ goal

Striking similarities: Nahki Wells's header against El Salvador on Friday was almost a carbon copy of Kyle Lightbourne's strike, also against the Central Americans at the National Stadium, in 1992

It is often said that history has a funny way of repeating itself.

That certainly was the case for Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, who can hardly believe the striking resemblance of Nahki Wells’s winner against El Salvador at the National Stadium last Friday to his header against the Central Americans at the same venue 26 years ago.

Wells scored a header from Reggie Lambe’s left-wing cross to give Bermuda a hard-fought 1-0 win over El Salvador in a Concacaf Nations League qualifier.

The 70th-minute goal was very similar to Lightbourne’s winner, which was also a header from a left-wing ball, attacking the very same goal. It earned Bermuda a 1-0 victory over El Salvador in a World Cup qualifier in 1992.

“It’s an amazing thing for that to happen; same end, same team and from a cross from the left-hand side and a header,” Lightbourne said.

“There are a lot of similarities to the goal I scored against El Salvador. It’s unreal, you can’t make this stuff up.”

Lightbourne still ranks his goal against El Salvador as the most important goal of his career.

“That goes down as my most famous goal,” he added. “I might have scored a couple of more spectacular goals, but it comes down to the context of playing for your country, the importance of the game, and having to deliver on the day against a team ranked way above us.”

Wells’s winner was equally important, as it kept alive Bermuda’s dream of reaching the Gold Cup next year.

Lightbourne’s side are in a strong position with two wins from three games heading into their final qualifier away to Dominican Republic in March.

“I think this result is going to give us a big boost going into our last game,” Lightbourne said.

“I know it’s away and we have to travel better than we did when we went to Curaçao to play Aruba [a 3-1 defeat]. We need to really step our game up and come away with something because our goal difference is really good.”

Bermuda are seventh in the qualifying standings and are among seven countries on six points. The top ten teams advance to the Gold Cup.

“If we get three points in our next game than we are there or thereabouts, and that’s what we set out to do in the first instance,” Lightbourne said.

The qualifiers will also determine the three divisions for the Nations League, which starts in September 2019.