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Ming rues Concacaf Nations League suspension

Tre Ming, set to miss Bermuda’s match with Dominican Republic in March because of suspension (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, will be forced to make at least one change to his starting line-up for the island’s crucial upcoming Concacaf Nations League qualifying match against the Dominican Republic from the one that upset El Salvador in their previous outing.

Midfielder Tre Ming will miss March’s trip to the Dominican Republic as he serves an automatic one-game suspension after picking up a second yellow card of the tournament during Bermuda’s 1-0 triumph over El Salvador at the National Stadium last November that boosted the island’s dream of competing at the Gold Cup this year.

The PHC Zebras player admits having to miss the crucial match has been a bitter pill to swallow.

“That’s killing me and the card I got against El Salvador was poor refereeing,” he lamented. “I did one tackle the whole game.”

Bermuda are seventh in the Concacaf Nations League qualifying standings and in a strong position with two wins from three games. The top ten teams advance to the Gold Cup, a competition Bermuda has never previously reached.

Ming is confident his team-mates can get the job done in his absence.

“It’s all about belief, really, and I think we can pull it off,” he said.

“I think what’s got us this far is everyone has got everyone’s back, so the people coming off the bench are ready to do the job.

“Our main goal is to make that 48-team selection for the World Cup. That’s our ultimate goal but obviously baby steps and the Gold Cup, we feel we should be in it anyway.”

Ming played a key factor in PHC’s 5-2 Friendship Trophy final triumph over Dandy Town on New Year’s Day at Somerset Cricket Club, where he netted a hat-trick and assisted in the remaining goals.

“Offensively speaking, that was my best performance because I played a role in each goal,” he said.

“Before the game I asked Mazhye [Burchall, the late PHC and Robin Hood player] can I get one today, and he gave me three.”

In a moving gesture, Ming dedicated his hat-trick to the memory of Burchall, who was killed in a bike crash last September.

Ming was substituted in the 57th minute of Tuesday’s cup final after aggravating an old knee injury.

However, he has since recovered and would have been available for PHC’s Premier Division clash away to Boulevard at Lord’s on Sunday had the match not been postponed because of the death of Blazers goalkeeper Ronniko Burchall.

“I’m good to go,” Ming said. “I’m 100 per cent.”

PHC, the defending champions, top the Premier Division standings by one point over Robin Hood.

Ming believes that the best is yet to come from he and his team-mates heading into the second half of the season.

“If I’m being honest, and we’ve all agreed, we haven’t been playing our best football in the league,” he said.

“Before the Friendship Trophy final, Morty [PHC coach Scott Morton] reminded us that we have strayed away from what made us successful last year, which was just enjoying it and having belief in what we are doing.

“That is what everyone saw in our match against Dandy Town.”