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Bermuda can cause upsets at Gold Cup

Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, has backed his team to “surprise a few people” during their debut Concacaf Gold Cup campaign in June.

Lightbourne, whose side qualified for the competition by finishing fifth in the Nations League qualifiers, will face Haiti at the Estadio Nacional in San José, Costa Rica, in their opening game on June 16.

They will then play Costa Rica, who took part in the World Cup in Russia last summer, at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on June 20 before facing Nicaragua at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on June 24.

Lightbourne insists Bermuda will be no pushovers and believes his attacking talents such as Nahki Wells, Reggie Lambe, Zeiko Lewis and Jonté Smith can cause their opponents some problems.

“From Bermuda, you will see a spirited team,” Lightbourne told the Concacaf Gold Cup website. We've got some good forwards so that always gives us a chance. We've got some players that will excite the crowd and we will probably surprise a few people.”

Although Bermuda are the lowest ranked team in group B, Lightbourne is confident his side will be competitive in all their matches. Of the three teams, Costa Rica are ranked the highest in third place, with Haiti second in tenth, Nicaragua in fourteenth and Bermuda in 20th.

“Our expectations are to compete well and not be easily beaten,” Lightbourne added. “That's what we've been working, to stay in games as we know we're going to have difficult moments. It's just a matter of managing it.

“Can we improve when we get back here? That's what's got to be on our minds. There's been a lot of hard work from many different coaches, not just myself. The boys have worked hard to get here.”

The Gold Cup has been extended from 12 teams to 16 teams split into four groups. The seeded teams are Mexico in group A, Costa Rica in group B, Honduras in group C and the United States in group D. The remaining nations are Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Martinique, Curaçao, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica and El Salvador.

Bermuda won three and lost one of their Nations League qualifiers, including a 3-1 victory over the Dominican Republic in Santiago last month.

In the knockout rounds, the NRG Stadium in Houston and the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia will host two quarter-final matches each, on June 29 and 30 respectively.

The winning teams will move on to State Farm Stadium in Phoenix and Nissan Stadium in Nashville for the semi-finals. The final is scheduled to be played on July 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago

Bermuda coach Kyle Lightbourne

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Published April 24, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated April 24, 2019 at 10:20 am)

Bermuda can cause upsets at Gold Cup

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