Bermuda target Gold Cup return
Bermuda's bid to secure automatic qualification for the next Concacaf Gold Cup remains on track after their historic win over Panama in the Nations League last weekend.
Goals by Nahki Wells either side of the interval guided Bermuda to a 2-0 win away to Panama, who are placed 74th in the Fifa world rankings, 100 positions above Kyle Lightbourne's team.
It was Bermuda's maiden victory in the inaugural competition and has bolstered their hopes of securing one of the 12 automatic Gold Cup qualifying spots, heading into their remaining group B fixtures of League A against champions Mexico.
“We have put ourselves in a position that if we can get something out of one of these two games I think we go through [to the Gold Cup],” Lightbourne said.
“Against Mexico our results have to be better, home and away, than Panama's when they play against them.
“It's a hard task, but we are going to try. We have to do everything we can and this is going to be a great test of character for us without a doubt.”
Bermuda face Mexico, who have won the Gold Cup a record eight times, at home on October 11 and away on November 19.
Danté Leverock, the Bermuda captain, is optimistic his side can secure Gold Cup qualification.
“The chance is always there, we believe in ourselves and what we have to offer as a nation,” the Sligo Rovers defender said.
“We are very proud to have come this far, but we aren't satisfied.
“We want to stay in League A; that is the objective.
“We play a top team in Mexico, the best in the region, but we won't shy away from any challenge.
“I am really looking forward to competing against some of the best players in the region the likes of Raúl Jiménez and Hirving Lozano. To play Mexico in front of friends and family in Bermuda will be a special feeling.”
Lightbourne's team are second behind Panama on goal difference after two matches with Mexico yet to play.
The top two teams in each of the four League A groups, along with the winner of each of the four League B groups, will secure automatic qualification to the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2021.
As well as gaining automatic qualification for the Gold Cup and advancing to the semi-finals of the Nations League, the top two teams in Bermuda's group will retain their League A status.
The bottom team will be relegated to League B and will have to compete Gold Cup qualifiers between March and June of next year, a fate Lightbourne would rather avoid.
“The teams that finish second in group B will play against the teams that finish first in group C,” he said.
“Then the teams that finish third in group A will play one of them to see who are the four remaining teams to make the Gold Cup, so that's why we want to make it first time around.”
Bermuda made their debut at the Gold Cup this summer, losing 2-1 to Costa Rica and Haiti before beating Nicaragua 2-0 in their final group match.