Bermuda ‘gifted’ Jamaica goals
Jamaica 2 Bermuda 0
Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, says he is appreciative that his players gained much needed experience despite losing to Jamaica here at the Montego Bay Sports Complex last night.
Bermuda, without captain Danté Leverock and a number of other key players, rotated the squad heavily and Lightbourne said that playing at this level was a new experience but praised a few debutants.
“It was a much needed game for us because a lot of our guys don't play at this level on a regular basis,” he said.
“It was [Tahzeiko] Harris' first game for us tonight at centre half and I thought he'd did really well.
“If anything comes out of the trip, Harris's performance is one we can credit.
“Jahkari Furbert had done reasonably well in the first half. Jonté Smith has been sick for a while, so it was good for him to get a run out.”
Cecoy Robinson played the role of captain on the night in Leverock's absence. While he had brief glimpses of quality, his performance was largely underwhelming, and he was substituted in the 63rd minute.
“He's always a leader in and around the place,” Lightbourne said of Robinson. “He's one of the older guys, so I gave him 60 minutes or so.
He can play better, but that's the game sometimes. He worked hard for the team and that's what I looked for in the players.”
Bermuda had a slow start to the game but had their first real chance of the game in the sixteenth minute.
Osagi Bascome, arguably their best player on the night, threaded a pass from the centre circle to Furbert, who dropped his shoulder well to turn and hit a powerful shot from just outside the area.
Akeem Chambers, the Jamaica goalkeeper, was only spared when the ball brushed the crossbar and went over.
Bascome, in his deep-lying midfield role, was once again the architect two minutes later when he found Robinson down the right-hand side. Robinson played a cross inside the area, which was cleared by Ajeanie Talbott's header into the path of Reggie Lambe, who forced a good save out of Chambers from the edge of the area.
Lightbourne's team however began to fade as the half progressed and allowed Jamaica striker Jourdaine Fletcher too much space in the area. Fletcher had an excellent turn on Jaylon Bather but saw his shot to the far post go narrowly wide.
Fletcher, who had earlier missed two easy chances, began to grow in confidence. His pace and trickery on the ball created confusion among the Bermuda midfielders and defenders. They allowed him space on the edge of the area to turn and fire beyond goalkeeper Tahj Bell to make it 1-0 to Jamaica in the 42nd minute.
Lightbourne's squad started the second half the better team with Robinson coming close to equalising in the 51st minute.
A well-taken corner from Bascome found him lurking just inside the box and his powerful shot forced Jamaica substitute goalkeeper Dennis Taylor to dive to his near post to make the save. Several substitutions allowed Lightbourne to address the issue of tired legs on the pitch and it saw Bermuda gain more possession. It was, however sterile, as they failed to create many chances despite good touches and short triangular passes in the Jamaica half.
The lack of chances was then punished when Jamaica's Chevone Marsh played a diagonal ball down the left side to Kemal Malcolm. The winger made use of his explosive speed to break into the box and whip a cross in to the unmarked Kemar Beckford who coolly finished beyond Bell in the 79th minute to make it 2-0.
Jamaica should have added a third in the 90th minute when Marsh connected with Malcolm once more.
“However, after receiving the pass just inside the area, he turned and could only fire wide of the near post.
“We played in patches,” Lightbourne said. “We let in goals that were our mistakes. We told them five or seven minutes before half-time, ‘Let's clear our lines, let's play balls in and nick it'. I think we gifted them two goals tonight.
“But it was an evenly matched game and I think overall, it was a great exercise for us. It's not always about the result.”
Jamaica assistant coach Jerome Waite was also pleased with the showing of his team, which also featured several youngsters looking to prove they deserve more game time.
“Bermuda came with their game plan,” Waite said. “We nullified it to some extent and did well.
“Once a team is playing Jamaica, it's as if they are playing against the Mexicans or Americans, so Jamaica will always have to come with their ‘A' game, regardless of who we have available to us.”
Jamaica: Fletcher 42, Beckford 79
Jamaica (4-3-3): A Chambers (sub: D Taylor, 45min) — F McCarthy, L Richie. R Thomas, L Walker (sub: C Marsh, 63) — A Clennon (sub: C Murray, 45), J Fletcher (sub: K Malcolm, 74). K Beckford — P Vassell (J Anglin, 58), A Talbott (sub: S Lawes, 86), K Isaacs. Substitutes not used: D Taylor, A Fletcher, J Belnavis, R Wellington. Booked: Walker, Talbott.
Bermuda (4-3-3): T Bell — D Brangman, E Blankendal (sub: K Bean, 74min), J Bather, T Harris — W Clemons, R Lambe, O Bascome — C Robinson (sub: C Basden, 63), J Smith, J Furbert (sub: P Douglas, 63) Substitutes not used: J Bean-Lindo, C Fubler, L Evans. Booked: Clemons.
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez (United States).