Kyle Lightbourne: ‛We gave all we could’
Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, expressed disappointment over the island’s exit from the Concacaf Gold Cup but believes his players gave their all.
Bermuda bowed out at the qualifying stage after suffering a 4-1 defeat by Haiti in a preliminary second round contest at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday night.
Lightbourne admitted that the Haitians were superior and cited poor finishing among the catalyst for the national team’s demise.
“The scoreline is disappointing but I think my players gave me all they can,” he told The Royal Gazette. “This level is something that we are trying to bridge that gap, so overall I think the players gave us what they could.
“There was maybe a ten to 15-minute period in the first half that they hurt us when we actually had opportunities to go at their goal.
“That’s when they pounced on us and the final ball wasn’t good enough from us. They cut it out and went Route 1 and managed to score on a couple of occasions, so that part of it is disappointing.”
Bermuda squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead after just 46 seconds when midfielder Zeiko Lewis snatched at his left-footed shot on the left side of the penalty box, which went well wide of the near post.
“We had the first opportunity of the match and we just weren’t as good as we were the other night [against Barbados on Friday] in front of goal,” Lightbourne added. “They had a chance right afterwards with Dale [Eve] making the save.
“Credit to Haiti, they were better than they were the other night [against St Vincent & the Grenadines]. They definitely were a little bit better.”
Frantzdy Pierrot’s first-half hat-trick put Haiti firmly in control with a 3-0 advantage at the break.
Nahki Wells, the Bermuda captain, pulled one back in the 80th minute before Duckens Nazon converted from the penalty spot seven minutes later to restore Haiti’s three-goal cushion.
Both teams went into the match fresh off big wins in their Gold Cup preliminary first round matches at the same venue last Friday.
Bermuda thrashed Barbados 8-1 with Wells leading the charge in his first match since being reappointed as captain with a hat-trick after Haiti overpowered St Vincent 6-1 earlier in the day.
“The first game we done what was required to get through to the next round,” Lightbourne said. “I was pleased with that and the mood in the camp was good.”
Wells made the breakthrough with the fastest goal in tournament history at 17 seconds to set the tone for the rest of the match.
Lightbourne went with the same starting 11 against Haiti from the previous match against St Vincent & the Grenadines.
“It’s always difficult when you have to leave players out,” he said. “That’s probably the worst side of being a coach, so I feel for some of the players that didn’t get the minutes.”