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Dale Eve’s heroics rescue a point for Bermuda in Concacaf Nations League opener

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Bermuda 0 Haiti 0

Chance gone: Bermuda captain Nahki Wells is denied a late winner by Haiti goalkeeper Alexandre Pierre (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Reggie Lambe fails to convince Grenadian referee Reon Radix that Willie Clemons, his clubmate in England, is not deserving of a yellow card (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda kicked off their Concacaf Nations League group B campaign by holding Haiti to a goalless draw at the Flora Duffy Stadium tonight.

Kane Crichlow was lively when he was introduced in the second half (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

In what proved a far from memorable opening encounter, Haiti will arguably feel aggrieved to have not come away with all three points, having created the clearer opportunities with Carnejy Antoine and substitute Steeven Saba both being denied by the woodwork, while Dale Eve was also on hand to keep out Ricardo Adé from close range late in the second half.

Bermuda's starting XI against Haiti tonight (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Head coach Kyle Lightbourne was able to name a strong squad with talisman Nahki Wells leading the line alongside Kole Hall in a 5-3-2 formation, and seasoned internationals Reggie Lambe, Milan Butterfield and Lejaun Simmons making up the midfield. Danté Leverock and Roger Lee added further experience in defence while Robin Hood’s Daniel Cook was handed his debut at left back.

Having been beaten convincingly 4-1 in their previous meeting in the Concacaf Gold Cup qualifying second round last July, Bermuda were boosted by the news that Haiti forward Frantzdy Pierrot, who scored a first-half hat-trick in that victory, had not made the trip despite being named in head coach Jean-Jacques Pierre’s original squad

It was the visitors who created the first real opening after seven minutes. Derrick Étienne Jr did well do create a yard of space for himself on the left-hand side before picking out the unmarked Antoine at the back post, but his header was well saved by Eve.

Bermuda finally began to enjoy a period of possession and worked an opening in the seventeenth minute as a deep ball forward from the back found Simmons in space on the right. His cross found its way all the way across to the other side of the area to Cook, who could only slice his left-footed effort high and wide of Alexandre Pierre’s goal.

The hosts came closer to scoring in the 24th minute as Wells did well to find Hall in the area. He touched the ball down for Lambe, whose strike might have tested Pierre had it not been blocked brilliantly by Adé.

At the other end, Christiano François drove a low shot into the arms of Eve before Haiti should have broken the deadlock just before the half-hour mark. Incisive play down the right resulted in Bryan Alceus teeing up Antoine inside the area, but he could not capitalise, firing wildly over the bar when it looked easier to hit the target.

The striker came agonising close to opening the scoring four minutes later. Again, the visiting side worked the ball into the area from the right-hand side, with Antoine beating Eve with a vicious right-footed strike that crashed off the underside of the bar and away to safety.

Haiti started the second half as they ended the first, immediately getting on to the front foot. Antoine was again heavily involved, as he beat his marker on the left before sending a dangerous cross into the area, which fell to Alceus, whose close-range effort struck the side netting.

At the other end, Bermuda came close to finding a breakthrough. Wells did brilliantly to get down the right-hand side with his low cross finding its way to the onrushing Lambe, whose low effort looked destined to find the net, only for Adé to somehow divert it wide for a corner.

After a lull in action, the home side created another opportunity in the 66th minute. Cook did well to work the ball back into the area from the left with the ball eventually falling to substitute Kane Crichlow, who scooped his volley over the bar.

With 15 minutes remaining, Haiti were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position central to Eve’s goal 25 yards out. However, Adé could not capitalise as Bermuda’s wall stood firm to block his right-footed shot.

Having survived the scare, Bermuda broke and created their best chance of the game. After winning possession on the halfway line, Wells broke and played a one-two with Crichlow into the area, but the outrushing Pierre did brilliantly to close the space and deny the striker.

Back came the visitors, who again should have broken the deadlock with nine minutes remaining. Seizing on a poor clearance, Saba had time to take a touch inside the area, but then blazed his curling effort harmlessly over Eve’s bar.

Further chances came and went, as Haiti again were inches away from taking the lead but Dany Jean was denied by the left upright after getting on the end of Antoine’s driven cross.

Moments later, Eve had to be alert to foil Ade, who managed to stay onside to get on the end of Antoine’s flick, but could only direct his effort straight at the onrushing goalkeeper.

In the closing stages, Bermuda created one final opportunity as Crichlow raced clear down the left-hand side but could only thrash a left-footed effort wide as the sides settled for a share of the spoils.

Bermuda travel to Guyana for their next match on Tuesday at the National Track and Field Leonora Stadium before moving to a neutral venue in the Dominican Republic to face Monserrat on June 11.

The reverse fixture at Flora Duffy Stadium on June 14 completes this international window before the Nations League resumes in March 2023 with a home match against Guyana and closing away to Haiti.


Bermuda (5-3-2): D Eve — D Cook, R Lee, J Harvey, R Jones Jr, D Leverock — L Simmons (sub: D Hill, 79min), M Butterfield (sub: W Clemons, 54), R Lambe (sub: D Parfitt, 87) — N Wells, K Hall (sub: K Crichlow, 53). Substitutes not used: D Bell, Q Hunt, E Moore, A Furbert, E Russell, R Smith-Jones, J Smith. Booked: Butterfield, Lee, Clemons, Leverock.

Haiti (3-5-2): A Pierre — A Christian, R Adé, B Alceus — B Chevreuil (sub: S Saba, 54), D Étienne Jr (sub: F Christophe, 89), S Jeppe Friborg, L Pierre (sub: C Sainte, 64), C Antoine — C François (sub: D Jean, 64), S Séance. Substitutes not used: J Placide, J Duverger, C Arcus, F Dulysse, A Appolon.

Referee: R Radix (Grenada).

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Published June 04, 2022 at 8:03 pm (Updated June 05, 2022 at 9:04 am)

Dale Eve’s heroics rescue a point for Bermuda in Concacaf Nations League opener

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