Jahni Simmons scores screamer as Bermuda fight back for win
Bermuda 3 Anguilla 1
Bermuda wrapped up their Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Qualifiers in style after staging a superb second-half comeback to beat Anguilla 3-1 in Nicaragua on Tuesday evening.
Both teams came into the encounter at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol searching for a first win in group E after suffering defeats to Jamaica and Honduras, but it was Anguilla who looked on course to pick up three points after Cycoiah Wattley put her side ahead against the run of play in the 17th minute.
Bermuda rallied after the interval with Robin-Valana Pearman levelling in the 67th minute before substitutes Jahni Simmons and Azari Easton completed the turnaround.
It was Bermuda who started the brighter of the two sides with Breanna DeSilva Medeiros and Kenyandae Lightbourne both spurning good opportunities in the opening 15 minutes.
Those wasted chances proved costly when Anguilla took the lead after a defence-splitting pass from Keiana Vanterpool released Wattley into the area. The forward made no mistake, lashing a right-footed effort past the reach of goalkeeper Samantha Davies to score her side’s first goal of the tournament.
Wattley wasted another clear chance in the 23rd minute, while at the other end Bermuda captain Zemira Webb was denied from inside the area as Bermuda enjoyed a prolonged period of possession without finding a breakthrough.
Bermuda got a foothold in the game after the interval with substitutes Jahni Simmons and Easton both going close in the first ten minutes of the half and their perseverance was finally rewarded in the 67th minute when Pearman did brilliantly to control a driven pass before turning and firing a low shot past Lerencia Ruan into the bottom left corner.
From then on it was all Bermuda, with Jahni Simmons spurning a golden opportunity to put her side in front ten minutes later, somehow dragging a shot wide with the goal gaping. She made amends in spectacular fashion three minutes later when picking up possession 35 yards from goal, before unleashing an unstoppable left-foot effort into the top right corner to put Bermuda ahead.
At the other end, goalkeeper Davies produced a stunning one-handed save to deny Wattley a second goal before Bermuda put the result beyond doubt in additional time when Easton beat Ruan from just inside the area, with the goalkeeper getting a touch to the ball but failing to keep the effort out.
The win means Bermuda finish third in group.
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