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Bermuda goalkeeper Taya Rodrigues superb in 9-0 defeat by Canada

Courageous effort: Bermuda’s under-17 girls’ football team put up a great fight against Canada (Photograph supplied)

Goalkeeper Taya Rodrigues was a star for Bermuda yesterday with her fine performance keeping the score down against superpower Canada in the Under-17 Concacaf Women’s Qualifier in the Dominican Republic.

Rodrigues made a string of fine saves as Canada beat Bermuda 9-0 to top the group and qualify for the Under-17 Concacaf Women’s Championship, with Bermuda finishing second in the group after a 4-1 triumph over Dominica in their opening group F match on Monday.

It was a courageous effort from the Bermudian girls against a team that had fired in 21 goals without reply past Dominica last Saturday, with Rodrigues kept busy the entire 90 minutes and her efforts ensuring Bermuda did not lose by a bigger margin.

Bermuda coach Gary Adams had challenged his team to have more composure and take their opportunities but they never capitalised on the few scoring opportunities that came their way.

Second-half substitute Nikolina Istocki led the way for Canada with a hat-trick as Bermuda’s players tired after a solid first-half display. Canada captain Annabelle Chukwu scored twice with the other goals coming from Olivia Chisholm, Isabelle Chukwu, Keira Martin, and Adriana Bianchin.

Rodrigues was left exposed by the defence when Chisholm opened the scoring in the sixth minute from a one-on-one situation. Annabelle Chukuwu hit the second after 25 minutes before her twin sister fired in a thunderbolt eight minutes before the break as the Canadians took a 3-0 lead going into half-time.

The Bermuda keeper continued to keep out the Canadians with some outstanding goalkeeping in the second half with the defence helping to contain the Canadian attack with a strong rearguard effort, which saw them not concede a goal for more than 20 minutes in the second half.

A handball inside the box allowed Annabella Chukwu to complete her brace from the penalty spot in the 59th minute and that seemed to open the floodgates

Istocki, a substitute for Isabelle Chukwu tormented the Bermuda defence, especially in the last 20 minutes. She latched on to a second ball to score her first in the 67th minute after Rodrigues had blocked the first attempt.

Istocki, Bianchin and Martin all took turns to score in the last stages of the match, with the former closing out the scoring with a brilliantly executed strike, with the ball adjudged to have crossed the line by the assistant referee before it bounced back into play.

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Published August 30, 2023 at 7:38 pm (Updated August 31, 2023 at 7:19 am)

Bermuda goalkeeper Taya Rodrigues superb in 9-0 defeat by Canada

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