Bermuda lose seven-goal thriller to St Vincent
St Vincent 4 Bermuda 3
Bermuda came out on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller, going down 4-3 away to St Vincent & the Grenadines in the Concacaf Nations League on Tuesday.
After going ahead through Jai Bean in the 21st minute, Bermuda found themselves 3-1 down by half-time as a defensive capitulation allowed Oalex Anderson to complete a six-minute hat-trick to put his side firmly in the ascendancy. Jahvin Sutherland extended the advantage in the 63rd minute.
Michael Findlay’s side then staged a late fightback through goals from Remy Coddington and substitute Lejuan Simmons, but there was to be no miraculous turnaround as the hosts held on to cement their place at the top of group C, leaving Bermuda’s hopes of returning to League A already in doubt.
Findlay made three changes to the starting line-up from the team that drew 0-0 with French Guiana at the Flora Duffy Stadium four days earlier with Coddington, Reggie Lambe and debutant Aunde Todd coming in for Milan Butterfield, Luke Robinson and Zeiko Lewis, who was absent from the matchday squad along with Liam Evans and Deniche Hill.
Bermuda arguably should have opened the scoring inside 90 seconds but Daniel Cook could not capitalise, shooting straight at Garwin Davis after Coddington’s cross from the right was only cleared as far as the left back on the edge of the area.
Cook was almost made to rue his profligacy in the eighth minute when the hosts spurned a golden chance of their own. Gidson Francis did well down the right-hand side before picking out captain Cornelius Stewart, whose mistimed left-footed effort produced a simple save for Eve.
Despite the home side enjoying a period of possession, it was Bermuda who finally broke the deadlock in style in the 21st minute. A neat interchange down the left-hand side saw Crichlow find Bean on the edge of the area and he evaded the challenge of Kennijha Joseph before rifling a right-footed strike beyond the desperate reach of Davis into the bottom-left corner.
Bean almost added a second just four minutes later, but Davis did brilliantly to turn the striker’s driven low effort around the far left post.
St Vincent found a foothold in the game and got themselves level in the 41st minute. Picking up possession on the right wing, Stewart sent an inviting ball into the box and Andersen managed to beat Leverock to head past Eve via the upright.
Buoyed by the equaliser, the home side took the lead just two minutes later through a brilliant individual effort from Andersen. Skipping past Leverock on the left wing, the forward drove into the area before also beating Harry Twite and sliding the ball under an onrushing Eve.
With Bermuda still reeling, St Vincent added a third in added time as Andersen wrapped up an astonishing hat-trick in the space of six minutes. This time he dribbled his way past Reece Jones Jr after cutting in from the left before beating Eve at his near post with a driven low effort.
As the half time whistle blew, the inquests began among the shell-shocked Bermuda players, who were faced with a mountain to climb.
They came agonisingly close to finding a route back into the game five minutes after the restart when Lambe’s shot beat Davis but not the upright and they continued to pour forward only for the superb Davis to deny Coddington, substitute Robinson and Lambe.
Despite their dominance, Bermuda found themselves a further goal behind when Sutherland got on the end of an inviting free kick from the right to prod the ball past Eve at the near post.
Back came Bermuda, who managed to cut the deficit to two six minutes later when Lambe weaved his way into the left side of the area before picking out an unmarked Coddington at the back post to fire past Davis.
With 16 minutes remaining Bermuda pulled to within one when substitute Simmons found himself in the right place to guide in Bean’s goalbound effort after Davis failed to gather Robinson’s cross from the left.
Despite throwing men forward for the remainder of the game, Bermuda could not find the equaliser they so desperately searched for as St Vincent held on to claim three points.
The defeat leaves Bermuda third five points adrift of St Vincent and two behind second-placed Belize, who bounced back from a loss against the table-toppers to seal a 2-0 win away to French Guiana.
St Vincent & the Grenadines: Anderson 41, 43, 45+2, Sutherland 63
Bermuda: Bean 21, Coddington 69, Simmons 74
St Vincent: G Davis – J Jack, J Sutherland, N Charles, G Browne (sub B Richards, 63min), K Joseph, S Alexander (sub: N Burgin, 63), M Simmons (sub: J Audain, 63), G Francis (sub: G Leigertwood, 88), C Stewart, O Anderson (sub: R Thomas, 83). Substitutes not used: J Lewis, J adams, D Williams, J Yorke, T Joseph. Booked: Anderson, Browne, Sutherland.
Bermuda: D Eve – R Jones Jr, H Twite (sub: K Hall, 90), D Leverock, D Cook (sub: L Simmons, 46) – R Coddington (sub: K Scott, 80), A Todd, K Crichlow (sub: L Robinson, 46), R Lee (sub: N Tucker, 46), R Lambe – J Bean Substitutes not used: D Bell, Q Hunt, M Butterfield, J Commissiong. Booked: Leverock, Cook.
Referee: R Vazquez (United States).