Bermuda captain Eva Frazzoni backing team to take next Gold Cup step
Bermuda captain Eva Frazzoni is confident that the women’s national team can take the crucial final step into the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup play-offs against Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo today.
The unbeaten Lady Gombey Warriors top League B group C by a point over Dominincan Republic heading into the final group match that will determine which of the two countries advances to the next stage of the competition.
“I back my team against anyone, we have to back ourselves,” Frazzoni told The Royal Gazette.
“We need to believe in the work that we have put in and now go out and show ourselves and our country how good we are.
“I trust in our ability and the time and work we have put in. We will fight for each other from the first whistle to the last.
“I am motivated because I have so much trust in this team. The unity that we have from staff to player is unmatched. Everyone is beyond motivated and driven to achieve our goal.”
Bermuda hold a psychological advantage over their opponents after prevailing in the reverse fixture 2-0 at Flora Duffy Stadium in September.
“There is no doubt that our win against Dominican Republic has helped boost our confidence,” midfielder Frazzoni added.
“We have experienced heartache and got so close to winning moments. However, we have lacked putting all the puzzles together when they matter most.
“Finally things have clicked and our puzzle pieces fit, but that game is in the past now. We are operating in the present and we know we are going to have to come even better tomorrow.
“We understand the level of the opposition and that they have some experienced players with good talent.
“We are going to need to perform at our best to get the job done. However, we wholeheartedly trust in the tools we have in order to achieve our goal.”
The eventual group winner will advance to the play-off stage, where they will face one of the runners-up from League A.
The winner of that encounter will qualify for the inaugural Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, which will be held in the United States from February 20 to March 10, and will feature eight Concacaf and four South American teams.
Bermuda were awarded a 3-0 victory over St Vincent & the Grenadines after the match, which was scheduled to take place at Flora Duffy Stadium on Friday, was cancelled when St Vincent’s flight was denied permission to travel on its intended route.
“Of course it was disappointing, however the days leading up were amazing,” Frazzoni said.
“The assembly at Mount St Agnes was an amazing experience and seeing so many young people being inspired by us is hard to put into words.
“Thank you to everyone who has showed nothing but support and love. Many of us live away but we have all the passion in the world to give back to Bermuda.
“We are so grateful for the support back home. We are pushing to make Bermuda proud. One team, one dream, one amazing country.”
The Bermuda coaching staff used the last-minute cancellation of the St Vincent match to stage an inter-squad friendly with the players making themselves available to sign autographs and take photographs with fans.
“Friday gave us an opportunity for everyone to get vital minutes in and play in front of their families,” Frazzoni added.
“Sometimes twists in life lead to the biggest blessings. We pulled the positive out of the cancelled game and I believe it was a blessing. We picked up the points and now we move to the next task.”
Bermuda need just a draw to secure a spot in the play-offs but coach Naquita Robinson has her sights set on victory.
“We know what is at stake and we don’t dwell on the table,” she said.
“We want to win the game as playing for a point puts a lot of pressure on us. We go into this game just as we have all the others and we have prepared well for this physically and mentally.
“The team is still very motivated after not playing on Friday and we are pumped and ready to play.”