Bermuda making strides despite defeat, says coach

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HAMILTON, Bermuda, Jan 23, CMC – Kyle Lightbourne believes Bermuda’s footballers are improving despite losing 4-2 to Canada in a friendly international at the National Stadium on Sunday.
Bermuda took an early lead but trailed 2-1 at the break and although the home side levelled in the 55th minute Canada added two more goals – despite having to use defender Maxim Tissot as a makeshift goalkeeper after substitute custodian Sean Melvin injured a thigh in conceding the second goal and was forced to go off.
Callum Irving, who started in goal, had been replaced by Melvin early in the second half.
“Canada are one of the powerhouses in our region and, considering it wasn’t our full strength team – although it probably wasn’t their full-strength team either – I think it shows we are making strides,” said Lightbourne, Bermuda’s Under-20 coach, who took charge of the team in the absence of national coach Andrew Bascome.
“It showed we’re making strides as a country and I think everyone who came to watch the match will be pleased with the effort we put in.
“Canada controlled the possession of the game, but I thought we managed the early part of game pretty well. We got the go-ahead goal from a corner and then you could see their experience and they took over a little bit.”
He continued: “We had a chance to go 3-2 up but we didn’t take it and Canada punished us after that.
“I would have liked us to have a few more shots at Tissot, their makeshift goalkeeper, and put him under a bit more pressure. Overall, I’m happy with the individual performances. Everyone put a good, hard shift in today and I can’t fault them for that.”
Michael Findlay, Canada’s interim coach following the sacking of Benito Floro, was encouraged by his team’s performance after they turned their greater possession into goals.
“I was pleased with the application and some of the football we played, but it is a lesson learnt,” said Findlay, whose team arrived in Bermuda after a week-long training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“You have to take your hat off to Bermuda, they came with an interest in being competitive and made it very difficult for us and took their opportunities.”
Defender Jalen Harvey gave the hosts an 11th minute lead but Jonathan Osorio grabbed a 22nd minute equaliser before Tosaint Ricketts added a second two minutes later.
Lejuan Simmons cashed in on a mistake by Melvin for the 55th minute equaliser before Canada added further goals through substitute Jay Chapman (76) and Anthony Jackson-Hamel (85).
Canada, ranked 120th in the world, have now beaten Bermuda – ranked 66 places below them – five times and drawn four times since the teams first met in 1968.

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