Bermuda Under-20s suffered a frustrating defeat against St Lucia at the Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Bradenton, Florida, yesterday.
Ray Jones’s side controlled the entire match and created more chances but ultimately came away empty-handed from this group E contest at the IMG Academy.
Bermuda also had a goal disallowed after Aaron Richard, the St Lucia striker, scored what proved to be the winner around the hour mark.
“The boys were very deflated and tears were flowing in shock they actually lost,” Crenstant Williams, Bermuda’s head of delegation, said.
“St Lucia is not a team we are used to losing to, but it is what it is.
“[Bermuda] executed the plan, but the ball just wouldn’t drop in the back of the net and the one time it did it was unfortunate that the referee called it offside.
“The boys fought very hard but things just didn’t go our way. It was just hard luck.”
Bermuda have lost all three of their matches so far, failing to score and conceding ten goals. They remain rooted at the bottom of the group with one match remaining against fourth-placed Barbados tomorrow.
“Hopefully the ball drops in the back of the net for us this time,” Williams added.
Bermuda went into the match keen to salvage some pride after group leaders Costa Rica’s triumph over second-placed Haiti on Monday dashed their hopes of advancing from the group.
Jones made four changes to his starting line-up from the team that lost 4-0 to Haiti last weekend.
The St Lucians threatened first with Quinaceo Hunt, the Bermuda goalkeeper, pulling off a save to deny midfielder Oneil Edwards.
Bermuda countered with midfielder pair Andrew McDowall and Diego Richardson both testing Vino Barclett, the St Lucia goalkeeper and captain.
Hunt was called upon to make two more saves to leave the teams goalless at the half.
Bermuda started the second period off in a flurry with Jahkari Furbert having his effort saved by Barclett. Rahzir Smith-Jones, the Bermuda captain, also had a good look at goal but placed his shot wide.
Bermuda fell behind when Richard scored from a cross on a counterattack against the run of play.
Aaron Burgess, the Bermuda striker, netted what initially appeared to be the equaliser before the goal was ruled offside.
Jones’s team piled on the pressure with defender William Spencer and substitute Zuhri Burgess having shots saved and Aaron Burgess firing wide.
But St Lucia held on to secure their first win of the tournament, which will see the top four teams qualify for the next Under-20 World Cup in Poland.