Bermuda advanced to the semi-final of the Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship second division despite being held to a draw in their final group match against St Vincent & the Grenadines at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, yesterday.
Aaron Lugo’s team squandered a 2-0 advantage but held on to claim a share of the spoils, which was enough for them to finish top of group H and secure their spot in the last four.
“A very hard-fought match,” coach Lugo said.
“The boys started to get a little bit frustrated but we kept our heads well enough to come away with the draw giving us seven points to win the group stage.”
Bermuda took the lead through a goal from Sincere Hall, which was doubled after Remy Coddington’s pass in the box took a deflection off of a St Vincent defender and crossed the goalline.
“We had a 2-0 lead but St Vincent was able to grind down and pull back two goals before the final whistle was blown,” Lugo added.
Bermuda went unbeaten in the initial group stage.
They made a flying start to the tournament after coming away with a comfortable 3-0 shutout win over Antigua & Barbuda in their opening match, which was followed up with a 4-2 triumph over Aruba.
Lugo’s team will now face group F winners Puerto Rico in today’s semi-final at the IMG Academy.
Bermuda and Puerto Rico finished the group stage with identical records.
“Every team is beatable,” Lugo said. “We need to play within ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Bermuda’s girls team will face unbeaten hosts Jamaica in their final match at the Caribbean Football Union Under-14 Challenge at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence today.
“They [Jamaica] are strong but I think we will match them,” Naquita Robinson, the Bermuda coach, said.
Bermuda suffered a 5-1 defeat by Dominican Republic in their tournament opener but bounced back with a hard-fought 4-3 triumph over Martinique.