Soccer

Lightbourne delight at historic win

  • Bermuda coach Kyle Lightbourne (File photograph)

Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, has hailed his team’s historic victory over Panama in the Concacaf Nations League at the Rommel Fernández Stadium on Sunday.

A Nahki Wells brace either side of the break guided Bermuda to a 2-0 win over Panama side, who are placed 74th in the Fifa world rankings, 100 positions above Lightbourne’s team.

“The team put in a good shift,” Lightbourne said. “We worked hard. We kept ourselves very compact and made it difficult for them to pass us.

“We had to give them the possession so tonight [Sunday]was about playing without the ball and hitting when we had the opportunities, so we’re very pleased.

“We had two opportunities, and we scored both of the them, which puts ourselves back in the competition and we we’ll see where we go from here.”

Bermuda’s triumph completed a remarkable turnaround having suffered a humbling 4-1 defeat against Panama three days earlier at the National Stadium.

“We were so disappointed about the last match, but we know our potential and that we could get a result,” Danté Leverock, the Bermuda captain, said.

“We knew what was at stake and we went in with the mindset that we had to leave it all out on the field.

“It was a great performance from the team and I’m so proud of the positive reaction. It’s a massive result for us and for our confidence. We got the job done and we will now focus on Mexico.”

Wells was equally as delighted with the three points in Bermuda’s second group B match of League A, the top tier of the Nations League competition.

“It was a well-drilled, hard-fought all-round performance to get the win,” Wells said. “We dug deep. We defended first, attacked second and that was enough to grind out the result we got. I felt I did what was necessary for the team.

“I tried to hold the ball up as well as possible. I tried to help the team move forward and get up the pitch, win fouls, cause problems and, of course, ultimately score the goals that won us the game.”

League A is split into four pools of three with the winner of each advancing to the semi-finals. The bottom team in each pool will be relegated to League B.

Group A of League A includes the United States, Canada and Cuba, group C features Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Martinique, while group D is comprises Costa Rica, Haiti and Curaçao.

Bermuda qualified for League A after finishing fifth in the Nations League qualifying standings with three wins and one defeat.