Girlz crash to Bermuda in CFU tourney

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Despite a spirited second half, Jamaica's Under-17 Reggae Girlz went down 2-3 to Bermuda in their Group F contest in the CFU Championship at the Stade Sylvio Cator Stadium here yesterday.

Le Lanni Nesbeth (sixth minute), Nia Christopher (15th) and Adia Gibbons (22nd) got the goals for Bermuda, while Christina Salmon (52nd minute) and Olufolasade Adamolekun (85th) scored for the Jamaicans.

With the defeat, Jamaica are rooted at the bottom of the three-team table without a point and won't get the chance to defend their title, while Bermuda are top of the group with four points and have earned a spot in Sunday's final.

It was a miserable start for the Girlz and a disappointing repayment to the locals who cheered them on throughout the match.

The first nail in the Jamaicans' coffin came when Nesbeth caught Shereece Young in goal off guard to give Bermuda the lead.

Christopher then gave her team a 2-0 lead in the 15th minute before Gibbons made it 3-0 seven minutes later, giving Bermuda a comfortable lead at the half-time break.

After the break, the Jamaicans came out with all guns blazing, and within seven minutes of play Salmon fired past Za'khari Turner in goal to reduce the deficit.

The combination of Adamolekun and Jaden Roberts proved too much for the Bermuda defence, but they failed on numerous occasions to make it count.

Adamolekun got the crowd cheering again when she single-handedly destroyed the field, but her shot in the 68th minute was brilliantly saved by Turner.

However, she finally got her reward five minutes from time when she skilfully dismissed three Bermudan defenders before beating Turner with a powerful strike.

In the end, Bermuda held on to the victory which earned them a ticket to the 2018 CONCACAF Championship.

Aaron Denkins, the Bermuda coach, said he was happy for the victory.

“It is a relief. We are happy and thankful for the win. We have never beaten Jamaica before and it feels so wonderful tonight (yesterday). We knew that if we could get some early goals we could draw out the match. The players worked hard and we just held on,” Denkins told the Jamaica Observer.

Jamaica Coach Xavier Gilbert blamed a lack of fighting spirit for the loss.

“We started off flat, they caught us on the back foot and we never made the necessary adjustments as quickly as we should. I though we dominated the play in terms of possession, but that doesn't win games, and, unfortunately for us, they (Bermuda) scored more goals than us,” he lamented.

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