Bermuda’s Tremendous Victory Over El Salvador

November 17, 2018 | 11 Comments

[Written by Patrick Bean]

Bermuda’s 2018 edition of the national football national soccer team brought back fond memories of its ground-shaking 1992 triumph over El Salvador, while creating a glorious moment in history all their own with another tremendous victory over the Central Americans that left the visitors stunned and staggered in the aftermath at National Stadium last night.

Standard-bearer Nahki Wells, back on international duty for the country after missing the first two matches of the CONCACAF Nations League, proved his worth in carrying the unit’s flag, bringing the intense, riveted and vociferous ‘12 th- man’ to its collective feet through his second half, close-range strike.

The 71st minute tally by the Queens Park Rangers’ forward emerged from a left-sided play where Wells combined to deftly move the ball in combination with fellow English pro Reggie Lambe, the latter supplying the vital assist pass from the wing to Wells, who’d made his way deep inside El Salvador’s penalty area.

Wells, who admitted to not having his ‘A’ game for much of the night, both discovered and created enough space in close quarters to rise majestically – much as did his coach Kyle Lightbourne – out jumping his rumoured marker and finding perfect placement beyond a nakedly exposed Henry Hernandez in goal.

Video via Youtube:

“Everyone did their jobs tonight,” said Wells, who was later mobbed by adoring fans seeking autographs and selfies with the local legend raised among the footballing ranks at grass-roots club Dandy Town.

“I didn’t perform well or play anywhere near what I’m capable of, but the conditions made it difficult and everyone else raised their game. A lot of players played better on the pitch than I did, so great credit goes to them.”

Standing perhaps tallest among Bermuda’s cast of ambassadors in what will surely go down as an classic match and result, was Dante Leverock who resolutely captained both the team and defence. Technically Bermuda’s defence played above their station, their marking and covering efficient enough, but clean, firm tackling, timely reflex blocking and concentrated desire to preserve was key in the result.

Another giant on the night was last man, goalkeeper Dale Eve, impeccable between the posts with sure hands and positioning despite driving wind and rain to go with a slick pitch that made both goalies’ already difficult task a real life ‘horror story’.

“My defence was top drawer today, everyone had their mind together, everyone was on their game, even the balls I didn’t get to we were able to block,” said Eve after the match, soaking up the cheers of the late leaving crowd still celebrating then dream result.

“We had a lot of blocks, there were times where it was five or six shots at a time and we were able to block each one and keep a clean sheet … I can’t say nothing wrong.

“It was very intense out there tonight, especially late, but we managed a clean sheet and as long as you have a clean sheet you’re back-line has done a fabulous job.”

Grim conditions to greet both sides appeared to bother more the visitors in the early going and such was admitted by their Mexican coach Carlos De Los Cobos Martinez afterwards as he answered questions from the media.

Bermuda, rather than simply rest in defensive mode against favoured opponents, were able impose themselves early, with Lejuan Simmons on the left side announcing his intentions, flashing to the edge of the box but seeing his effort roll inches wide.

Simmons replicated the move again in the seventh minute, however this time his rising shot from an angle was well snatched by Hernandez.

Video via Youtube:

El Salvador turned to their chief option up front Jaime Alas for delivery of goods, however his 27th minute right-foot volley dipped a little too late to bother Eve.

Three minutes later it was Simmons exposing delightful close-ball skills, weaving beyond three defenders inside the penalty area to free up a shot, but having his effort denied and cleared.

A scoreless first half was a definite plus for Bermuda and maintaining momentum earned during the opening stanza the home side picked up where they left off to commence the second. Reggie Lambe came to the fore in the 52nd minute however was forsaken by a poor final touch to a breakaway chance.

Bermuda came close to paying ultimately for the failure as El Salvador revved their engine and finally were able to display more of the finesse short passing game popular in the middle and lower Americas.

A 57th minute goalmouth scramble saw at least three shots blocked and the ball scrambled away, while in the 61 st midfielder Donis Penada broke clear only to take a dribble too many and be robbed by the ever alert Eve. It was Pineda again threatening in the 63rd minute and again Eve proved his match.

Confident and pressing further El Salvador became careless in defending and it was a lapsing moment that fatally cost them with the combination of Wells and Lambe assuring the debt.

“I think it was a very difficult game for both teams with the weather certainly not good for either team, the wind and the rain,” said De Los Cobos. “We could have had a better result because we had many chances, but we didn’t score.

“Congratulation to Bermuda because they played well and kept fighting all the time. In the first half I don’t think Bermuda or El Salvador were able to adapt to the situation of the weather, but in the second half it was better for the fans and they saw a better game. We played better in the second half, but in football you have to score when you have chances.”

While the winning result kept Bermuda’s chances for qualification into the Gold Cup, reserved for the leading teams from the current qualifying round of the new regional tournament, El Salvador’s took a precipitous dip and both teams will likely need help in order to qualify.

“We need to win the last game at home against Jamaica, which is a very difficult game but we have confidence,” the coach concluded.

Bermuda will finish the qualifying stage with an away match with Dominican Republic at Estadio Panamericano on March 24 of next year.

Bermuda: Dale Eve; Daren Usher [Cecoy Robinson 73 mins]; Calon Minors [Donte Brangman 22 mins], Jaylon Bather, Dante Leverock – Captain; Wendell [Tre] Ming, Zeiko Lewis, Willie Clemons, Lejaun Simmons, Reggie Thompson-Lambe [Roger Lee 82mins]; Nahki Wells. Coach – Kyle Lightbourne

El Salvador: Henry Hernández _ Captain; Roberto Domínguez, Jonathan Jiménez, Alexander Mendoza, Narciso Orellana; Gilberto Baires [Andres Flores 46 mins], Denis Pineda, Jaime Alas [Joaquin Rivas 46 mins], Oscar Cerén [Joaquin Rivas ], Gerson Mayen; Bryan Tamacas. Coach – Carlos de los Cobos

Referee: William Anderson Abrams [Puerto Rico]

Note: Media were restricted from filming the match, and the videos above are via Youtube

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Comments (11)

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  1. eyes wide open says:

    Bermuda spends far to much time on the past!

  2. Keepin' Real!...4Real! says:

    1-nil…tremendous win huh..?

  3. Charlly X says:

    Congratulations to the Team and Coaching staff! Yuh not finished yet though ! Defence looked suspect and some player’s take to many touches trying to look pretty !
    Goals win Matches !!!! Teams win not individuals.All n all it was a well fought victory !

    • extracity says:

      Conditions were a nightmare. Get through the first half, then hit them with pace second. Boom! Perfect!

  4. AboriginalAmerican says:

    “short passing game popular in the middle and lower Americas.”

    I guess that Bermuda is in the upper Americas. How is it that, sports acknowledges the fact that, we are all in America but politically, such a fact is ignored, even ridiculed.

    I am an American Aborigine, an American Moor; an Aboriginal American, who was born in Bermuda. As are many of us here and throughout the Americas(America).

    Forgive me for posting on a sports feed but the paradigm that we’re currently living in,is surely changing as Hiram Abiff is slowly rsing from his shallow grave.

  5. PBanks says:

    Where are all the people who were beating up on Bermuda football while the women’s and junior teams were struggling, or when the senior team lost to Aruba? Have they disappeared under a rock?

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