by RENALDO DORSETT
The visiting BFA emerged as winners once again as the Bahamas hosted Bermuda in international competition.
Bermuda took a 5-0 decision over the Bahamas last night at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, in the first leg of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Qualifiers.
Bermuda struck early and often as they dominated the home team to take a decisive aggregate goal scored advantage headed into the second leg, hosted this Sunday in Bermuda.
Team Bahamas head coach, Dion Godet, said the team faltered tactically against a talented Bermudian side.
“We went out there and tried to play a different brand of football, instead of just knock it over the top, which is a more direct format. We tried to be a bit more indirect in our approach,” he said, “We ran into a very very talented Bermuda squad. They shot the ball well, they held shape and their pace of play was pretty dynamic and they just overwhelmed us.”
Dante Leverock opened up the scoring for Bermuda rather quickly with his goal scored after the fourth minute.
Bermuda would go up 2-0 when Nahki Wells scored on a penalty kick and Zeiko Wells added to the advantage with a breakaway goal at the 29 minute mark.
“We have to find a way to get better. Hopefully we take this as a lesson because we can only go up. We are in Bermuda for the second leg and hopefully we can find some way to control them,” Godet said, “I think the major thing we can change is to find a way to finish. We had some opportunities early in the match and we could not put it away. We had a couple opportunities later in the match and we couldn’t put it away. They put away more opportunities than they missed and we just simply have to find a way to put it in the back of the net.”
Bermuda struck early in the second half to take a 4-0 lead on the first of two goals from Justin Donawa at the 57 minute mark.
The home crowd had little to cheer about for much of the evening, save a a few through balls and several shots on goal very late in the match.
After a save by Bahamian goalkeeper Dwayne Whylly ricocheted near the goal, Donawa recovered the rebound and scored with a strike to the left corner for a 5-0 lead.
The Bahamas had their best scoring opportunity of the game late when Cameron Hepple’s cross set up Christopher Larson in scoring position, however the shot was safely deflected by the Bermudian keeper.
Bermuda’s head coach, Andrew Bascome, said his team came prepared to overcome the weather conditions and the challenge they expected from the home side.
“I just told them to go out there, play football and adjust to the humidity. Bahamas is always ready and they’re organised,” he said, “The guys made some pretty good decisions. Once we were in control of the game I just told them to focus defensively and on ball control to keep possession. I was very pleased with the goals scored, especially because we struck fast. I was really pleased with Justin being his first international competition and being able to come out and score.”
After their performance in the first leg, Bascome said it is important to keep his team grounded as they prepare to finish the job and advance to round two.
“I just have to tell them to remain focused because there is another game to play and we don’t want to take them lightly. We would like to come out fast and make it hard to penetrate us defensively,” he said, “We know the Bahamians would bring hard work so we just had to persevere. Keep playing, keep playing and try to ware them down and we were able to do that.”