HARRISON, New Jersey – Bermuda’s 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign may have come to an end, but it proved a valuable experience for the tournament debutants.
After managing to score in its first two Gold Cup goals in the first two games in Group B, Bermuda earned its first ever Gold Cup win with a 2-0 triumph over Nicaragua on Monday night in its finale at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
For Bermuda Head Coach Kyle Lightbourne, Bermuda’s Gold Cup campaign yielded some valuable lessons and also showed that his side can go toe-to-toe with the best in the region.
“I take from this tournament that we can compete, also we have to be better in front of goal, I think if we were better in front of goal in our first two matches, we may be looking at seven points,” said Lightbourne in his post-match press conference.
“You don’t know how teams may react especially if you score against them first, so that’s what we’ll take from the tournament overall, that we can compete at this level, but we have to be ruthless in front of goal,” added Lightbourne.
Once Bermuda went up 2-0, its defense was able to keep the charging Nicaraguans under wraps. Lightbourne was happy to see how his team handled holding a second half lead.
“I told the team at halftime to just keep hitting the target. If you hit the target, the goalkeeper has to save it. I don’t think we played as well as we could have played, but I thought our game management towards the end was very good and took the sting out of the game.
“The last 10 minutes is a crucial part of the game because if they score a goal at that point, they might be coming, but we managed it and I’m pleased with the boys for that. We worked hard for this and it’s well deserved,” concluded Lightbourne.