.. after suffering 2-1 Gold Cup defeat to Haiti
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica ( CMC) – Bermuda captain Danté Leverock said his side had only themselves to blame after letting Haiti off the hook in the first half of their CONCACAF Gold Cup opener, which ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Gombey Warriors on Sunday.
Debutants Bermuda, the lowest-ranked team in Group B, missed a hatful of chances in the first half before the six-foot, four-inch captain gave his side the lead on the stroke of halftime with a well-placed header.
Leverock, 27, a defender who plays for Irish club Sligo Riovers, said afterwards that Bermuda should have gone into the break with more than a one-goal lead.
Zeiko Lewis was the main culprit, missing two gilt-edged chances, while Nahki Wells and Lejuan Simmons both wasted good opportunities, before Bermuda faded in the second half,
“In the first half, we were on top,” Leverock told Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper.
“We had our chances and at this level you have to take them. The attackers know they have to be scoring those types of chances, but we can’t fault them. They work hard and will win us games.
“Some of the guys’ heads are down and it’s up to the leaders in the group to pick them up.”
Leverock was pleased with his goal but defeat was a bitter pill to swallow.
“To score for my country, in front of my family, is always a good feeling, but I’d rather not score and we win and keep a clean sheet,” he said.
“Maybe I’ll look back in a couple of weeks and be proud of myself. Right now, I’m disappointed.”
Haiti scored two second-half goals through Frantzdy Pierrot as Bermuda struggled to cope with the searing pace of substitute Derrick Etienne, who swung the momentum in his side’s favour.
“They came out very strong and Etienne is a good player and his pace created problems for us,” Leverock added.
“Maybe we sat back a bit too much and invited the pressure. Both goals were lapses in concentration.”
Lewis, a former team-mate of Etienne’s at Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls, echoed Leverock’s sentiments regarding Bermuda’s missed opportunities.
“If we had taken our chances, we could have easily won this game,” Lewis said.
“It’s always frustrating to miss chances, but we were all encouraging each other to stay positive for the second half.”
Bermuda next take on group favourites Costa Rica, who beat Nicaragua 4-0 in their second game, in Frisco, Texas, romorrow.