Bermuda’s national football coach Kyle Lightbourne offered no excuses after sloppy Bermuda crashed to a 6-0 defeat against Suriname at the Frank Essed Stadion on Friday night that knocked them out of next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Bermuda, who sent a largely untested squad to the South American territory after losing 5-1 to Canada before beating Aruba 5-0 in their CONCACAF Group B qualifiers in March, were already 2-0 down when they suffered a major setback as interim captain Lejaun Simmons was stretchered off in the 19th minute with a thigh injury.
It was Simmons’ first match as captain of the team following the recent shock retirement of Danté Leverock and the injury will rule him out of Tuesday’s final game against the Cayman Islands in Florida.
Left-back Eusebio Blankendal took over the armband for the first time as Bermuda faced an uphill battle to get back into the game.
“Obviously we didn’t get off to a good start and that was our own fault for allowing that situation to happen,” Lightbourne said afterwards.
“We kept trying to fight hard and push forward, but we were just far too sloppy as a team.
“I’m sure there will be some criticism to come and there won’t be any excuses, there is a lot of work to be done.
“We knew it was always going to be tough and on the night we just couldn’t match them. We have to give them credit, take this result on the chin and move on from it.”
Added Lightbourne: “Losing Lejaun so early was difficult. He pulled his thigh and he will definitely be out of the Cayman game.
“Qualification was always going to be difficult with only one team progressing and we had hoped to be able to get something out of this game.
“Now it is all about finishing on a good note and coming away with a win against Cayman Islands.”
Amsterdam-born striker Nigel Hasselbaink, 30, who plays his club football in Israel, bagged a hat-trick, while Sheraldo Becker, a winger with German Bundesliga club Union Berlin, scored twice and Netherlands-based defender Shaquille Pinas got the final goal midway through the second-half.
The defeat left Bermuda third in Group B on three points, six points adrift of unbeaten Canada and Suriname both on nine points, with one match against Cayman Islands remaining.