Action from the World Cup qualifier between host Bahamas and Bermuda (red jersey) on March 25, 2015, in Nassau. (Photo courtesy of The Nassau Guardian)
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bermuda scored three goals before the half-hour mark and defeated the Bahamas 5-0 in a first round, first leg CONCACAF qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday at Thomas Robinson Stadium.
Justin Donawa netted a second-half brace, while Happy Hall’s 27th minute ejection reduced the host to 10 players.
The Bermudians went ahead 1-0 in the fourth minute through Dante Leverock, who leaped high to head home a right-sided corner kick from the edge of the six-yard box.
Nahki Wells doubled the advantage in the 14th minute from the penalty spot after Zeiko Lewis was fouled in the left side of the box by Duane Beneby. The Huddersfield Town standout had missed two penalties on Saturday in a 2-0 loss to Fulham in an English Championship encounter.
In the 29th minute, Lewis got his name on the scoresheet in emphatic fashion. The 19-year-old forward embarked on a rampaging run down the spine of the field and, with the Bahamanian defense retreating, beat goalkeeper Dwayne Whylly with a well-placed, 12-yard effort into the lower-right corner.
After the break, Donawa helped to put the match – and, possibly, the series – out of reach.
He fired a right-footed shot into the upper-left corner from distance in the 57th minute to make it 4-0.
The talented 18-year-old punctuated the scoreline 13 minutes later, controlling Whylly’s attempted punch of a deflected cross with his chest and volleying in with his right foot from 13-yards out.
The sides will meet again on Sunday at the National Stadium in North Shore Village with the series winner facing Guatemala in June.