Report: Bermuda Hogges 0- Real Maryland 0
Real Maryland and the Bermuda Hogges fought to a nil-nil drawl in an enthralling encounter at the Bermuda National Stadium.
Despite a lack of goals, the match was action-packed with chances at both ends.
Real Maryland started the proceedings as early as the fifth minute. A poor back-header by a Bermuda defender fell right to William Brindley. The striker scuffed his first time volley with only the keeper to beat.
The Monarchs were at it again four minutes later as Muner Hassen weaved his way through the midfield before releasing Cerritos in on goal, but the referee’s assistant had his flag up for offsides.
The Hogges created their first chance in the 11th minute as Damico Coddington slid the ball into John Barry Nusum who snuck behind the Monarchs’ backline. Real Maryland goalie Emilio Zelaya was quick off his line to snuff out the danger.
Real Maryland was next as Teodoro Ramirez swung in a dangerous curving shot from the left side. Bermuda goalkeeper Timmy Figureido did well to tip the midfielder’s effort over the bar.
Bermuda’s best chance of the half came in the 20th minute when Monarchs’ defender Daryl Ferguson conceded a foul at the top of the box. Omar Shakir expertly curled his free kick around the wall, but Zelaya made a stunning save, parrying the ball at full stretch.
Minutes later, Bermuda had shouts for a penalty when Zelaya appeared to bring down Nusum in the box. Referee Niko Bratsis showed no interest in Bermuda’s protests.
Real Maryland conjured up their best chance in the 36th minute. Hassen played the ball into Ronald Cerritos. The Salvadorian flicked the ball to fellow countrymen Dennis Alas at the top corner of the box. Alas sent a rasping one time volley that looked destined for the far corner, but Figureido made a fine save, diving to punch the ball to safety.
Andy Kish headed the resulting corner just wide.
Bermuda almost took the lead five minutes before halftime, but Ramirez cleared the ball off the goal-line following a scramble and shot resulting from a Bermuda corner.
Two minutes later, Alas almost scored again. Poor clearance fell to the midfielder at the top of the box. Alas skipped past a defender and put his effort on target. Figureido was well positioned, however, to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Bermuda created the last chance of the half as Coddington sent a dangerous cross behind the Real Maryland defense. An outstretched Ajame Zuill just barley missed getting on to the end of the cross.
The Hogges, and Damon Ming in particular, dominated the second half.
Three minutes after the interval, Ming skipped into the box and flashed a shot across goal. Zelaya got down well to smother the ball with Zuill lurking at the far post.
Ming then crossed for Zuill who got inside his marker, but put his downward header just wide at the far post.
Bermuda then had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 61st minute. Ming darted into the box and went down under what appeared to be a phantom challenge from Ferguson. Zuill stepped up to the spot and shot low to his right. Zelaya was equal to the task, punching the ball to safety.
“I looked over to the bench,” Zelaya said about the penalty, “and [back-up goalie] Oscar Araujo was pointing to his right. So that’s where I dove.”
The Monarchs’ were not out of the woods yet, however, as Ming was still buzzing. This time he combined with Nusum to create space for a shot. Again Zelaya was down well to make the crucial intervention.
Victor Ramirez replaced Monarchs’ forward William Brindley in the 84th minute and he almost stole all three points right at the death.
Marcos Chantel disposed a Hogges defender at the edge of the box and played Ramirez in alone on goal, but the striker could not get his shot past Figureido from a tight angle.
Both teams created half chances in stoppage time. In the end, however, both sides will have to be content with a share of the spoils.
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