Bermuda pay the penalty
4-0 loss to Chelsea reserves; Two games vs. Barbados up next for national team
Bermuda were made to pay for an early penalty miss as Chelsea's 'stars of tomorrow' romped to a 4-0 win in torrential rain in London.
There was no Shaun Wright Phillips, no Andiry Schevchenko and no Claudio Pizarro.
But the name Franco Di Santo, tipped to be a first-team candidate next season, is well worth remembering.
The teenager, a tall muscular forward who has played alongside Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero for the Argentine U-20 team, gave a thrilling front-running performance and an ominous preview of the challenges Bermuda may face against Trinidad's Kenwyne Jones in next month's World Cup encounter.
Before that encounter they will have at least two more matches against Barbados which have been scheduled for late May/early June. Details are expected to be officially announced next week.
By all accounts there was not a significant amount to choose between the teams yesterday except in one crucial area - composure in front of the goal.
While Keishen Bean, Damon Ming, Domico Coddington and Omar Shakir (who missed from the penalty spot), spurned Bermuda's best chances, Chelsea were clinical.
Bermuda had the perfect start with Bean pulled down in the box after 12 minutes. Defender Omar Shakir stepped up to take the spot kick, but curled it just wide of the post.
Minutes later, Chelsea were in front, through Di Santo. Bermuda hung with them for much of the game but were killed off by a three-goal blitz as Portuguese winger Ricardo Fernandes, reserve team skipper Jimmy Smith and Di Santo all hit the net in a 15-minute period just after the hour.
Technical Director Derek Broadley, said the score did not reflect how well Bermuda had played.
"Chelsea had about $16 million worth of talent out there. They've spent a lot of money on these youngsters, but for an hour it was a very even game.
"There were quite a few people from Fulham watching the game and everyone was pleasantly surprised with what they saw.
"If we had scored that penalty it could have been a different story."
And he said the Bermuda boys had learned some valuable lessons from the game and from their three-day training camp at Fulham.
"I think this would be the biggest eye opener they have had in their football lives. Everything they have done this week has been top quality, everything has been completely professional.
"The Chelsea game was a great test for us in terms of the pace and the power at this level. The Argentinian boy (Di Santo) was excellent, very similar to Kenwyne Jones.
"One of his goals was a header. That's what we'll face in Trinidad, so as preparation for the World Cup game it was ideal."