Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jaheel Hyde flourished as he netted a hat-trick to guide Jamaica's Under-17 footballers to an emphatic 5-0 victory over Bermuda in the opening Group One game of their Caribbean Football Union (CFU) World Cup qualifier last night at the Waterhouse Mini Stadium.
Hyde, the son of former national player and well-respected coach, Lenworth 'Teacher' Hyde, netted in the 15th, 28th and 61st minutes.
Captain Junior Flemmings (50th) and Michael Seaton (71st) were the other goalscorers for the Wendell Downswell-coached junior Reggae Boyz.
Hyde, a student of Wolmer's Boys' School, was very delighted with his achievement.
"I feel wonderful scoring three goals for the national team," said Hyde.
"I went out there and I did my best because I worked hard and I never stop playing until the final whistle," added Hyde, who stated that he is an admirer of Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie.
Downswell said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"We are happy that we have made a positive start because it is our first game. There were some butterflies, but overall it was good that we scored five goals.
"This will put us in good stead for our second game against Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday and the youngsters are confident that they will come out victorious in the game," Downswell added.
The Jamaicans made their intentions clear from the opening minutes when Flemmings collected a through pass from Ryan Miller inside the penalty box, but his shot went wide of the target.
The homesters were finally rewarded when Hyde fired home a spectacular 35-yard shot, which went between the hands of custodian Bell Detre.
The speedy and skilful Hyde netted his second goal when he slotted home from point-blank range past Bell.
He then completed his hat-trick 11 minutes into the second half with 20-yard free kick.
The competition continues today when Bermuda tackle Antigua and Barbuda at the same venue, starting at 6 p.m.
Of the four teams participating in this group, the top two will advance to the CONCACAF Finals in August.