Heated encounter leaves Guyana locked in a draw

first_imgCONCACAF Nations League…A steamy exchange of words at their respective press conferences have caused the Guyanese and Barbadian national football teams to have stirred up anticipation and expectation for great and unexpected things to happen at their CONCACAF Nations League meeting.Forward player Andrew Murray controlling possession of the ball during the encounterSo said, so done. The teams delivered nothing but thrills and chills in their 90- minute encounter, but the result was one that neither team had expected.The National Track and Field Centre at Leonora saw football fans on Thursday evening pouring in to see Guyana compete with old rivals Barbados.The match got underway at 7pm on the dot, with the Guyanese team playing an attacking style, as promised by Head Coach Michael Johnson.In retrospect, the matchup could easily have gone Guyana’s way. However, as fate would have it, the Golden Jaguars had one too many fruitless attempts.The first half’s play was enough to make the vociferous crowd’s heart skip a beat when Guyana’s strikers missed out not only one, but three solid attempts at goal. Aside from sketchy striking and poor on-field decisions, one could chalk up playing against the wind as another factor that played a crucial part in the eventual result of the game.Playing with the wind this time around, Guyana got off to a firing start with a goal several minutes after the second half began. Portugal-based player Trayon Bobb was the one to make the breakthrough for Guyana.Expectedly, the goal was met with loud applause and cheers from the crowd, but they were soon silenced when Guyana’s momentum seemed to have rubbed off on Barbados, who saw the chance and managed two sneaky but brilliant plays to net two goals back-to- back from Hallam Hope.Knowing that they needed a goal, or even two, Guyana bounced back to their attacking ways, controlling possession of the ball once again. With assistance from local boy Vurlon Mills, Neil Danns was able to secure the goal.In the opinion of spectators, the game flew by a little too quickly, leaving both teams to settle for a draw.After the encounter, Head Coach Johnson expressed disappointment with the result. “It was a good point in the end. It actually feels like a loss, you know. The first half, it could’ve been three or four, could’ve gone our side. And I don’t know (by) what slackness, lazy play we conceded two silly goals! But fair play to the team, they found it in themselves to dig deep. And even then we looked like we could’ve pinched another one for 3-2,” Johnson said.However, the coach noted that it would be a good game to reflect on. “When we finally qualify, we’ll look at that and think, ‘Hey, it was a good point’,” he said.On the other hand, goal scorer Neil Danns, although not content with the outcome, noted that the game has a lot of positives that the team can work on.“We’re going to take the positives from it. We went into the game 2-1 down and the boys showed real character and real spirit to come back and clinch that point. That’s how far we’ve come! That game feels like a loss; couple years ago we would’ve been cheering about a draw, but today, we know that standards are being set so high,” Danns stated.Guyana’s next CONCACAF Nations League game is scheduled for October against Turks and Caicos. In November they will take on French Guiana. In March of 2019, the Golden Jaguars will then return home to challenge Belize for a chance at qualification.last_img

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