Twelfth man showed up, but Jaguars didn’t
- Costa Rica drub Guyana 4-0
By Edison Jefford
The twelfth man showed up in numbers last night at the Guyana National Stadium for
the Golden Jaguars World Cup qualification game against Costa Rica, but the eleven others obviously didn’t and as a result, the Central Americans drubbed the South Americans.
The Golden Jaguars failed to pounce on early opportunities in the game, succumbing 4-0 to the Costa Ricans. Alvaro Saborio scored thrice in the 20th, 26th and 52nd minutes with Joel Campbell adding his name to the score card in the 78th minute of the game.
Thousands defied Mark Phillips’ call for a boycott over the $3000 entrance fee, and turned up in large numbers to urge the national outfit on in their bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in the neighbouring Brazil. The Golden Jaguars could not ask for better support.
However, the Costa Ricans showed their intention of being the aggressor in the match within the first five minutes when Campbell’s floater from the right wing narrowly missed the goal.
The visitors dominated early possession before a neat cross from Guyana’s midfielder, Kayode McKinnon to Ricky Shakes for an attempt passed just wide of the southern goal before another delivery from Walter Moore also went wide of the goal.
The back-to-back attempts ignited the large crowd, but the exuberance was soon quieted when Campbell sprayed a shot from the wing that looked set to find the back of the net. However, the local guard of the uprights, Ronson Williams smoothly made the save.
Guyana continued its early attack with Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson getting a clear chance to put Guyana up off a rebound from a McKinnon attempt but Richardson foiled the pass, sending the ball back to the Costa Rican goalkeeper, Keylor Navas.
Bryan Oviedo and Campbell tormented Guyana’s defence from the two wings. Oviedo skilfully sent a cross from the left wing to Saborio just inside the 18 yard box, and he made no mistake to finish the first goal after the ball ricocheted off Moore’s chest.
Then drama unfolded when Moore seemed to have an equaliser with a header off a thru pass, but the ball hit the crossbar instead, much to the disappointment of the Jaguars and those who felt the game was back in the balance. It was clear Guyana dropped its guards.
The result was that Oviedo repeated his first move to Saborio, who was alone facing the goal just outside the six
yardbox. Saborio comfortably headed home Costa Rica’s second goal. Even the late cross from Moore to a cluster of Guyanese failed to change scores at halftime.
Guyana continued to search for that illusive goal when Anthony Abrams replaced Carl Cort for the second half of the game. However, it was Oviedo, who continued to exploit an obvious weak area for the home team that lost 1-3 to Mexico at the Azteca Friday night.
Oviedo raced down the southern end after receiving the ball from the midfield, drifted the left of the Guyana defence and threw a cross to Saborio for the Costa Ricans third goal. It was as if the game was stuck on instant replay since the goals bore similar semblance.
The Costa Ricans rightly got on the defensive, attacking only when necessary
to protect the goals they had already secured. Costa Rica had drawn 2-2 with El Salvador Friday night. Guyana with their second
loss has drifted to the bottom of their qualification group.
Costa Rica drove the final nail in the coffin when Campbell, for all his manoeuvring on the wing, got his reward with a shot from just outside the 18 yard box. But many would not have seen that fourth goal, since the thousands became hundreds after the third goal as the twelfth man vacated the Stadium in droves.