The Guyana women’s football team, ‘Lady Jaguars’, put on a spectacular performance Thursday evening to beat the Turks & Caicos Select team by 5 goals to nil in their opening game of the Turks & Caicos Football Festival.
The Guyanese girls started cautiously and maybe somewhat nervous within the first few minutes as this was for most of them the first time playing together. However things changed in a hurry as just 7 minutes into the game a shot from a Guyanese player rocked the cross bar of the T&C goal. Immediately after, the Guyanese were on the attack again with Ashley Rodrigues finding the back of the net in the 8th minute to put Guyana up 1-0.
This certainly lifted the confidence resulting in the Guyanese putting the T&C under heavy pressure with constant attacks down the wings and through the centre, several shots were taken that went wide of their opponents goal or over the uprights.
At this time the T&C women were totally on the defensive and it was only a matter of time as Guyana went 2-0 up in the 15th minute, again from Ashley Rodrigues who converted a penalty after a T&C player handled the ball in the box.
By this time the tone of the game was already set with 90 percent of play being in the T&C half of the field. Guyana were awarded numerous corners and had many near misses as they kept the pressure up.
Guyana scored again in the 30th minute off a corner kick with a Justine Rodrigues header into the back of the net.
In minute 34 the coaching staff decided to make their first substitutions with Odessa Romeo and Kaitlyn Wong-You replacing Kayla DeSouza and Ashley Rodrigues. The tournament is being played under FIFA rules except that a team can make unlimited substitutions.
Shortly after the substitution Guyana continued their dominance and was awarded another penalty which was saved by the T&C goalkeeper. The half ended on yet another headed corner by Justine Rodrigues who continued her stellar play in the penalty area on set plays, but was brilliantly saved by the T&C goalkeeper.
The Guyanese girls left the field to thunderous applause from the numerous Guyanese supporters living and traveling to T&C who showed up to see the game.
The second half continued much the same as the first with the coaching staff using the opportunity to give playing time to all the substitutes as well as rotating the players in different positions still in search of the best possible formation for the later games.
Goals were scored in the second half by Justine Rodrigues in the 70th and Rehana Murani in the 78th minutes.
The Game ended 5-0 for Guyana with Ashley Rodrigues being named game MVP by the Technical staff.
It was indeed a very encouraging performance by the ‘Lady Jaguars’ which gave the Guyanese supporters a lot to cheer about. After the game the players were swarmed by the supporters who wanted photographs with the team and individual players.
Guyana were down to face the T&C U-20 National team in their second game yesterday.
The Guyana starting line-up: Leonie Robinson – GK, Alison Heydorn, Alyssa Budhoo, Ashley Rodrigues, Ashley Savona, Briana DeSouza, Donna Carvalhal, Kayla DeSouza, Nikkita Persad, Rehana Murani and Justine Rodrigues.
Substitutes: Kaitlyn Wong You, Bailey McKendrick, Odessa Rameo, Roxanne Stephen and Tarissa Stanislaus.
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