– Technical Director impressed with local talent
By Rawle Welch
A 60th minute strike from Alison Heydorn gave Guyana’s ‘Lady Jaguars’ the expected result in their clash against St. Vincent & the Grenadines in their CFU World Cup qualifying encounter yesterday, at the GCC ground.
The nippy mid-fielder produced a wonderful turn off a pass from the right side that wrong-footed her marker, before lashing a fierce volley into the far corner, beating Vincentian goalkeeper Sheree-Ann John, who was left transfixed on the near post.
The Guyanese fresh off an impressive 2-0 triumph against Suriname in their opening match-up on Friday dominated most of the play, enjoying about 80% of possession against a game, but obviously outclassed St. Vincent side.
Heydorn, along with the speedy winger Nikkita Persaud, Mariam El-Masri and Brittany Persaud were all over the visitors, creating numerous opportunities, but somehow failed to enter the back of the goal.
The Vincentians were a bit unfortunate to have a goal disallowed following a corner in the first half when the player was ruled off-side.
No team managed to penetrate each other’s goal and the first period ended 0-0 with Guyana squandering a few chances to go ahead.
In the second stanza, Heydorn should have given Guyana the lead when her header off a free kick sailed agonizingly over the crossbar with John scrambling to cover. However, she returned a couple of minutes later to score the winning goal.
The Vincentians attacked with a bit more purpose late in the final half, but the Guyanese led by Briana De Souza, Justine Rodrigues, Colette Hope and Kayla De Souza held firm until the final whistle came.
Technical Director Mark Rodrigues speaking with the media after the game said that the team was able to achieve all the things they set out to achieve so far.
“Our main aim is to get to Germany for the 2011 World Cup and the win today is another step on that journey,” Rodrigues informed.
He disclosed that the Vincentians surprised them a bit with their method of play in the first half where they packed at least 6-7 players in defence unlike what they did against Suriname when they noticeably came forward looking for goals.
He, however, pointed out that they were able to effectively adapt to the strategy in the second period and that resulted in the winning goal.
Commenting on the performance of the locally-based players, Rodrigues said that he was very impressed with them, adding that they are all talented and the tournament provided the opportunity to expose that talent, while it also gave the Guyanese fans a chance to see them in action.
“That is why we started this programme because we believe there is an abundance of talent right here and it is only for it to be nurtured and exposed.”
Rodrigues indicated that the entire team is really pleased with the support received, especially what was said by President Bharrat Jagdeo, who met the team after the game with Suriname.
“From his remarks last Friday, we leave here tomorrow (today) in an upbeat mood knowing that a greater level of support is promised and we are confident that the President will deliver.
The TD revealed that there are many more players calling the Technical Staff indicating their willingness to be part of the team and according to him, a few of them possess even greater talent.
He pointed out that they intend to put the best team possible on the field every time and they have the backing of the Guyana Football Federation President Colin Klass.
Meanwhile, Rodrigues said that the locals will continue to work under the guidance of Wayne Dover, while a friendly is proposed against Jamaica sometime in July for the overseas-based players.
Also meeting the players after the win were Ministers Dr. Frank Anthony, who is in charge of Sport and Robert Persaud, who has responsibility for Agriculture.
Dr. Anthony commenting on the win said it was good that Guyana was able to register victories in both matches.
“I’m certain that all Guyana is pleased with the girls’ performance and it just shows that we are going places,” Dr. Anthony felt.
He added that the win will also encourage more women to get involve in sports.
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