Focus now on Barbados tomorrow
By Franklin Wilson in Barbados In
association with Queensway, Fazia’s Collection,
Fitness Express and the Guyana Football Federation
After a dismal opening 45 minutes, the Golden Jaguars played the brand of football they are known for to beat Bradley University of Chicago 2-1 in a friendly match last evening at the Barbados National Stadium, Waterford, St. Michael.
The young Guyanese side made up predominantly of Under-23 players as the country prepares for the Caribbean Football Union Olympic Qualifying competition next month, looked very ordinary in the first half but responded admirably to seal a memorable win.
The equalising goal came on the stroke of half time, a beautiful volley taken by Sheldon Holder on a corner by Captain Christopher Bourne, one of three senior payers in the line up.
Bradley had taken the lead 23 minutes into the game, Bryan Gaul nailing his shot past substitute custodian Oswald Cornette who was forced to take over duties from Akel Clarke, who injured his right wrist in a collision with an opposing player about 5 minutes into the game.
During an uneventful first half for the young Guyanese, they allowed the opposition to dictate the flow of the game and were also guilty of playing into the hands of the opposition. The young Jaguars were slow to the ball which ensured that the University players gained the upper hand with their speedy brand of football.
It was necessary for the lads from the Land of Many Waters to pull one back before the half time whistle and that they did, led by their Captain who has been leading from the front continuing a good run of form which has spilled over from the wins in Guyana over the Barbados National Senior side.
This Bradley University side defeated the same senior Bajan side last Wednesday 2-0; Bradley also lost to the Bajan National Under-18 team 1-2.
Head Coach Collie Hercules and his Technical team perked up their charges during the half time break and from the resumption, the ‘Golden Jaguars’ played the brand of football they are accustomed to as they took the fight to the Bradley University side and held possession, swinging the ball from side to side.
This certainly frustrated the USA players and took a toll on them physically, this was evident with the many changes they made as they introduced fresh legs to counter the pace of the Guyanese, but they were not able to as the Jaguars roared on, backed up by the cheers and encouragement of the Guyanese fans in the stands.
It was just a matter of time for the Jags to ensure their command of the game produced the go ahead goal and that came 77 minutes on.
They won a free kick from approximately 30 yards out and Captain Bourne along with Colin Nelson, two of the specialist kickers in the side, stood before the ball. When it was felt that the Bourne was going to take the shot, Nelson it was who did.
The six man wall set up by Bradley and the goalkeeper felt that Nelson was going to take the shot with his right foot but it was his left foot shot that curled through the air on its way into the back of the nets; Guyana 2 Bradley 1.
A well taken shot and a well deserved go ahead goal for Guyana. Thereafter, the lads from South America sought to keep their composure as the opposition came at them with all their might but were not allowed to get close to scoring again.
Even the five minutes of added on time did not help their cause. The Guyanese were put in a spot of bother when substitute goalie Oswald Cornette was also injured in the final moments of the game and was taken to hospital for a cautionary check up.
Now the focus will be on Barbados whom the Guyanese face in their return Friendly International tomorrow at the same venue from 20:00hrs.
And according to Head Coach Hercules, he is preparing for a tough challenge from the home team. “Despite the fact that we have won three games on the run and the confidence levels of my charges are high, we will not be complacent but rather focused on winning this game before we leave the Island.”
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