Jun 12, 2012 Sports
-no time for procrastinating right now
By Juanita Hooper
Golden Jaguars Captain Christopher Nurse, reflecting on the recent game against Mexico at the Azteca Stadium, said to Kaieteur Sport that despite the 3-1 result, the team showed that they can hold their heads high. “We showed that we can hold our head high and that we are heading in the correct direction as a footballing Nation.”
Whilst a loss is never a result to be proud of in any sport, in retrospect, Mexico had just beaten Brazil 2-0. “We lost 3-1 in a game where we had chances to both equalize and possibly win the game. It was the first time we faced a game of this magnitude. Mexico is the best team in the CONCACAF region and ranked 19th in the WORLD.”
Nurse continued by saying that the team is extremely talented with experienced professionals, “For a reason, they are a very very good team with extremely talented and experienced professionals.”
Mexico being a country with a rich football history has hosted two world cups, in Estadio Azteca Stadium where Pelé and Diego Maradona (during 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup) lifted the trophy. Mexico’s achievements are unchallenged in CONCACAF region and currently, Guyana sits at 104 in the World rankings in comparison to Mexico.
Despite all that Golden Jaguars as a team held their own. The Captain stated that stepping onto the field, the team was not sure what quite to expect, “I think we underestimated ourselves and showed them (Mexico) too much respect.”
Nurse prolonged by saying that when the team realized how they were playing they completely started to challenge the Mexicans. “The team shape was very good, and we kept their chances to very few, the Mexicans however were very clinical in the few chances they had and we found ourselves 2-0 down in the first half.”
According to the captain, the Estadio Azteca is the most difficult Stadium to play at in the WORLD, “This is not just talk. It is reality. The conditions at Azteca are difficult. You have around 100,000 Mexican home fans screaming and shouting, then the altitude; oxygen is scarce at these heights, unless you are accustomed to living in these circumstance the smallest task will leave you with little or no oxygen in your body.”
Nurse related the situation as being an immense home field advantage for Mexico as the players (Golden Jaguars) were suffering throughout the training session from fatigue, headaches, nose bleeds which are all consistent side effects that comes when someone is not used to high altitude. The Estadio Azteca Stadium recently had its ban from hosting International Games removed only 2 years ago due to health concerns as it is located 7,200 feet above sea level.
“This is not excuses but bear this in mind, in comparison to our nations national team which still has no national training facility in Guyana, the 3-1 defeat is actually quite a magnificent achievement. It leaves a mark on the football world to state if Guyana were to obtain the facilities of its footballing counterparts across the Caribbean and World, how far can this team and the countries players really go?”
Nurse added that there are six games to play at this stage, “Make no mistake, I doubt any team will go to the Azteca and take any points, so we are still level pegged with the others and given the draw 2-2 between Costa Rica and El Salvador, if we can get the win Tuesday night we will be in a good situation.”
Urging the crowding to come out and support today’s game, Nurse said that the team needed all the Guyanese fans present at the Stadium to complete the journey as they attempt to advance to the next stage. “The team appreciates your support and we will continue to need your support to advance to the next stage. Mexico had 85,000 + fans behind them, we need all the Guyanese fans as possible to come to the Stadium and get behind the team.”
“I hope to see the stadium packed full of yellow on Tuesday for the game versus Costa Rica and once again to be a victorious night for Guyana,” he continued.
He further stated that there is no time for procrastination at the moment as the team commenced their preparation for today’s game when the final whistle was sounded at the end of Mexico game last Friday, “The team had an eighteen hour travel day from Mexico back to Guyana, so rest and hydration are very important for the team right now. Let’s stay focused, unified, positive and determined as a nation to achieve our short term goal to get 3 points on Tuesday night, long term to reach the World Cup Finals in Brazil. Belief is the key. Big up to Ramnaresh Sarwan who called me today from training in the UK to wish the team all the best and to let us know he is supporting and following the team and he is a big fan. In return we as a team wish him good luck with his season and it is good to know that Guyanese all over from different sports are supporting the Jaguars quest for World Cup Qualification.”
In closing he expressed his gratitude to the positive supporters that supported the team, “I thank and welcome all the positive support from the Guyanese people all over the world right now, it’s very humbling to see the Guyanese all over the world join together to support the Golden Jaguars and it is a unique situation for most of the teams players, but one that is very welcomed. Thank you to the fans that were able to travel to Mexico (we had a few) and the fans who were at the airport to welcome us home.”
Nurse declared that the players will give there all every time they step onto the field for Guyana. “This is what we dream of achieving, and through God’s grace we will reap success.”
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9:23.
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