The Guyana national hockey women’s team celebrated their second victory of the
competition at the expense of a distraught Jamaica when the two sides clashed Friday morning in their placement match of the 2014 CAC Games in Vera Cruz, Mexico. In contrast to the first few days of competition, the sun came out with a vengeance and both sides would have to rely on their fitness and determination to manage the high-paced game staged at 11:00am.
Jamaica took control of the match in the early minutes as the Guyanese seemed to be outgunned by their speed and athleticism. Jamaica played an attacking brand of hockey and set Guyana on its heels, creating a few early penalty corners and scoring opportunities. The Guyanese would finally find themselves midway through the first half and settled into their usual short-passing game to tilt the possession in their favour. Despite there being no goals in the first half, spectators were treated to a well-balanced match with goal-scoring opportunities at both ends.
The second half saw Guyana strengthen their grip on the match as they pushed the game into the Jamaican half as the sun began to take a heavy toll on the Reggae ladies. Guyana piled on the pressure in the closing minutes and seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough but the final horn would come moments too early leaving the score deadlocked at 0-0.
Of the five Guyanese selected to be part of the penalty shootout, Gabriella Xavier would step up first and easily score on Jamaican Captain and goalkeeper, Lorie-Ann McIntosh, with a drag to the left and
reverse sweep. With sister Alysa Xavier stopping two Jamaican shooters, Guyanese Captain Chantelle Wales stepped up to bury the Jamaicans with a diving finish to give Guyana the 4-2 victory. Apart from the match boosting Guyana into the playoff for 5th and 6th place versus Barbados, the victory was sweet redemption for Guyana who lost to Jamaica in the CAC games four years earlier.
Cuba upstaged Trinidad by 4-2 in the first women’s semi-final, while surprise of the tournament, the Dominican Republic secured their place in the final with a 2-0 victory over hosts Mexico.
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