By Franklin Wilson in Houston Texas compliments of Fazia’s Collection, Crown Mining Supply, Anglin Enterprises USA, Stag Beer, Germans Restaurant, Queensway Security Service
On debut at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, Guyana’s Golden Jaguars faced Regional powerhouse Canada in the feature game last evening at the BBVA compass Stadium, Houston, Texas as Group B play in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship got under way.
Canada as expected came out in an offensive mood to test the Guyanese in the opening minutes; Captain Christine Sinclair went wide of the left upright in the second minute as Guyana sat deep in the final third allowing the Canadians to come at them but was also vigilant to run at them on the counter whenever the chance presented itself.
Lady Jags Goalkeeper Chante Sandiford looked composed in goal, calmly taking down a good shot from Ashley Lawrence in the 10th minute as the Guyanese defence also looked very coordinated and composed in keeping the experienced Canadians who opted to play the ball wide, at bay early on.
Sinclair, the all-time leading goal scorer in CONCACAF WOQC with 15 was kept quiet by the Lady Jags as they showed a high level of maturity from the last time the two sides met in 2010 when the Canadians prevailed 8-0 in Cancun, Mexico.
Canada took the lead in the 25th minute from a corner taken by Sinclair, Deanne Rose scoring on an assist from Sophie Schmidt on the second attempt.
In the 27th minute Josee Belanger’s cross was parried away one handed for a corner by Sandiford and again Sinclair took the corner which was again converted by midfielder Ashley Lawrence to double the advantage for Canada; their collective experience being evident. Captain Sinclair playing very calm and reserved whilst marshalling her colleagues.
Sandiford came up big again in the 38th minute to deny Sinclair on the end of another promising build up from Canada but two minutes later, 16 year-old Deanne Rose made it 3-0 from another assist from midfielder Schmidt, Rose’ shot beating Sandiford to the far post all along the turf. Rose went wide of the upright in the 42nd from just inside the six and over the bar one minute later. Sinclair was thwarted again in the 45th minute from a back heel as the half ended 3-0 to the Canadians.
Canada upped the ante from the start of the second half and one minute into the half increased the lead to 4-0 when Ashley
Lawrence headed home. It was as the flood gate was now opened with another goal off the boot of Lawrence in the 48th minute to make it 5-0. Sinclair’s drought continued as she went over the cross bar one minute later.
The wide crosses into the area continued to be challenging for the Lady Jags who nonetheless kept on fighting in the proverbial David vs Goliath clash. Canada made strategic subs as they introduced fresh legs enjoying an unbeatable advantage. They made changes in the 58′ – Jessie Fleming in for Allysha Chapman; 59′ – Gabrielle Carle in for Sophie Schmidt and the 62′ when Nichelle Prince replaced Deanne Rose.
Traffic was in the Guyana half of play for almost the entire half as the Canadians asserted themselves. Even in this scenario, the Lady Jags kept their energy levels high as they supported each other vociferously.
Guyana’s changes were done in the 61′ when Leah Ramalho came on for Kayla DeSouza; in the 71st Bria Williams replaced Alison Heydorn, while the final sub was one minute later when Calaigh Copland came on for Mariam El-Masri.
Sandiford brought off another excellent save in the 87th minute to the applause of all the fans present which included the President of the Guyana Football Federation Wayne Forde, VP Rawlston Adams and President of the Women’s Association, Charmaine Wade.
The Guyanese did their utmost to keep the Canadians at bay as the match ended 5-0, just two goals coming in the final 45 minutes. Such was the dominance of the Canadians that they had 30 shots on goals; 15 on target with a similar amount on goal. Canada’s Ashley Lawrence was named CONCACAF player of the match.
Squads: Guyana – 1 Chante Sandiford, 2 Alison Heydorn (71′ – Bria Williams), 3. Briana DeSouza, 4. Kayla De Souza (61′ – Leah Ramalho), 7. Justine Rodrigues, 8. Ashlee Savona, 9. Ashley Rodrigues (Capt.), 12. Otesha Charles, 13. Kailey Leila, 15 Mariam El-Masri (72′ – Calaigh Copland), 17 Olivia Gonsalves.
Canada – 1 GK Erin Mc Leod, 2 Allysha Chapman (58′ – Jessie Fleming), 3 Kadeisha Buchanan, 4 Shelina Zadorsky, 6 Deanne Rose (62′ – Nichelle Prince), 8 Diana Matheson, 9 Josée Belanger, 10 Ashley Lawrence, 11 Desiree, Scott, 12 Christine Sinclair, 13 Sophie Schmidit (59′ – Gabrielle Carle).
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