Courageous 10-man Golden Jaguars fall to Reggae Boyz 2-4 in extra time at Leonora
By Franklin Wilson
A spirited performance from Guyana’s Golden Jaguars was not enough to deny defending Caribbean champions Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz from dancing to a 2-4 extra-time win when the two nations collided last evening in the second game of Group 1, Round 3 play in the Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup 2016 championship.
For the second consecutive match the Golden Jaguars took the lead but allowed their opponent back onto the match and eventually extra-time to lose in the end.
Watched by a colourful crowd which was loud at times urging on their Jaguars, Guyana on account of a double from defender Adrian Butters cantered to a 2-0 lead by the end of the first 45 minutes only to allow the Reggae Boyz back into the match in the second half.
Not even the heroics of 18 year-old Guyanese goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle who saved a penalty in the 76th minute apart from a few blinding saves could have saved the home team from losing whilst also crashing out of the Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup 2016 championship,
effectively ending their hopes of qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The home team which played an almost flawless first half were put under severe pressure in the 68th minute when experienced defender Walter Moore received a straight red card from Referee Kerry Skepple for a dangerous tackle.
This setback effectively ended the hopes of the home team as Jamaica capitalized fully on the one-man advantage and was also aided by some lapses at the back by the Guyanese.
The perfect start was had by the Guyana when Anthony Abrams fired the first shot on goal in the match as the home team looked a sharp unit. By the 7th minute Adrian Butters had the fans screaming in delight as his world class header was drilled into the back of the nets to hand Guyana the lead.
It all started when Trayon Bobb, who had an excellent game, threw the ball over but Jamaica’s goalkeeper Andre Blake was not able to keep the ball in play which resulted in the Referee signaling for a corner which Butters clinically drilled past Blake.
As the momentum continued with the home team, Butters again drilled another header past Blake in the 30th minute, this time it was from a free-kick which was won when Brandon Beresford, another of the players that had a good game, was fouled just outside the area.
The lead emboldened the Guyanese players, Technical staff and fans to the extent that all felt that this would have been a repeat of the 1973 victory when Guyana had defeated the Jamaicans at GFC, 2-1.
But that was never to be as the Jamaicans dug in deep and never gave up. The Reggae Boyz’ determination paid dividends when their Captain himself tucked in their first goal in the 63rd minute form a throw-in deep into the attacking third.
Even before that though, the visitors added fresh legs with a double change that saw Dino Williams and Owayne Gordon coming in for Michael Binns and Oneil Fisher. Their introduction changed the fortunes of their team.
Guyana made its first change in the 67th minute when Vurlon Mills replaced Abrams and one minute later, Walter Moore was issued marching orders. Beresford was yellow carded in the 76th minute for fouling Jamaica’s Cory Burke which resulted in a penalty being awarded.
But McKenzie-Lyle stepped up to the challenge and saved Damien Lowe’s shot, the fans erupting in applause for the young custodian who has a bright future ahead of him.
As the minutes winded down and the confidence levels of all grew even more in honing thoughts of a Guyana win, poor judgement again from goalie McKenzie–Lyle allowed the Jamaicans to score the equalizing goal with just two minutes to fulltime. Dicoy Williams was the scorer for the boys from Reggae Land.
As was the case in Suriname on Saturday, the fitness levels of the Guyanese players would have been cause for concern, and it did as Jamaica totally dominated the 10-man Guyana unit. The home team did have a few opportunities including a ripping show from midway the Jamaican half that saw Blake flying to his left to parry the ball away for a corner.
Jamaica took the lead for the first time in the match in the 116th minute when Shaun Francis scored, while the winning goal was banged in from off the left boot of Cory Burke in the 120th minute to seal a memorable win for Jamaica.
Jamaica’s Coach Theodore Whitmore said his charges showed a lot of character in grinding out the win while Captain Watson also complimented his team whilst also noting that Guyana is a good team.
Golden Jaguars Captain Samuel Cox said that his boys give it their utmost as they fought hard and were spirited in their play noting that individual errors cost them the match. Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz, who has confirmed that this was his last game in this capacity, stated that he is taking full responsibility for the loss. He said that the game must be viewed as a memorable one for the nation.
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