Photos and story by Franklin Wilson in the Bahamas with the compliments of Ringbang, Crown Mining Supplies, Fazia’s Collection, Fitness Express, German’s Restaurant and Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club.
An energetic display and disciplined performance by Guyana’s Golden Jaguars of the beach led by a Jamal Haynes hat-trick and a brace from Michael Wilson landed the nation its second victory at the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships as the Play-offs commenced.
Contesting the second 9th / 12th Play-off match of the day, Guyana defeated Antigua and Barbuda 6-4 in a match that saw the scores going back and forth until the Guyanese pulled away for good in the final quarter.
The Guyanese opened brightly against their opponents when Michael Wilson was fouled and took the free kick himself to score in the 1st minute, the A&B goalie Janeil Simon did not have a sniffer of a chance in saving Wilson’s powerful shot half way in the opponents half.
The Guyanese, coming off their maiden win at this level against Belize in their final group match looked a sharp unit, faster on the ball and more a cohesive unit in the bright afternoon sun in Nassau Bahamas.
The first quarter ended with Guyana in command via Wilson’s goal. The second half did not start exactly as the Guyanese would have liked since they conceded the equalizer when Antigua were awarded a free kick following a foul against Stephen Hughes by Jermaine Grandison close to goal.
Hughes took the shot himself which flew into the back of the nets past Sparman in the 13th minute. The momentum was now with the Antiguans who were relentless with numerous attacks on Guyana.
The usually energetic Guyanese Captain Deshawn Joseph did not look as energetic. But 16 minutes on, Guyana’s Jamal Haynes was brought down and the ensuing free kick he took himself which handed Guyana the lead at 2-1.
And seconds later just after the restart Guyana increased the lead further when the alert Jahshaun Moore capitalized on a loose ball custodian Prince Walter did not take cleanly to tap home at close range for a 3-1 lead to Guyanese.
On 17 minutes poor work in goal by Sparman allowed Omarie Daniel to head in Antigua’s
second goal to make the score 3-2 still in Guyana’s favour.
In the 18th minute a beautifully taken bicycle kick by Jamal Haynes netted Guyana’s 4th and his second of the match as the Golden Jaguars of the beach restored their two goal advantage at 4-2.
With the match 19 minutes old, Sparman was blindsided by one of his teammates and the Elvis Thomas shot entered the back of the onion skin between his legs for Antigua’s third of the match, the score 4-3 in favour of Guyana as the action heated up.
Antigua tied the match with 2:01 to go in the second quarter compliments of another Omarie Daniel goal, his second of the match and the score stood the same at the end of the quarter to set up a mouthwatering final 12 minutes.
As the final third commenced, Michael Wilson sent Guyana ahead (25th minute) as he did in the first quarter with a dipping shot over GK Simon’s head with the sun in his eyes; Guyana 5 Antigua 4.
Jamal Haynes fired in his third of the match and Guyana’s sixth in the 30th minute and celebrated with a summersault. Sparman’s excellent form continued in the next minute with a reflex save to deny Antigua another goal as the exchanges remained fast and furious, the energy levels of both sides being tested.
But in the end, the Golden Jaguars of the beach prevailed by a 6-4 margin in a thrilling match,
their second win over the Antiguans following a 4-3 epic at the Barbados International Beach Soccer Festival.
In the other 9th / 12th Playoff which preceded the Guyana / Antigua clash, Costa Rica went ahead of Canada before the latter equalised and went ahead at 2-1 but with 1’ 21″ to game time, Costa Rica’s Captain Greivin Pacheco Quesada netted to tie the score at 2-2 which ensured the game went into extra time and eventually penalties as neither team were able to break the deadlock.
Prevailing in the end were Costa Rica on penalty kicks by a 3-2 margin, goalkeeper Niels FallasBeita saving Canada’s third kicker, Marc Jankovic to seal victory.
In the 13th / 16th Playoff and the first match of the day, Barbados which finished 4th in Group B defeated the Turks and Caicos Islands 5-0, the latter ending the Group stage at the bottom of Group D, neither scoring a point.
The other 13th / 16th Playoff match saw Belize, which ended Group A at the bottom of the table with a single point, securing a win in extra time again, this time against the United States Virgin Islands 6-4 after the two nations battled to a 4-4 tie in the 36 minutes of regulation time.
Belize lashed in two unanswered goals in the 3 minutes of extra time to seal the win whilst leaving the USVI which ended at the bottom of Group C yet to register a point.
The quarter final matches commenced after the Guyana / Antigua clash with Jamaica against El Salvador which was followed by USA opposing Canada, Mexico tackled Trinidad and Tobago while the final match of the night featured home team Bahamas and Guadeloupe. The respective winners will advance to the semifinals to be played today.
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