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.
The two-match winning streak of Guyana’s golden Jaguars of the beach was halted by the experienced Costa Rica who romped to a 5-2 win as the playoffs for seeding among the bottom eight teams of the 16 team CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship continued yesterday at the BFA Soccer Stadium at Malcolm Park here in Nassau, Bahamas.
Contesting the 9th place Playoff match, Costa Rica drew first blood when goalkeeper Niels Fallas Beita scored against his counterpart from Guyana Ethan Sparman in just the 3rd minute.
Guyana started on the defensive against a side which ended the group stages as the best third place team just ahead of Guyana in second, losing two matches the same as Guyana but ended with a +3 goal difference to Guyana’s -3.
As the opening quarter progressed and the Guyanese got warmed to the task they played more cohesive and ran the Costa Ricans down but were not able to score, the lone goal standing when the whistle went to end the quarter.
Costa Rica started the second quarter on the attack and on 14 minutes, a shot by Deyber Villegas Guerrerro bounced over the outstretched hands of Sparman and settled in the back of the nets for their second goal.
Sparman again brought off some excellent saves that kept the score line down as the Costa Ricans were relentless in Guyana’s defensive third forcing multiple corners. A hand ball by Captain Deshawn Joseph in the 16th minute resulted in a penalty which William Leon Cruz sent wide of the upright much to the relief of the Guyanese.
However, in the 18th minute Joseph brought down an opposing player in the area with the resulting penalty hammered home by Heimo Kastner Gomez to put his team up 3-0.
The usually offensive minded Golden Jaguars of the beach were not too much interested in that style of play rather opting to be more defensive against the experienced and always threatening Costa Ricans.
Jermaine Grandison hit the side nets in the 24th minute in one of the rear collective offensive moves by the Guyanese as the half ended with Costa Rica comfortably ahead, 3-0. Three minutes into the final quarter good work between Captain Joseph and Jahshawn Moore brought Guyana its first goal of the match.
The ball was tucked into the back of the nets past Niels Fallas Beita by Moore who was well positioned close to the Costa Rican goal; Guyana 1 Costa Rica 3. Still in with a chance of reducing the Costa Rica goal tally, Guyana pushed forward but their eagerness was short lived as Costa Rica banged in back to back goals in the 27th and 28th minute compliments of William Leon Cruz and Javier Angulo Mora which took the score to 5-1.
Unfortunately, Mora was stretchered off the field after scoring as he suffered what seemed to be a head injury after a collision with a Guyanese player. Guyana were able to get on the score sheets yet again when Kennard Simon fired past Beita. In the end, Costa Rica prevailed by a 5-2 margin to halt Guyana’s winning streak, the Guyanese who will play their final match of the tournament, today.
Canada hammered Antigua and Barbuda 6-2 in their Playoff for 11th place. The Canadians were always in control as they scored two goals in the opening quarter and four in the third and final quarter. Antigua scored in the second and third quarter.
A hat-trick off the feet of Marlon Neptaly Meza led Belize to victory over Barbados coming from two goals down to win the match 6-2 in their Playoff match for 13th place.
Turks and Caicos Islands, featuring the youngest team with an average age of 19 and a 16 year-old goalkeeper Pendieno Brooks recorded their first win at this level when they whipped the United States Virgin Islands 4-1 in their Playoff match for 15th place.
Herby Magny led Turks and Caicos with a double with one goal each for Billy Forbes and Captain James Rene.
In the 7th place Playoff match between USA and Jamaica saw the Americans taking the win 7-2. The Bahamas went up against Trinidad and Tobago in another Playoff match, which was followed by the two semifinals which featured Panama against El Salvador and defending champions Mexico against Guadeloupe.
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