At Leonora tonight from 19:00hrs, the National Track and Field Center (NTFC) will host Guyana’s national men’s football team, the ‘Golden Jaguars’, first match of their Concacaf Nations League (CNL) campaign which is the qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Jaguars will be coming up against a familiar foe in Barbados that has not been able to defeat the Guyanese in almost two decades. However, the last match played in 2015, an International Friendly at the Barbados National Stadium, saw a spirited fight back from the home team which allowed them to draw 2-2 after being two goals down.
Looking further back at the head to head record, back in 2011 during the Jaguars’ historic world cup qualification campaign, the National men had defeated Barbados 2-0 during both home and away legs before they lost in the final round of qualification to Mexico.
Guyana’s Assistant Head Coach, Paul Williams, a former Assistant Manager of English Premier League side Swansea City who has also worked with England Under-20s, shared the same confident remarks as Head Coach Michael Johnson of a positive display by the Golden Jaguars in tonight’s match, during a press brief yesterday at the Sleepin International Hotel and Casino on Church Street.
”The team has a lot of attacking players, players who when you release the shackles off them, can be real dangerous; match winners”, Coach Johnson posited. “I am very confodent in the team, very confident with the staff. We have to be confident, that is the right mindset”, the Head Coach explained ahead of tonight’s game against the Barbados side that drew 0-0 with Cuba that is ranked 26th in CONCACAF.
Currently, Barbados are ranked 18th in CONCACAF with Guyana, 27th. As part of preparations for the CNL, Barbados played a total of 12 friendly internationals where they only managed two wins and the visiting team’s Technical Director, Ahmed Mohamed who was also present at the press brief yesterday, boldly stated that his side intends to break their duck against Guyana.
Mohamed posited that he knows his opponent after playing to the 2-2 draw in 2015 and he explained that at the time Barbados had a young squad, and eight players from that team have remained in the current team that will be playing tonight.
Barbados’ team is largely locally based with just three overseas players while Guyana has 10 players who ply their trade overseas. Tickets to game cost $1000 and are available at the GFF Secretariat, Dadanawa Street, Section ‘K’, Campbellville.
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