By Franklin Wilson
History was created yesterday at the Leonora Track and Field Center, Leonora, West Coast Demerara when Guyana’s ‘Lady Jags’ swept Group ‘A’ of the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, defeating Suriname 3-1 in their final match to make it four out of four.
It was the first time that the nation at this level of female football would have won four matches on the trot as they secured a place in the round-of-16 of this championship set for next February, along with Saint Lucia which ended second in the group; Guyana ended on 12 points to Saint Lucia’s, 9.
Yesterday, the final match day of the group saw the Guyanese contesting the opening match of two and they wasted little time in stamping their authority on their Dutch neighbours. Forward, Tiandi Smith, who netted the opening goal against Saint Lucia on Friday night, repeated her feat when she blasted a well taken shot past Surinamese custodian Dienthy Schoonland in just the 6th minute of play.
It was the earliest goal the ‘Lady Jags’ campaign this round and it was the start of their most dominant opening 45 minutes of the four matches they played. Exactly six minutes later, the Guyana side doubled the advantage.
The Guyanese had won a corner and it was taken quickly, Nailah Rowe smartly and swiftly passing the ball to Tori DeNobrega whose shot eluded Schoonland to the delight of her teammates and the fans, Guyana 2 Suriname 0.
It was a huge step up from the previous matches as Guyana did not score two goals in the first half of either of their three wins against Bermuda, Antigua & Barbuda and Saint Lucia, all ending 2-0.
The dominance of the home team continued and like they did in previous matches, they controlled the flow of the match by maintaining possession. On 39 minutes, a free kick was won by the ‘Lady Jags’ after substitute Horica Adams, who had replaced Kiana Khedoo around the 22nd minute, was brought down.
Captain, Brianne Desa took on the responsibility of taking the shot which was well directed as it eluded the grasp of Schoonland to land Guyana its third goal; the most goals achieved in any of its previous matches, let alone, one half.
This performance, soaked up by GFF President Wayne Forde and a number of his executives ensured that there was no coming back for the Surinamese; Guyana already winning the group regardless of the outcome of the match.
But the locals were intent on making it four wins in as many matches and that they achieved. Despite Suriname being able to score a rare goal against Guyana, the first and only in their four matches; thanks to Tryfosa Sastrokromo in the 48th minute, the ‘Lady Jags’ had already done their home work.
Suriname did enjoy some good moments in the final 45 minutes but so did the Guyanese who also created numerous chances, a few hitting the uprights. Tiredness stepped in but even with that challenge, Guyana played smart and walked away with full points to end with the maximum 12 from 4 matches.
Meanwhile, Bermuda closed out on a high with their second win in four matches, a 5-1 results against Antigua and Barbuda which lost all four of their matches. For Bermuda, Adia Gibbons netted a hat-trick (6th, 74th, and 82nd), while Nia Christopher scored two in the 29th and 69th minutes.
Antigua & Barbuda got their consolation goal off the boot of Janequa Lewis in the 39th minute.
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