Story and photos by Franklin Wilson
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz romped to their second win in as many matches last night at the Leonora Track and Field Facility, a 4-0 triumph over Guyana’s Golden Jaguars. Coming off their 6-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda on Friday last in Jamaica, the Reggae Boyz looked a well oiled unit in chalking up another three points.
Guyana too, were winners of their opening round match away to Aruba on Friday last via a 1-0 margin but were never allowed to get settled let alone, pose any threats to the confident visitors.
After the first ten minutes during which the home team displayed signs of intent to make a match of it, their focus fell away for the remainder of the half which allowed Jamaica to have things their way, and that they did.
Sending the lads from Reggae land on their way was Elvis Powell (FC Cincinnati) who netted the first of his two goals in the 14th minute, he found the Guyanese backline lapsing and fired past Akel Clarke between the uprights.
From thereon in, Jamaica controlled proceedings and went further ahead in the 26th minute, Powell completing his double. The Jamaicans were not done just yet and further put the match out of the reach of Guyana when Dever Orgill (MKE Ankaragucu-Turkey) latched on to the ball to finish appropriately in the 44th minute; Jamaica 3 Guyana 0.
The second half saw a much better showing by the home team which were being constantly encouraged by the 750 fans in attendance, chanting, ‘Let’s go Jaguars’. But even with a more robust performance in the final 45 minutes, Guyana were not able to get on the score sheet.
Head Coach Márcio Máximo rang the changes; the first coming just after goal number four was scored, Orgill achieving his second in the 54th minute. At that juncture, Guyana’s hero at their inaugural appearance at the Concacaf Gold Cup in June, Neil Danns made way for Pernel Schultz.
Four minutes later, Stephen Duke-McKenna replaced Kelsey Benjamin; the fresh legs introduced did bring some energy to the Golden Jaguars’ quest to score but they came that close but could not crack the Reggae Boyz’ back line and goalkeeper Andre Blake who also wore the Captain’s armband as he marshaled his troupes from behind.
Guyana came close in the 72nd minute when Pernel Schultz dribbled two Jamaicans and crossed the ball into the area only for a defender to nullify the effort by clearing the ball away. Another opportunity came when a free kick was awarded to the home team, which was taken by Duke-McKenna.
The Bolton Wanderers FC player did well with the shot that was destined for goal but it was denied by excellent goalkeeping from Captain Blake who
palmed it away, airborne too. Benjamin too enjoyed a good moment in the Reggae Boyz defensive third but his ambitions were matched by stout defending from the visitors.
Head Coach Márcio Máximo in an invited comment after the match said that they paid a big price in the first half but were able to fix their mistakes in the second with some tactical adjustments being employed whilst also stating that the policy was to give more exposure to the local players.
“It’s a good lesson for us, Jamaica is a good team, of course we are a good team as well and need time because it’s a long way and I’m not magic and football also don’t have magic; you should take lessons from each game for next game and be better.”
Máximo also stated that the competition has just begun and is confident that the team would be better going forward. “You need time to develop the players, also team.”
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