Jun 08, 2021 Sports
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Qatar 2022…
By Franklin Wilson in Antigua with the compliments of the GFF and Industrial Safety Supplies Inc.
Kaieteur News – A potentially exciting showdown between Guyana’s ‘Golden Jaguars’ and Puerto Rico’s ‘El Huracán Azul meaning The Blue Hurricane’ is anticipated here at Warner Park, Basseterre, St. Kitts from 16:00hrs when the two nations collide in the final match of their respective FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, qualifying campaigns today.
Neither have a chance to advance to the next round of qualifying which spot has been taken by the still undefeated St. Kitts and Nevis which has 9 points from three matches and will contest their final game against Trinidad and Tobago from 17:00hrs today in the Dominican Republic; the Kittians will be going all out for a clean sweep of Group F.
Guyana had opened its campaign on the back foot going down to Trinidad and Tobago 0-3 but rebounded to beat the Bahamas 4-0 in their two matches in the March window. Their first game in this June window, contested on Friday last saw the ‘Golden Jaguars’ losing to St. Kitts & Nevis, 0-3. The Guyanese are now aiming to end on a high against Puerto Rico today.
The Puerto Ricans started off in March by losing 0-1 to St. Kitts and Nevis, followed by a 1-1 draw with Trinidad and Tobago; they then rattled the Bahamas 7-0 on June 2nd, last.
Both teams are in the rebuilding process as the respective Coaches stated in yesterday’s pre-match press conference, each having an average age of 22/23. The respective Captains, Golden Jaguars’ Matthew Briggs and The Blue Hurricane’ Sidney Rivera expressed confidence that they can pull off a win to end on a high.
Briggs reminded that it’s a new generation of players that the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is investing in for the future. “So we are in the transition of bringing all the players together with some experience and some youth, so that what’s we’re going to keep building towards and progressing the squad and getting better and better as we go on with training and with games.
Obviously we are disappointed to not go further in the world cup qualifiers but we are looking forward to tomorrow (today) and we are going into the game 100%. We are just looking forward to this game and preparing for the Gold Cup against Guatemala.”
Puerto Rico’s Captain, Sidney Rivera: “Obviously we wanted to go further in the tournament, the qualifiers but things happened and you got to learn. Every game it’s more experience that we get as a team and we just want to play good and get the three points and hopefully go further, the next time.”
Head Coach Márcio Máximo said that, this match will be competitive, noting that they will respect their opponent whilst reminding that his young team will form the core of his squad for the Concacaf Gold Cup preliminary match against Guatemala, next month.
His opposite number, Dave Sarachan, a former US soccer player and Coach also spoke to the process of grooming young players into the Puerto Rico first team.
“I’ve enjoyed this process, you know we had games in March, we have these games and just to add to what Coach Máximo had said, the process is important to have good competition and respectful competition. Two teams that like to play and I think tomorrow (today) you’re going to see two teams that will compete and try to play football the proper way; and that’s the way you do it in group play, you finish out strong.”
Also sharing yesterday’s presser was new Golden Jaguar, Osafa Simpson who made his debut against St’ Kitts & Nevis on Friday last. The lanky forward said that it was always his dream to don national colours at the senior level and now that he has, he’ll be working hard to be a constant feature in the side.
Meanwhile, today’s match would be streamed live via the Guyana Football Federation facebook page compliments of Blue Water Shipping, one of the GFF’s official partners.
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