Guyana draw 2-2 with Barbados in CONCACAF Nations League opener 

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DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 7, 2018

The Guyana Golden Jaguars on Thursday evening, held a two-all (2-2) draw against Barbados in their opening match of the CONCACAF Nations League at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora. This was not the expected outcome since the home side dominated Barbados for the majority of the match.

The first 45 minutes of the action-packed match ended goalless as the Jaguars failed to convert several goal-scoring opportunities. However, it was the Jaguar’s Forward, Trayon Bobb who created history by scoring the first ever qualifying Nations League goal in the 46th minute of the second half to give Guyana the lead and ignited the crowd.

The celebration by the home side was short-lived following an untidy pass in the Jaguar’s defence. This saw Barbadian Forward, Hallam Hope scoring the first of his two goals in the 65th minute, levelling the score 1-1.

Nevertheless, the Jaguars continued their dominance over the visitors, making rings around them with speed and precision. However, it was a beautiful one-two play by the Bajans that caught the Jaguars defenders’ off-guard and Hope scoring a diving header which was whipped in by his skipper, Rashad Jules in the 73rd minute.

When it seemed, hope was lost for the home side, it was Midfielder Neil Danns of the Jaguars who came to the rescue in the 77th minute to level the game 2-2.

Head Coach of the Jaguars, Michael Johnson said while the outcome of the game was not what they hoped for, they executed their game plan.  This was his first international match in charge of the Guyana team.

“I think in the first half, we could have had three or four goals and it could have gone our side but we conceded two goals. However, the team found it in themselves to dig deep and Danns came up with a really good strike and even then, I thought we were going to pitch another one and make it 3-2, but I think when we finally qualify we will look at this game and say it was a good point” Johnson stated.  Going forward, Johnson said the team can only get better.

Similar sentiments were echoed by goal scorer, Danns. “We have got to take the positives from the game. The boys showed real character and real spirt and came back to clinch the draw.”  Danns thanked the fans for their unflinching support.

Golden Jaguars will now travel to The Turks and Caicos Islands for a match between the two countries on October 13, followed by an encounter against French Guiana on November 20, before hosting Belize in March 2019.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Images: Keno George and Guyana Football Federation.