Losing start for Guyana in CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s U-17 Qualifiers
By Treiston Joseph
Guyana had some positives in the opening match of the CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Under-17 football qualifiers on Wednesday afternoon, but fell 1-5 to Barbados in Group D action at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora. Guyana came out with a high tempo and kept attacking the defence of Barbados down the middle of the field and occasionally from the wing.
The Bajans, who seemed a bit nervous to start, found themselves in a bit of trouble, especially with Guyana threatening to score. The hosts finally breached the defence to strike first in the match with a goal from Tiandi Smith in the 12th minute.
However, it did not take long for Barbados to equalise with Caitlin Padmore scoring in the 16th minute, while a deflection off Smith in the 21st minute gave Barbados the 2-1 edge to eventually bring the first half to a close. The second half was totally different as Barbados seemed comfortable, while Guyana came out very timid.
Barbados also exploited the weakness of Guyana, who could not defend long balls at goal that constantly gave Guyana’s custodian a river of trouble and was beaten on three different occasions, especially from free kicks.
Tia Briggs-Thompson would score a double in the 50th and 71st minutes, while Tiana Sealy dropped a solo effort in the 51st minute to pull away from Guyana.
Assistant Coach of Barbados, Gabriella Lopez, shared that Barbados made adjustments in the second half to utilise the long shots more, but the girls, who gained “confidence” as the game went on, made “on-field adjustments” as well.
Guyana’s Head Coach Akilah Castello stressed that she was “proud” of the girls, noting that the game had a lot of “positives” for the coaching staff.
In addition, Castello made mention that this was the first type of major exposure for the girls, while noting that working on their set pieces is a must going forward.
Guyana will next play Cuba on Sunday, while Barbados and Cuba will match up on Friday. Both games are slated for the Leonora facility and will start at 17:00h on each day.