“A disappointing performance”- ‘Lady Jags’ Head Coach
By Avenash Ramzan
Head Coach Dr. Ivan Joseph has labelled the ‘Lady Jags’ goalless display in the drawn encounter against Barbados on Sunday “a disappointing performance.”
The stalemate meant Guyana senior female football team, in a must-win situation, failed to advance out of Group E of the CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers.
Playing at the Leonora Track and Field Centre, Guyana and Barbados, despite a few good opportunities, both failed to score as the match ended 0-0.
“Clearly you could tell from my affects it’s a disappointing performance. A 0-0 draw against Barbados is clearly not what we intended. Hats off to Barbados; they had six in the box, they sat back (and) we just didn’t have the composure in the final third. We changed formations, we changed formations and they had their athletes at the back,” Dr. Joseph reasoned.
He added, “Sometimes it doesn’t matter how pretty you look; up to that final point you have to make and deliver that final ball, and we were there and we couldn’t deliver it. And it’s a shame because I think they had a chance, there were good opportunities. And I think although we deserved better, we didn’t take the chances, we didn’t execute them. So that’s the way football goes.”
“To me the biggest disappointment, the biggest reason for the loss was our inability to dot the i and cross the t in the final third.”
Bermuda, who won the earlier game against Suriname 1-0, topped the Group with seven points. Their two wins and a draw have taken them to the next stage of the competition.
Guyana, with a 2-2 draw against Bermuda, a 6-1 win over Suriname and the goalless draw against the Bajans, ended second with five points. With one win, a draw and a loss, Suriname occupied third spot with four points, while Barbados ended in the cellar position without a point.
Reflecting on the three games and assessing the team’s performance, Dr. Joseph highlighted that several players were competing at this level for the first time.
“Sometimes the stage is big, and the lights are bright, and you don’t get to deliver your biggest performance in those types of moments. I don’t think we played our best game, and that’s the biggest disappointment, but I think we need these experiences in order to be able to move forward,” Dr. Joseph said.
Looking ahead, Dr. Joseph said it is imperative the ‘Lady Jags’ play more frequently, since failure to do so will only serve to widen the gap between Guyana and the other nations.
“I think there are a couple of things that I want to do particularly. And one of the things is I want to have a national team camp here (in Guyana) for all comers. I’m looking to come back some time later in the summer and really identify all the ladies, all the talent,” Dr. Joseph stressed.
He continued, “One of the things I’ve heard loud and clear is that people are feeling like they’re not picked up for the team or they’re not getting chosen. And so my challenge is to create a camp experience here that allows people to stay at home and come wherever the grounds are that we might have and have an audition, so we could have more players in our pool.”
“The next thing after that is that I want to make sure the team stays together and we have another friendly some time before the end of the year.”
This is the first time since 2010 the ‘Lady Jags’ have failed to advance in the CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers.