Golden Jaguars battle Antigua & Barbuda in crucial match
Guyana’s Golden Jaguars will be in search of their second and all-important victory as they face Antigua & Barbuda in League-B of the CONCACAF Nations League at the National Track and Field Center, Leonora on Monday from 20:00hrs.
The contest which is the 11th overall clash of the nations, is the second matchup of the teams in the space of three days. Jaguars lost 1-2 on Friday in Antigua. The last time they defeated the opposition was in November 2006.
The loss was also the sixth for the home nation in their previous eight engagements, with their only win occurring against Aruba.
Coach Marcio Maximo during a pre-match press conference held at the Pegasus Hotel said, “I think we had a good performance but the result was not good. They were more clinical than us, the opponent had a few shots and used it. We had a lot of shots but only scored one goal. I hope that tomorrow we change the situation, win the game which is very important for us and get into the second position.”
With Jamaica favourites to seal the top spot, Maximo indicated the focus should be on finishing second.
“For me the second place is still open because the first place is for Jamaica. The second place is still open, we have the same chances as Antigua and Aruba because everyone has the conditions to qualify for second. We should put the focus on the game and our fans should come to the game to give us support.”
With a lethargic first 15-20 minutes Friday, Maximo further indicated that tactical changes as they chase a must-win match.
“Tomorrow we will be more offensive, we were offensive in Antigua but you should play smart and with intelligence not a crazy game. We play and offensive and have balance, a crazy game will benefit the opponent.”
Meanwhile Captain Sam Cox said, “The result was disappointing and the program is in a transitional period as we speak. Obviously with the more integration of locally based players, I guess we have to manage expectations of the public on what we trying to do and trying to achieve. If you look at the game against Antigua in their place, possession wise I think we dominated, in terms of chances I think we dominated and if it wasn’t for the sloppy first 15 minutes, then I am sure the result would have been a lot different.”
Similarly, Neil Danns said, “At this moment in time everyone can see that the Guyanese football is going through a transitional period and we are all onboard and fully committed to this transitional period. We realise that in order for everything that we achieved with the Gold Cup, in order for that to filter down, it has to filter down to the local players and the balance has to be right.”
Guyana will host Aruba November 15th, before traveling to Jamaica three days later.
Winner of the group will advance to the League-A section of the competition in the subsequent edition.
Jamaica has a perfect nine points from three matches, followed by Antigua with six and Guyana on three. Aruba are yet to gather a point.
Golden Jaguars squad: Alex Murray, Akel Clarke, Sese Norville, Sam Cox, Sherwin Skeete, Kevin Layne, Raphael Edwards, Matthew Briggs, Kadell Daniel, Kevin Dundas, Neil Danns, Clive Nobrega, Daniel Wilson, Delwin Fraser, Elliot Bonds, Ryan Hackett, Kelsey Benjamin, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Pernell Shultz, Trayon Bobb, Shelon Holder and Emery Welshman.