Lady Jags whip Dominica 4-0 to start World Cup qualifying campaign in style
By Akeem Greene
Guyana’s Lady Jags got their CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign off to a solid start by hammering Dominica 4-0 in round one on Wednesday evening at the National Track and Field Facility, Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
Heading into the contest, Jags’ management looked to shrug off the confidence booster of the rankings, as the visitors were 65 places below the Lady Jags at 90.
However, Jags certainly stamped their authority, and a lot came from Justine Rodrigues, who was the workhorse in the midfield, as they managed to press forward constantly and facilitate plays to the wings which were really what tested the Dominicans.
Down the middle, the Islanders were relatively compact, but soon as Jags went wide their center-back drifted from position offering spaces for the likes of Shanice Alfred and Calaigh Copland to run at the goalkeeper.
Alfred, the MacEwan University player, was the first to rattle the back of the net with a shot from the left which beat the hands of the diving custodian Christina Sobers in the 17th minute.
Nine minutes later, home girl Annalisa Vincent, who was aggressive around the box, got a loose ball and powered it past the keeper’s left.
The misery for the Dominicans was far from over as Syndey Cummings got her name on the scoresheet in the 35th minute, and the sprinkling of spectators was overwhelmingly ecstatic.
It was a mundane start with a constant flow from both sides of the pitch, and Jags again took their time hunting for more goals.
Brianne Desa ensured Guyana’s wait for another goal was not too long as she beat the outstretched custodian via a powerful left-foot shot from outside the box in the 63rd minute.
Rodrigues, a key playmaker, could have gotten her first, with a shot just in front of goal, but Sobers dropped the barrier just in the nick of time.
Dominica had some fluent attack moves which marginally threatened the Lady Jags, who were quick to neutralise all and recapture the loose balls for a counter-attack.
The Lady Jags will now travel to Turks and Caicos for their next match on Saturday.
The other teams of Group F are Nicaragua and Trinidad and Tobago; only the top side will progress to the next phase of the qualifiers, which also act as a gateway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.