Lady Jags disappointed with goalless stalemate against Nicaragua
By Avenash Ramzan
Both goalkeepers were kept busy at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora, on Friday evening as Guyana’s Lady Jags took on Nicaragua in Group F action of the Concacaf Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Playing their first home game this season, the Lady Jags had solid support in the stands, but they nor the visiting Nicaraguans could manage a goal after 90 minutes of high-intensity action.
The goalless stalemate was as a result of the sharp and precise work of goalkeepers Chante Sandiford of Guyana and her Nicaraguan counterpart Bethania Aburto.
They were both kept engaged throughout the crucial encounter as the teams tried desperately to break the deadlock.
The fact there was no clear winner means the points table remains the same, with Guyana leading the Group on seven points (two wins and a draw) and Nicaragua third on four points (one win, one loss, one draw). Trinidad and Tobago, with a game less and unbeaten thus far, occupy second spot on six points.
Head Coach Dr. Ivan Joseph, while disappointed with the result, was proud of the efforts of the Lady Jags.
“We just didn’t generate enough opportunities and we weren’t as desperate and hungry,” he noted.
Dr. Joseph lauded keeper Sandiford who ensured Guyana’s last line of defence was yet again well protected.
To date, Guyana has not conceded a goal in the tournament, having beaten Dominica 4-0 and the Turks and Caicos 7-0.
“We had a bit of a tough time finding our feet,” Sandiford said after the contest.
“As for me, we were very organised in defence and it made it very easy for me to be in the right place. I think we had a really good team effort tonight. We didn’t get the win that we wanted, but I’m still very proud of the effort and we just (have to) learn from this and move forward.”
The drawn result has made progression from the Group a bit dicey for Guyana, as they are now faced with a must-win situation against hosts Trinidad and Tobago on April 12, and also the hope of other results being conducive to their cause.
The team that tops the Group will advance to the next stage of the qualifiers, which also serve as a gateway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Upcoming Group F games
April 9– Trinidad and Tobago vs Turks and Caicos
April 12– Guyana vs Trinidad and Tobago and Nicaragua vs Dominica