Sport

Boyz's lacklustre performance against Guyana disappoints all

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — Jamaica's Concacaf Nations League B Group C campaign ended on an anticlimactic note on Monday evening at Montego Bay Sports Complex after they were held 1-1 by Guyana in an uninspired display before an estimated 3,000 fans in wet and cool conditions.

The Reggae Boyz, who had earlier secured promotion to League A and booked a spot in the Concacaf Gold Cup 2021, and fielded a team of mostly reserve players, came from behind, thanks to a second-half goal from Javon East.

The home team was made to pay for their wasteful display, spoiling their up to then spotless record in the competition.

Emery Welshman, one of several overseas-based players, gave Guyana the lead on the stroke of half-time, snapping Jamaica's run of 494 minutes without conceding a goal.

Jamaica, who made five changes from the team that beat Antigua/Barbuda on Friday night, finished the tournament with 16 points, topping Group C as Guyana celebrated the point, finishing second on 10 points and booked their second-ever qualification to the Concacaf Gold Cup.

It was also their first point in six meetings with the Reggae Boyz and only their third goal, which was welcomed by their Technical Director Brazillian Marcio Maximo who coached Jamaica's Head Coach Theodore Whitmore when he played for Livingstone in Scotland in 2003.

Jerome Waite, the Jamaican assistant coach, was not pleased with performance of the team and the result and said some of the players would not be part of the team moving forward.

“I am not pleased, but at the same time it was a situation of looking at some more players as they are part of the squad and we wanted to give them their chance, and come World Cup Qualifying time, some of them will not be there so it was an opportunity they got in this game,” he said.

Waite admitted that after dominating the competition up to then by scoring 20 goals in five wins, the team was expected to extend the winning run.

“Based on how the team performed earlier we expected them to win this game and all of us saw the game and saw the number of missed chances that we had in the first half and that added to the pressure, but we still expected them to be playing much better,” he said in addressing a post-match press conference.

Waite bristled at the suggestion that the team was short in quality at some positions. “We are not short of quality, we selected a squad of 23 players who we think could get the job done and they have been working assiduously since the start of the competition,” he asserted.

Waite was asked whether the raft of changes sent a signal that they did not have to work as hard in the game, but he denied it.

“No, definitely not, there was no change to the approach and in the team meetings just like every other game, you expect the players to apply themselves as it relates to the systems we have put in place,” he stated.

Maximo, the Guyana coach, said he was happy with the result and that it showed that his improving team could play with the best in the region.

“We had a hard game today, as Jamaica is very fast and we tried to stay compact as much as possible and not to allow them to create space which would make things difficult for us, and we tried to create space to attack,” he said.

“I think the game was very equal, Jamaica had some chance to win and we had clear chances to win, especially in the first half, but I think the result is correct, I think that is the perfect result for what both teams showed on the pitch,” Maximo said.

Jamaica got off to a good start and created a number of scoring chances in the first 10 minutes, but failed to get pass the Guyanese goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.

East missed from close range in the 15th minute after he was set up by Bobby Reid from the right wing, guiding the ball wide with Roberts at his mercy.

Akeem Chambers, who got his first start in the Jamaica goal, made his first save in the 35th minute when he tipped a shot over the bar for a corner.

Guyana broke the deadlock when a ball bounced over the head of defender Adrian Marriappa for Welshman to race on to and volley past Chambers.

As expected, Jamaica came out aggressively in the second half and got early rewards when East, who was allowed a second chance with a cross from Reid, poked the ball home from close range over the body of the diving Roberts in the 50th minute.


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