It started out on a cool calm Sunday afternoon in the capital city Georgetown. The place to be was Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, Bourda for the opportunity to see Guyana's Golden Jaguars as they continued their bid for World Cup 2010. The game was against Grenada's best footballers. There was an air of excitement in the stands as the fans braced themselves to see their team compete, for many this was their first opportunity to see the team in action.
The game saw Guyanese of all races, ages, and class coming together to root for their team of choice. I am almost positive the Grenadian team had supporters in attendance. The stands were filled with persons prepared to watch an eventful and entertaining contest between the two teams. The level of support that the players received was encouraging showing that the fans are behind the team and are willing to show their support by coming out and watching them perform.
The game was spirited and exciting. There were times that I couldn't see the action in my half since the spectators would all stand up in expectation of a goal. The Grenadians were the first to strike when they penetrated the Jaguars' defense and were able to convert that opportunity to put them up 1-0 after about 20 minutes of play. The Guyanese were however not to be outdone. Their opportunity came by way of a cross from a right striker into the box of the opposition splitting the defense and causing the center striker to attempt a shot. The shot was initially blocked by the keeper and was deflected to the left striker who was on target for the equalizer. This goal had an electrifying effect of the crowd and lifted spirits all around the ground. It was also an incentive for fans to stay and was a hot topic as the goal came two minutes before the end of the first half.
The second half was not short on excitement because each team sought the opportunity to take the lead and secure the win. In an effort to achieve this goal the game took a more physically aggressive tone. As a result of this the referee was forced to produce a few yellow cards to players from both teams in an effort to calm the tensions on the field of play. This did little to ease the nervous atmosphere that was in the stands. This tension came to an end when a striker from the Grenadian side took advantage of an error on the part of the defense on the Guyana half of the field and was able to penetrate unchallenged into the penalty box. The striker made no mistake in putting his team on top by beating the unassisted goalie. This was much to the dismay to the players but more so the fans who debated how the striker could have made it that far into the penalty area unchallenged. The goal undoubtedly motivated the Guyanese players to seek an equalizer. Several attempts were made on the Grenadian goal but to no avail. As tension built up on and off the field it was seen clearly when a Grenadian player was given a second yellow card and was sent off. Many thought the Guyanese would have sought the opportunity to use their numbers against the Grenadian side who were now one player down to equalize and possibly win, but this was not accomplished.
The game was nevertheless an exciting contest showcasing the best of Guyanese football talent taking on the best of Grenada. The game was physically charged which saw the whistle being blown seven times for injuries and saw players from both teams being taken off the field on stretchers for medical attention. Regardless of the injuries, the game was entertaining and exciting. There were a few areas of concern in terms of the performance and strategy of the national team but I am sure those matters will be addressed by team management. Disregarding that the teams performance was to be commended and I am sure as they travel throughout the Caribbean in the coming weeks their performance will only get better and they will make us as Guyanese proud.
By Andrew Ross
Our Golden Jaguars were caught practising yesterday afternoon for the highly anticipated friendly match against Grenada. The showdown is set for GCC Bourda ground today at 15:00 hrs sharp.
It was a very intense session at the GNS ground on Carifesta Avenue as the team held their second meet for the day. The afternoon practice included warm-up drills followed by scrimmage restricted to two-touch. The team seemed quite ready and fearless of the future contenders on the road to the World Cup qualifiers. A high team morale was evident as the 'A' team (orange) played the 'B' team (white) during the session.
The Golden Jaguars technical staff includes Wayne Dover (Head Coach), Kavin Pearce (Assistant Coach), Lindley Longhorn (Physical Trainer and Medic) and Jamaal Shabazz (Technical Director). The physical trainer and medic proved quite capable when instructing the team during the warm-ups and the warm-downs. When asked about the team's future plans, head coach Wayne Dover mentioned several international friendly matches are to be played prior to the World Cup 2010 qualifying matches scheduled for June in Suriname.
Guyana came alive in anticipation of Beenie Man, the "Dr. Moses" himself, at the National park on December 29th, 2007. A massive crowed, coupled with hype characteristic of the "King" assured all of this: Guyana was about to enjoy classics like "Romie" and "Dancehall Queen," and would rock to new hits like "Swing it Away."
The Guinness- sponsored event has audio provided by the Lion Heart Sound System, which showcased some of the best DJ-ing of the hottest tracks of 2007. This set the stage for the local artistes who came on at 11 p.m. Fojo was first. He was followed by Adrian Dutchin and Jomo of X2, who delivered a very exciting performance for the ladies. Shelly G then made her appearance and performed hit songs "Touch Meh" and "Freaky Freaky." The show also featured some new local talents; Silver Cat was the last of the local performers for the evening.
Fambo was next in line and performed a few of his hits, including "Drunken Dance." It was then time for the King to take over. He made a spectacular entrance and proved his impeccable stage presence. He held the crowd in high anticipation as his band started up, and successfully held momentum throughout a truly sensational performance. His band must be acknowledged for its absolutely amazing accompaniment.
Due to the large gathering, transportation proved to be a hassle as it began to rain. This, however, did not quell the enjoyment of the evening's proceedings. The night was basically a combination of pure hype, a great crowd and sheer enjoyment for all.
By Ayana Constance