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Golden Jaguars roar to 2-0 win over St. Lucia

Alleyne and Holder hit the target

By Franklin Wilson
Guyana’s ‘Golden Jaguars’ shut out the visiting St. Lucians 2-0 last evening at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence to come away victors of their international friendly as both nations prepare for the CONCACAF round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying for Russia 2018.


The Golden Jaguars in a jubilant mood following their triumph against St. Lucia last evening.

Goals either side of play off the boot of Eon Alleyne in the 34th minute and Sheldon Holder four minutes into the second half allowed the Guyanese to avenge a similar loss to the St. Lucians last year in the CFU Caribbean Cup in that island.
The Golden Jaguars looked a compact unit and were able to put in a solid performance against the St. Lucians who themselves looked a formidable side but it was the

Golden Jaguars backed by a very appreciative crowd that prevailed on the night.
St. Lucia started the game very positively and enjoyed the opening exchanges but as the game matured, the Golden Jaguars found their roaring range which allowed them to impose their brand of football on the visitors.
Alleyne was playing in tandem upfront with Daniel Wilson and it was this combination along with Vurlon Mills who enjoyed a solid game that produced the opening goal for the Guyanese. The composed Alleyne nailed his shot past Randy Poleon in St. Lucia’s goal to the roars of the fans which included Honourable Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony, Chairman of the Guyana Football Federation Normalisation Committee Clinton Urling and Banks DIH Coca Cola Brand Manager Jennifer Khan among other dignitaries.
The home team kept up the momentum in the second period of play and wasted no time in doubling the advantage when Holder, who also scored against Barbados on February 1st last in that drawn (2-2) encounter, nailed his shot past the well beaten Poleon, close to his left.
That goal virtually sealed the fate of the visitors as both sides took the opportunity to expose many of their players as they seek to get the right combination of players.
Guyana made six subs, Dawin Jacobs replaced Vurlon Mills in the 46th, Holder made way for Emery Welshman in the 68th, Clive Nobrega came on for Eon Alleyne (74), four minutes later, Konata Manning came in for Brandon Beresford, Jermaine Junior made his debut in the 80th minute in place of Daniel Wilson, while Daniel White also made his international debut when he replaced Joshua Brown in the 87th minute. St. Lucia made five changes.
At the post match press conference, Assistant Coach of St. Lucia Anthony Meshach Jn Baptiste said that Guyana played very well both in attack and defence. He also said that his charges gave a good account of themselves, except for a few lapses which cost them the game.
Next on the radar for the St. Lucians Jn Baptists said is the Windward Islands tournament where they will play three matches that will give them another opportunity to further assess the team ahead of World Cup Qualifying.
Captain Sheldon Emanuel in his summary of the game said that they started very well and were intense in the first half, but Guyana’s Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz, he said, employed different tactics which made them {St. Lucia} having to employ long passes as the Guyana players marked them more closely.
Match fitness Emanuel said was not there for them given that this was their first game for the year acknowledging that Guyana were better prepared tactically and technically.
Shabazz speaking with the press after said that it was a total effort from his charges and unlike the Barbados game, they were able to make more football action which was as a result of a higher level of fitness.
“We could have seen bits and pieces of what we want to see for Guyana’s football. I think it was so important for us to win tonight not for us, we are very serious about our football, it was for the fans, corporate Guyana, the politicians and for everybody to see that we are very serious.”
Captain Chris Nurse stated that the team had something to prove since a number of players felt disgruntled in the way they were left out of the Guyana team for the CFU Cup in St. Lucia last year.
“Today a lot of players wanted to prove a point that had the best team been selected for that tournament Guyana could have been competing in the Gold Cup this year against the USA and Mexico because French Guiana is competing against Honduras for the final spot.”
Nurse noted that they were now developing as a team and getting better game by game, pointing out that there was a better level of fitness displayed in the game and more cohesion.
“But there is still a lot that we can improve on as a team. It wasn’t a complete performance, we kept a clean sheet and we got a good result and that’s always very positive in international football.”
The Guyanese will now regroup and focus on the challenge of Grenada next Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
Meanwhile, the English Premier League duo of Neil Danns and Matthew Briggs arrived in Guyana last night and made a stop at the Stadium. They will be officially introduced to Guyana when the GFF host a press conference tomorrow at their headquarters from 11:00hrs.


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