Guyana’s senior National female football team will face Jamaica today at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago, in a must win game between the two countries, to see who will get the Caribbean’s final spot to advance to the CONCACAF Olympic Qualification tournament next year. Kick off time: 17:00 hours.
With the Lady Jags and the Reggae Girls falling to Puerto Rico and Trinidad respectively, today’s game should be a classic.
It will be the first meeting between Jamaica and Guyana at the senior level and sadly, it comes at a time when either side can not afford to lose.
While Guyana has only qualified for one major CONCACAF tournament (2010 Gold Cup in Mexico), Jamaica, dating back to 1991, has played in five Gold Cup, with fourth place (2006) being their highest placing.
However, despite a considerable amount of success in the Caribbean, Jamaica, like Guyana, has never qualified for the Olympic Games.
The Lady Jags on the other hand, is still the most successful football team in Guyana’s footballing history by virtue of qualifying for the Gold Cup.
But none of that matter, since tonight, Head Coach Mark Rodrigues and his troops will be looking to recreate history by first, defeating Jamaica; something he (Rodrigues) said will happen.
The usually humble Rodrigues has declared his ladies the winner tonight, stating that they are more than ready for the challenge.
“They’re excited and would like the game to kick off right now” The Lady Jags head Coach proclaimed.
On Wednesday, in spite of their dominant game against Puerto Rico for 120 minutes, the Guyanese women fell 1 – 0 but according to Rodrigues “we’re past Wednesday game; its behind us, so its time to look ahead”
“We’ve been here before… It’s like déjà vu because I remember Cuba in 2010 and now its almost the same preparation and everything against Jamaica” said Rodrigues.
He added “This programme has always been about Guyana’s football and the development of women’s football in Guyana. The Girls have embraced that from day one and they know how important this game is to Guyana and the game (of football). With that in mind, they’re going to take it to the field”
Meanwhile, the team’s captain Ashley Rodrigues shares the same sentiments expressed by her coach, noting “we are ready for tonight’s game. Everyone knows what needs to be done, and we’re all fully prepared to lay everything on the line, as we do every game. I would say the mood amongst us is belief, camaraderie and a strong will to win. We can win this game and the expectation is to put all of our hard work into play tonight to get the job done”.
Trinidad and Puerto Rico by virtue of reaching the finals (of the CFU qualifiers), have already secured their place as the Caribbean’s representatives at the CONCACAF playoffs.
The USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala, have all qualified and would await the result of the Guyana/Jamaica game to see who will round off the eight-team CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier.
The CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship 2016 will be played in the United States from February 10-21, 2016, in the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas.
The two venues for the competition are BBVA Compass Stadium, home to the Houston Dash of the NWSL and the Houston Dynamo of MLS, and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, home to FC Dallas of MLS.
The top two finishers in the tournament will qualify for the 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.