By Emmerson Campbell
It was not the result the fans were expecting.
Guyana’s Golden Jaguars football team crashed to a disappointing 0-4 defeat to Costa Rica in a Group B game of the third round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers at the Providence National Stadium last evening.
Two goals in each half put paid to the hopes of the locals who also lost their opening game 1-3 to Mexico at the Azeteca Stadium in Mexico last Friday.
Yesterday’s defeat was a crushing blow for coach Jamaal Shabazz’s men whose next encounter will be an away game against El Salvador.
Costa Rica’s star was undoubtedly Alvaro Saborio who netted a hat-trick by scoring in the 20th 26th, 52nd minutes.
Joel Campbell added the fourth goal in the 77th minute.
In front of a spirited, half-filled stadium with the spectators decked out in yellow, the Jags came out on the attack with Shabazz starting the strike duo of Carl Cort and Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson up front.
The move saw the locals creating several chances to score and they almost did as a corner kick, by Kayode McKinnon, was sent into Costa Rica’s 18-yard box and headed into the bottom part of the horizontal post and seemed to cross the goal line but was subsequently waved off by the referee.
Saborio’s first goal came just inside the 18-yard box from a low kick after he received a crisp pass from Bryan Oviedo running down the left flank. The shot easily beat Guyana’s goalkeeper Ronson Williams and silenced the supporters.
Saborio again got past the Jaguars line of defence and into the 18-yard box. This
time he received a pinpoint pass from Campbell which was easily headed into the back of the net.
Both teams continued to play spiritedly as Guyana sought to pull one back while the Costa Ricans seemed intent on scoring more goals but at half time, the score remained two-nil.
The second half saw the impressive Saborio completing his hat-trick after Michael Barrantes dribbled his way past Walter Moore and Ricky Shakes to find his teammate who struck gold with a left-footed pat.
Costa Rica’s unassailable lead was extended in the 77th minute when Campbell lobbed the ball just outside the 18-yard box over the head of Williams. That goal took the bite out of the Jaguars and sent the crowd to the exits.
The Jaguars next encounter will be an away game versus the other Group B foe El Salvador which is rated 55 by FIFA on September 9 while the 65th ranked Costa Rica’s next game will also be on the same day when they host CONCACAF champions Mexico.
Lisa Punch sang the National Anthem.
Guyana’s starting 11 was Williams, Jake Newton, JP Rodrigues, Leon Cort, Moore, Shakes, Chris Nurse, Carl Cort, Kayode McKinnon, Kester Jacobs and Richardson.
Costa Rica’s starting 11 was: Keilor Navas (Goal keeper), Jose Salvatierra, Mauricio Castillo, Joel Campbell, Oscar Rojas, Alvaro Saborio, Michael Barrantes, Bryan Oviedo, Roy Miller, Giancarlo Gonzalez, and Jose Miguel Cubero.