The Jamaal Shabazz show continued on its merry path as Guyana clinched their second home win in as many matches, dismantling CONACACAF Gold Cup bound and CFU rival Grenada 2-0 yesterday at the National Stadium in Providence.
While it was not a sold out crowd, the second international on local shores in over 29 months was all about former Fruta Conquerors standout Pernell Schultz who netted a first half double in the 18th and 32nd minutes.
Similar to the St. Lucia win a week earlier, Guyana exacted revenge for their 2-1 defeat on November 12th 2012. Guyana’s next international assignment is against St. Vincent and the Grenadines during the month of June in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Swapping their 4-2-3-1 formation for a 4-4-2 setup, the starting 11 for the Golden Jaguars consisted of Anthony Whyte (goalkeeper),Colin Nelson, Jamal Smith, Matthew Briggs Joshua Browne, Walter Moore, captain Chris Nurse, , Neil Danns, Pernell Schultz, Vurlon Mils and Emery Welshman.
With the decibel level nearing a fever pitch, the home side would fashion the first chance in the fifth minute as Nurse was denied by the keeper, striking an instinctive effort inside the six-yard box during a scramble following a right sided corner kick.
Schultz’s first major foray into the match should have resulted in a goal one minute later as he fired his effort wide of an empty net from within the centre of the box unchallenged, after latching onto a Welshman squared pass from the left side.
However, the Caledonia AIA forward would not disappoint with his very next involvement 12 minutes later, sending the crowd into a frenzy as he placed his first time strike into the right hand corner, after receiving a flat right sided Mills cross within the centre of the box.
It would then be seventh heaven for the viewership as Schultz sealed his double 14 minutes onward, finishing into the lower left corner past the advancing keeper following a one-on-one situation, after racing onto a Welshman through pass from the centre of the field.
Guyana’s dominance would continue in the second stanza as Eon Alleyne almost found the back of the net.
Making his entrance in the 65th minute to replace Mills, Alleyne almost added to his tally from the St. Lucia encounter, firing his first time shot wide of left corner from inside centre of box, after racing onto a flat left sided pass from Briggs which evaded the Grenada backline.
The Golden Jaguars should have definitely added to their tally one minute onward as fellow substitute Sheldon Holder missed a glorious chance.
Replacing Schultz as part of a double change in the 65th minute, the slender attacker upon skipping past the onrushing keeper in a one-on-one situation within the centre of the box, would lose control of the ball, allowing the Grenada backline to recover and thwart the danger.
The struggles would only intensify for the visitors as centre half Shannon Phillip was sent off in the 75th minute after picking up his second bookable offence for handling the ball.
Further turmoil would befall the Grenadines as head-coach Lester Smith was removed from the technical area two minutes onward for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Under the pump for most of the night, Grenada would finally fashion a shot on target as Cassim Langaigne was denied in the 83rd minute, directing his powerful header onto the crossbar from inside the six yard box, after climbing to meet a right sided cross.
Eventually making entrances into the fixture for the remaining minutes were Clive Nobrega, Trayon Bobb, Daniel Wilson and Daniel Whyte.
Prior to the international start, both teams were met by GFF Normalization Committee Chairman Clinton Urling, Committee member Stewart May, Banks DIH Limited representatives Carlton Joao and Brian Choo-Hen and Kashif and Shanghai co-director Aubrey Major.
In the earlier exhibition fixture, West Demerara u-23 defeated Berbice u-23 by a 2-1 score line.