A sizable viewership at the National Stadium in Providence witnessed Canada’s Olympic team outclassed the Golden Jaguars senior unit 5-1 yesterday.
Caleb Clarke, Richmond Laryea, Raheem Edwards, Ben Fisk and Jordan Hamilton were on target in the rout in 24th, 29th, 53rd, 73rd and 87th minutes respectively. On target in the loss was Hubert Pedro in the 68th minute.
With Gregory Richardson missing the matchup due to unknown reasons, Guyana fielded a starting XI comprising of Alex Murray, Kester Jacobs, Colin Nelson, Les Charles Critchlow, Quincy Adams, Trayon Bobb, Eon Alleyne, Ishankie Charles, Daniel Wilson, Delon Lanferman and Tichard Joseph.
The gap in quality of the sides was evident as Canada’s approach was nothing short of methodical while Guyana’s offence seemed a little rushed.
This translated into the Canadians almost taking the lead in the 13th minute as Fisk was denied by the onrushing goalkeeper in a one on one situation, after racing onto a through pass inside the left of the box.
The visitors deservedly get grabbed the lead as Clarke netted, slotting home first time into the right hand corner after collecting a right side cross. The play started from a brilliant long ball from the midfield to release the winger.
Fisk almost added to the lead two minutes later, cutting in from the left side of the box before unleashing a powerful right foot strike, which was spilt by the goalkeeper. Nevertheless, the Canadians doubled their lead as Laryea scored under fortuitous circumstances.
The conversion commenced following an errant pass which was intercepted in the centre of Guyana’s defensive third, allowing the player to pass the ball into the path of the onrushing forward who finished past the goalkeeper into the right corner, despite the desperate attempt at a goal-line clearance by Nelson.
On the backfoot for most of the encounter, Guyana finally fashioned their first attempt on target in the 32nd minute. A notable spark in a lacklustre Guyana performance, Bobb delivered a left side cross into the path of Alleyne, who lashed his first time attempt from the top of the box straight at the goalkeeper.
On the other end, it almost became 3-0 in the 42nd minute as Fisk was denied, lashing a powerful left foot strike from the left of the box which was parried by the diving Murray.
Upon the commencement of the second stanza, the home side opted for three changes. Dwight Peters replaced Eon Alleyne while Lanferman made way for Hubert Pedro and Devon Millington replaced Charles.
The tactical switch did not stop the visitors from increasing their tally as Edwards netted. With the home support reduced to silence following the first period exploits, Edwards made his presence felt as he curled a left foot strike into the top left hand corner, after collecting a left side cross on top of the box which evaded the backline.
Further changes continued to be made by the home side to find a foothold in proceedings. This time Joseph made way for Clive Nobrega while Solomon Austin came in for Critchlow and Pernell Schultz replaced Peters due to injury.
The change seemed to inspire the hosts as Pedro netted his first international goal, placing his effort from inside the centre of the box into the lower left corner, after collecting a perfectly played pass from Millington outside the box.
The conversion brought the crowd to their feet as majority of the fixture they watched their team being outplayed. However the celebrations proved to be brief as Fisk restored his side’s three goal lead four minutes onward.
It was a reply of the highest quality as Fisk raced onto a right side pass before dribbling the advancing goalkeeper within the left of the box and rifling the ball into the lower right corner from a tight angle, despite being cornered by two trailing defenders.
Hamilton then applied the final nail in the coffin three minutes to the end of normal time, calmly finishing into the right corner following a right side corner-kick.
On the other side, Schultz almost added his name to the scorer’s sheet in the 89th minute, firing wide of the left corner after collecting the ball inside the centre of the box. With the defeat, Guyana will now turn their attention to the second round of the CFU Caribbean Cup Qualifiers which is slated to commence in June.
Meeting the teams prior to the kickoff included GFF President Wayne Forde, GFF Vice-Presidents Bruce Lovell and Rawlston Adams, Canadian High Commissioner Pierre Giroux, Minister of Presidency Joseph Harmon, and GFF International Ambassador Alex Bunbury.
Meanwhile in the opening exhibition fixture, Milo champs Chase Academy defeated four time defending Digicel champs Christianburg/Wismar Secondary by a 2-1 score line.