Guyana got off to the worst possible start in the CONCACAF Girls U17 Football Qualifying Championship, losing to Barbados by a 1-5 score line yesterday at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.
Although the Guyanese produced fleeting moments of brilliance especially from the diminutive Jalade Trim, the visiting Barbadians were efficient from kickoff, as they easily outclassed the local ladies.
Akilah Castello, Head-Coach of the Guyana team during a post match press conference said, “It was a good game for us. We are not worried about the end result, the players would have shown the fight given the disadvantages they would have faced coming into the game.”
She added, “It came down to nerves, it was the first time they were exposed to such a major game.” The contest, which was the first for the Guyanese girls in three years at this age group, started favourably for the locals. Tiandi Smith gave the sizable crowd a reason to celebrate in the 12th minute, unleashing a right foot free-kick, which sailed through the hands of the goalkeeper and into the net.
However, the lead proved to be short-lived, as Barbados equalised four minutes later through Caitlin Padmore. From that point, Barbados asserted their dominance, recording four unanswered goals.
An own goal in the 21st minute handed the visitors the advantage, as Smith registered an unfortunate own goal. Attempting to a clear a free-kick from the left side, Smith inadvertently deflected her attempted clearance into the back of the net, much to the disappointment of the large fanbase.
Upon the resumption of the second half, the Barbadians capitalised on the poor judgement and the height of the Guyanese goalkeeper, tallying three goals from free-kick situations.
Tia Briggs-Thompson added her name to the scorer’s sheet in the 50th minute, unleashing a lobbed effort from 35 yards out in the center of the field, which sailed over the goalkeeper and into the centre of the net.
The score quickly ballooned to 4-1, with Tiana Sealey scoring one minute onward, curling a right foot strike from 25 yards out on the left side of the field into the right corner.
Briggs-Thompson then completed the lopsided second period in the 71st minute, lobbing another right foot strike from just over the halfway mark, that easily sailed over the custodian and settled into the centre of the net.
The event will now continue tomorrow at the same venue from 17:00hrs, with Barbados battling heavyweight Cuba. The Guyanese will conclude their campaign against Cuba on Sunday at the same venue.
Among the notable attendees were GFF President Wayne Forde, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Dr George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion.