Golden Jaguars suffer second loss on Brazilian tour

Kelsey Benjamin (centre) of Guyana, trying to maintain possession of the ball while being challenged by an America FC player during their match at the Estádio Giulite Coutinho, Rio De Janeiro.

The Golden Jaguars suffered their second consecutive loss of their Brazilian Tour, going down to host, America Football Club 2-1, on Monday at the Estádio Giulite Coutinho, Rio De Janeiro.

The home side took the lead moments before the conclusion of the first half, before Guyana fortuitously equalised compliments of an own goal in the second stanza.

However, the home side secured the go-ahead goal via a penalty kick conversion. Guyana remains winless on the maiden tour, following a record of two losses and a draw against state teams. At press time, Guyana were facing off with another state side, Bangu Atletico Clube in their final match.

According to an official release from the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), “We didn’t want it to end, we were saying another five, ten minutes; such was our performance, we were in the ascendency, we were pushing forward and pressing. The lads have really taken on board what we’ve been doing over the last eight days against the best team we’ve played to date,” Jaguars Head Coach, Michael Johnson was quoted, in an official release from the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), as saying.

Johnson elaborated, “It’s not about the results, it just shows how we are improving, how the information is going in and how they are taking it on board and applying it.”

The Head Coach further noted, “I think today [Monday] what we saw were lots of performances where they were actually grabbing hold of some of the key nuggets that I and Senior Coach Taffazul Islam Rehman have been teaching them about in the week.”

According to Johnson, more work is required on the defensive side of the ball, adding “We are never that perfect model, but what I can say is that it’s been a massive uplift from when we saw them first, defensively attacking and attacking-wise to where we are now. What we can see is that there is at least 40 to 50 percent increase in some of the ways and some of the performances just by being in the right positions at times – better starting positions, better places to receive the ball – so you are not now near an opponent, you are working off the ball. Not playing on the same lines, so now you are now playing off it diagonally so when you see the ball comes in on an angle, it allows you to see the game better.”

Johnson stated, “People get picked off, they get disgruntled and annoyed, but now we are going more as a team and you have seen that in the game. It was really pleasing to watch and, as I said, I didn’t want it to finish. Such was the nature of the game; we were enjoying it so much we didn’t want it to finish.”

“We had a really long, good look at certain players we felt had done really good over the course of the week but the second period when the other players came on, they stepped up; and that’s great, because what you don’t want to see is people moaning or groaning or not showing that passion. They responded in the right and proper way and it gives you another headache going into the final game on Thursday”, he added.  

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