Guyana kicked out of CONCACAF Men’s U20 Championship

Goal Scorer Kelsey Benjamin (right) of Guyana trying to race away from the pursuing Akeem Hyde of Cayman Islands during their matchup in the CONCACAF Men’s U20 Championship at the IMG Academy in Florida, USA

Guyana sunk to further levels of embarrassment in the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship, losing to lowly Cayman Islands 3-2 yesterday at the modernized IMG Academy in Florida, USA.

Efforts to contact Coach Wayne Dover for a comment proved futile, as Guyana was effectively dumped out of the tournament.  As one spectator uttered upon hearing the result, “How could you lose to tiny Cayman Islands. Little Cayman Islands won against Guyana.”

The aforementioned quote highlighted the depths to which the team has sunk following their horrid 4-0 loss to Guatemala. With a population of less than 70,000 as of this year, Cayman Islands became the smallest nation to defeat the Golden Jaguars.

Ryan Dowding (center) of Guyana, racing across the middle of the field while being challenged by Cayman Islands J. Dain Alexander at the IMG Academy in Florida, USA in the CONCACAF Men’s U20

Similarly, analysis of the numbers made for some interesting reading, as it highlighted what was an evenly contested affair.

Both teams had 15 overall attempts, with Cayman Islands edging Guyana 8-7 on shots at goal. In terms of the possession statistic, Guyana monopolised 56 per cent, while attempting 270 passes (an improvement on their 91 attempted against Guatemala), of which 212 were completed. For Cayman Islands, 171 passes were attempted, with 140 finding their intended target. Both sides recorded an 82 per cent pass-accuracy rate.

In the interceptions category, Cayman Islands doubled their opponent’s count with 16, while in the corners section, both sides recorded six each. With regards to fouls committed, Guyana led this category with 13 compared to Cayman Islands 6.

Watched by a sprinkling of spectators under beautiful sunlight, Guyana got off to the perfect start in the fifth minute, after selecting a starting XI consisting of Johnathan Vaughn [GK], Nixon Robertson, Jeremy Garrett (Captain), Cecil Jackman, Kwai M. Brown, Ryan Dowding, Job Caesar, Ryan Hackett, Nicholas Mc Arthur, Kelsey Benjamin and Thair Britton.

Benjamin opened the scoring, racing onto a loose ball, before directing his effort onto the woodwork and into the back of the net. However, akin to the Guatemala clash, Guyana conceded at the stroke of halftime as Cayman Islands was awarded a penalty kick for a clumsy challenge. Custodian Albertini Hoelness made no mistake from the distance, slotting his effort into the left corner, sending his opposing number the wrong way.

Upon the resumption, Cayman Islands seized the initiative in the 58th minute through Kareem Foster, who intercepted the ball inside the left of the box, and rifled a powerful strike into the lower right corner.

Guyana responded immediately in the 60th minute, giving hope of a possible come from behind win as substitute Chris Macey slotted home from inside the six yard area, after latching onto a pass from the left side.

However Cayman Islands secured the historic result, with Jabari Campbell providing the proverbial ‘final nail in the coffin’ seven minutes onward.

Forcing an interception down the left side, Campbell cut back onto his right foot inside the left of the box, before uncorking a thunderous shot, which struck the crossbar and nestled into the right side of the net.

With the defeat, Guyana drops into the cellar position and remains pointless. They will now battle Curacao from 12:45hrs in the third matchup tomorrow (November 8th).

The group campaign will conclude on November 10th against El Salvador from 19:45hrs.

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