Guyana’s attempt to secure its maiden qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup suffered a huge setback when they went down to hosts French Guiana 2-1 yesterday in the Nations League at the Dr. Edmard Lama Municipal Stadium, Cayenne.
A double from Jules Haabo was enough for the ‘French Department’ to walk-away with the vital three points and secure their first ever victory against the Golden Jaguars.
Haabo opened the scoring in the 18th minute, following a sustained period of offensive pressure. A brilliant right-footed finish from Haabo, one minute into the second period, strengthened the home side’s grip on the contest.
However, veteran midfielder Neil Danns ensured a nervous ending to the contest, sweeping home into the back of the net, following a corner-kick.
Nevertheless, the host held on in the remaining minutes for the win. With the loss, Guyana remains on four points and drops into the 14th position, which is out of the CONCACAF Qualification berths slated for the top 10 finishers. On the other hand, French Guiana climb into 11th place on six points.
The numbers made for some interesting analysis, highlighting the nature of the clash which differed on either side of the halftime whistle.
French Guiana were the superior side in the first period, recording 54 percent possession. This greatly changed in the second half, as Guyana monopolized possession, especially in the latter stages, as they desperately searched for an equalizer.
Overall, Guyana, whose starting XI consisted of Kai McKenzie-Lyle Terence Vancooten, Kevin Layne, Walter Moore, Colin Nelson, Neil Danns, Elliot Bonds, Daniel Wilson, Kadell Daniel, Trayon Bobb and Sheldon Holder, ended on 54 percent.
This equated to 229 passes completed out of 252 attempted for an accuracy rate of 91 percent.
The host completed 184 of the 204 attempted passes for a conversion of 90 percent.
The domination in possession directly translated into 15 interceptions registered compared to French Guiana’s nine.
However, the home side was efficient in several categories that were pivotal to their success. The Frenchmen tallied 13 shots, seven of which were on target.
On the other hand, Guyana mustered seven, three of which forced saves from the custodian. In terms of Corners won, French Guiana tallied seven compared to Guyana’s meager two.
Guyana is now faced with a must-win clash against Belize on March 23rd 2019 at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.