The national U19 hockey team began their tour of Trinidad and Tobago with a solid effort by hammering Shape 9-0 in their opening match of the 16th Ventures Invitational Indoor tournament Friday evening.
The match, which was played at the renowned University of the West Indies (UWI) Sports & Physical Education Centre (SPEC) indoor facility, saw six of the Guyanese scoring.
The win mirrored a sound offensive showing, which saw Warren Williams, Meshach Sargeant and Nandalall Persaud netting twice for the Guyanese.
The trio was supported by Kareem McKenzie, Shomere Garnett and Jamarj Assanah, all of whom went past the upright once to complete the drubbing.
Coach Robert Fernandes, in breaking down the performance, explained that the Guyanese were placed under early pressure which evaporated after McKenzie, in the fifth minute, unleashed a bullet of a drag flick into the top right corner to settle his team’s nerves with that all-important first goal.
The Guyanese, he added, grew in confidence from that point on and found their second strike in the 13th minute when captain Assanah evaded several defenders to put his team two goals clear.
One minute later, Sargeant scored to send his team into halftime up 3-0.
Immediately following the resumption of play, Garnett made it 4-0 while Williams scored Guyana’s fifth goal – the strike of the game – when he stole the ball from Shape’s right back and reverse lobbed it over the advancing goalkeeper.
The Guyanese continued their dominant display to leave the score at 9-0 at the end of the final whistle.
“The boys did well today, I was pleased with their response to adversity and their ability to recognise tactical changes by our opponents and to make the necessary adjustments, “said Fernandes.
“However, they will have to lift their game tomorrow [Saturday] to be competitive against two much tougher opponents in traditional powers Queen’s Park II and Fatima,” he added.
“The objective of this tour is to give the next generation of national players some international exposure to both indoor and outdoor hockey, so we’ve been having twice a day practices since we got here, both at the indoor facility and on the artificial turf at the national hockey centre,” Fernandes said in his post-match comments.
L –R: Standing – Jamarj Assnah, Omar Hopkinson, Tivesarid Garnett, Meshach Sargeant, Kareem McKenzie, Robert Fernandes (Coach)
L – R Kneeling – Shomere Garnett, Nickel Ashby, Warren Williams, Paul D’Andrade, Shakeem Fausette, Nandalall Persaud, Samuel Woodroffe-