-Coach Fernandes closer to selecting final squad
The Guyana National Men’s Hockey Team lost the second and third games of their three match friendly series against Trinidad & Tobago over the weekend.
The second match was lost 0-4 on Saturday while the third was lost 2-5.
In the second game the Guyanese started much better than their first match, holding their own against a vaunted Trinidad setup.
Honours remained even throughout the first quarter and most of the second quarter, until Rayon Branford received a yellow card with five minutes left in the second quarter, which meant that Guyana would have to play with a man short for the rest of the half. The Guyanese held Trinidad at bay until the 28th minute when they conceded a penalty corner and Daniel Byer deflected in a Tariq Marcano drag-flick.
Two minutes later, on the stroke of half time, a clinical Trinidadian counter attack was finished by Kristien Emmanuel to make it 2-0.
Guyana started the second half strong creating several goal scoring opportunities which went begging. On one such occasion, debutant Edmond Chinian was awarded a penalty stroke after being fouled in the scoring area, but the opportunity went to waste as Andrew Stewart pushed the ball wide.
With Guyana pressing high to get on the score sheet, Marcano picked up the ball in space and eliminated one defender before sending a drive into the scoring which was deflected in by Dylan Francis in the 52nd minute. Trinidad were awarded a penalty corner on the stroke of full time and Marcano finished off a man of the match performance with a clinical drag flick finish off the base of the left post.
The 2-5 loss at was suffered by the Guyanese at the National Hockey Centre in Tacarigua on Sunday.
Although it was their third consecutive defeat at the hands of their highly rated opponents, it was by far their most competitive showing of the series. The Guyanese players seemed more comfortable on the artificial turf, playing a more fluid brand of hockey than in their first two matches.
It was Kristian Emmanuel who opened the scoring for Trinidad in the seventh minute, somewhat controversially after the ball initially popped up off his stick, striking Guyanese sweeper Dwayne Scott in the face. Three minutes later Joel Daniel unleashed a powerful reverse shot past Medroy Scotland to double Trinidad’s lead.
Guyana made it 1-2 when Captain Robert France tapped in the easiest of finishes after a blistering Jamarj Assanah counter attack. Shaquille Daniel then restored Trinidad’s two goal cushion in the 38th minute with a powerful penalty corner drag-flick into the bottom left corner, before Marcus James made it 4-1 in the 43rd minute.
Guyana were awarded a penalty stroke as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter, when Jamarj Assanah was brought down by Trinidadian goalkeeper Kwasi Emmanuel. Aroydy Branford converted the stroke to give the Guyanese some momentum heading into the final quarter.
However, in the first minute of the 4th quarter, Shaquille Daniel squashed all hopes of a comeback by pouncing onto a defensive error to seal the victory 5-2.
Meanwhile Coach of the men’s team Robert Fernandes revealed, “I am pleased with the boys’ progress over this series. It always takes us some time to adjust to the difference in the speed of the game on artificial turf compared to grass, however despite the score lines we achieved our main objectives for this tour.”
He continued, “Those were to see how the players performed under pressure, while having the intelligence and tactical flexibility to adjust to different systems and combinations of personnel. We now have more clarity on who will be our 16 for Colombia and how we will approach the next 4 weeks of training for the CAC games, to address our shortcomings.”