GFF head, Wayne Forde, urging fans to come out and support the local side
The Lady Jags are set to clash with Cuba this evening at the Leonora Track and Field Facility in the third and final Group D game of the CONCACAF Under-17 World Cup qualifiers. Cuba will need to defeat the inexperienced Guyana team by five goals or more to advance to the next round of qualification for the 2018 female under-17 World Cup that will be held Uruguay. The Lady Jags lost their first game to Barbados 5-1 on Wednesday last but that final score didn’t reflect the level of competitiveness of the match. In the second game of Group D played on Friday evening at Leonora, Barbados who came into the match against Cuba with a +4 goal difference, employed a clear defensive tactic. The Bajans held on for a goalless draw against Cuba who squandered many opportunities, including a penalty in the 65th minute. At the pre-match press conference yesterday, Cuba’s coach, Lazaro Ruiz Alfonso, stated that his team will be gunning for a huge win against the Lady Jags who lost heavily to Barbados in Wednesday’s opener. Despite Guyana’s proven weaknesses, Ruiz Alfonso stated that, “We have to be careful because no two games are similar.” Cuba’s left winger, Elianne Valdes Sarmiento, will be a player to watch this evening. On Friday she was one of the best players on the pitch, she dribbled and combined well with her teammates to get in behind the Bajans’ defence but her finishing was off, in addition, she failed to convert the penalty in the 65th minute. Poor finishing marred an otherwise dominant performance by the Cubans and their coach Ruiz Alfonso stated yesterday that the spirit within his team is high despite the pressure, “It was the first international game for a few of the girls and I’m contented with the way they played although they missed a lot of a great chances.” Speaking for the Lady Jags at the pre-match presser yesterday at the Ramada hotel, head of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, reiterated that, “The hosting of CONCACAF Under-17 Group D World Cup qualifiers is a launching pad for Guyana’s development of Women’s football.” The GFF head urged fans to rally behind the local side that played surprisingly well, judging the limited time they had to prepare for the qualifiers, “Guyana should be proud because the squad is 100% homebred Guyanese and I hope fans come out in their numbers to support the girls tomorrow, they will definitely need it.”
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