Hockey men and women qualify for CAC with gold and silver finish

Written by  Monday, 13 November 2017 00:00

The Guyana female hockey team stunned the voluminous Jamaican crowd on Sunday 12th November at the Mona Sports Complex in Kingston Jamaica with a 1-0 victory in the lady’s final of the CAC qualifier.  The Guyanese men however had to settle for silver after a disappointing end to the men’s competition which had to be cancelled after 20 minutes of play due to faulty issues with the field lights.  Since Jamaica got the edge of Guyana in the pool round by 3-2, they were adjudged the winners.

The women’s match started slow and tentative and, as their earlier 0-0 pool round result showed, it would not be easy for either side to score.  Guyana made some changes from the earlier clash in their team formation which seemed to produce more productive spells of possession in the final.  Despite both defences holding firm for more than ¾ of the match, the Guyanese pressure eventually found the breakthrough when a penalty corner routine saw the ball passed right and then back left for a shot.  While the Jamaican goalkeeper managed to block the shot, Latacia Chung was well positioned to slam home the lone goal of the match.

President of the Guyana Hockey Board and coach of the women’s national team indicated his great satisfaction of his team’s performance saying that they responded well to the changes implemented throughout the tournament and lifted their level of play when it counted most.  He indicated that there were several senior players who were unavailable for this tour due to work commitments or injury but this afforded the opportunity for new young players to gain valuable exposure.

With regard to the men’s performance, Fernandes was high in praise for the players and the astute tactical work by coach Robert Fernandes.  The GHB President lamented the misfortune of the men’s side stating that he was confident they could pull off the victory in the final.  “When Robert and I discussed the men’s pool match against Jamaica, he indicated to me that he was not going to show all his cards as the Guyanese men were already through to the final.”  Philip Fernandes said “The Guyanese men lost the pool match but had more than double the scoring opportunities of the opposition and I have no doubt they would have been much better in the final.”

The gold and silver nevertheless have qualified both teams for the CAC games in Baranquilla, Colombia in July 2018 and so according to Fernandes, there is not a moment to spare as time is short and the teams would need to perform even better to medal at an event of that level.  Puerto Rico secured the bronze in both competitions and will be the first reserve country if any other is unable to participate.

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