Digicel Cup Game 13: Guyana 1 St. Lucia 0

A beautiful curling free kick 25 yards from goal by Christopher Bourne, Guyana’s left back, after only 9 minutes was a fitting way to begin Group C.  St. Lucia’s custodian Iran Cassius appeared glued to the ground as he seemed surprised that the shot managed to clear the wall, it was a testament to Bourne’s skill. Guyana’s ‘Golden Jaguars’ opened their quest for the top spot in Group C of the Digicel Cup 2010 with a 1-0 win over St. Lucia.

The Guyanese looked a compact unit as they showed plenty of patience in their build up play and managed to maintain possession for long periods. Although going a goal behind the St. Lucian’s were content to keep numbers behind the ball and appeared very cautious in pushing forward.  When they did the experience of the Guyanese defenders; Captain Howard Lowe, Charles Pollard, Jake Newton and Bourne completely nullified the St. Lucian strike duo.

On 29 minutes Devon Millington, the Guyanese striker, had a great chance to extend their lead but his shot was a tame effort. St. Lucia won a rare free kick in the 31st minute but Ronson Williams in goal for Guyana had no problems in saving. As Guyana continued to push forward, they created a number of chances but were not able to convert. A commanding display of possession ball in the first half by Guyana but just a solitary goal was the result.

St. Lucia came out in the 2nd half with a little more purpose but did not seriously threaten as the Guyanese defense continued to remain solid. In the 60th minute Dwain Jacobs had a good attempt denied as the keeper managed to touch the ball over. The energetic Bourne pushed forward in the 68th minute and almost scored his second but his shot was again deflected for another corner as Cassius continued to deny the Guyanese. Anthony Abrams joined the action but his shot too was parried away for yet another corner. Dwain Jacobs’ free kick seemed destined for goal number two but was tipped over the bar by the acrobatic Cassius and Bourne again with another free kick suffered the same fate as the Jaguars continued to pepper Cassius.

The danger at one-nil is that anything can happen no matter how dominant a team has been and St. Lucia’s best chance of the game was created in the 87th minute when their striker was through with only the keeper to beat but the shot ended up being a weak one as the defenders did just enough to put him off.  It may have been unjust but that’s the risk when you fail to be clinical in attack. The final whistle sounded soon after, Guyana achieved their objective of obtaining maximum points, St. Lucia will have to regroup for their second game against Suriname on Friday evening while Guyana take on the Netherlands Antilles. 

Commenting after the game, St. Lucia’s Coach Alain Providence said that he was not all that disappointed with the result since they are grooming a team for the future, “this is a young team with only four players who have international experience. We are actually preparing for the next Digicel Cup in two years. We have identified our mistakes and will correct them in time for the next game.”

Head Coach of the Guyana team Wayne Dover noted that it was a good feeling to take full points against St. Lucia but felt his team did not execute many of the things they had gone through in training, “after the first half I had a serious talk with them and saw some changes in the second half. The introduction of Dwight Peters and Dwayne Ali brought some life to the game with Abrams also coming alive but we still have issues scoring enough goals.”  Dover also complimented the St. Lucia keeper Iran Cassius for doing extremely well in the game.