GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 24, CMC – The Guyana Jaguars created history in front of thousands of their home fans when they punched their ticket to the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday night with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Belize.
It was a perfect result for the Jaguars who needed a victory to qualify for the finals.
Playing at the National Track and Field Center, first half strikes from Neil Danns and Emery Welshman were enough to send the home side through to their first ever finals, despite a goal from Belize’s Elroy Kuylen.
Belize was unfortunate to have a goal disallowed for offside in the opening minutes,
However, Guyana seized control of the match thereafter, and Welshman should have given them the lead inside 10 minutes, but his tame shot was gobbled up by Belize’s skipper and goalkeeper, Woodrow West.
Danns put them in the lead a few minutes later, when he scored from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after Welshman was fouled inside the box.
He should have made it 2-0, but after Welshman won another penalty Dann chose to go the keeper’s right this time and fluffed the chance.
Guyana was made to pay for those wasted opportunities in the 25th minute when Kulyen curled a beautiful free kick from 25 yards out to level the score at 1-1.
But on the stroke of half time, Welshman put the Jaguars back into the lead with a powerful shot from outside the box.
And while the second half provided opportunities for both sides, neither could capitalize.
After the historic victory, president of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde said: “We have given ourselves a lot of welcomed work to do now since planning will have to begin immediately”, for the Gold Cup that kicks off in the United States of America (USA) this July.