Guyana head coach has blamed early errors for the Golden Jaguars’ 3-0 World Cup qualifying loss to Trinidad and Tobago, rather than anything opposing coach Terry Fenwick cooked up.
The Soca Warriors grabbed all three goals in the first half and could have had a fourth, as flanker Joevin Jones missed a penalty kick plus two rebound opportunities in the 36th minute. But Guyana had a few decent sniffs too with forward Emery Welshman striking the heel of the upright in the 28th minute.
Máximo, a former Brazil national youth team staff member, suggested, in a virtual press conference today, that the final score summary flattered Trinidad and Tobago.
“The score did not reflect what we saw in the game,” said Máximo, who praised Guyana’s supposed composure and tactical discipline and said they had three or four chances to equalise before the Warriors’ second item. “[…] Sometimes [when] you make mistakes you pay a high price, especially against a team with experienced players like Trinidad and Tobago.
“[…] My job is to analyse performance and commitment, not just score.”
The Brazilian coach suggested too that the Jaguars performed better in yesterday’s 3-0 loss than they did in their 1-1 draw against the Warriors at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
“At the Gold Cup, [Trinidad and Tobago had] 20 shots on our goal and 60 percent possession and drew,” he said. “Yesterday, [there was] equal possession and they win… You see statistics yesterday [and] there was not massive difference. [It was] equal.”
Guyana captain Sam Cox found less reason for optimism in his team’s performance but did not directly contradict his coach.
“The first half performance was not good enough [and] the players are feeling it,” said Cox. “[…] It is tough to take but we have Tuesday night [against the Bahamas] to bounce back… We are highly disappointed; we are all hurting at this point.”
Máximo urged Guyanese fans to remain confident in the direction of the Jaguars.
“We are [in a] transition process,” said the coach, who said Guyana needed to ‘renew’ their player pool. “Yesterday when we finished the game, we had five young players on the pitch. Don’t lose your hope because you are [heading] in a correct way.
“We will learn from the mistakes to grow up. This is just the first round, we have three games and nine points to play for. Anything is possible.”
While the Guyana team staged virtual press conferences before and after last night’s fixture, the Soca Warriors did neither—as local stakeholders instead had to settle for edited interviews between TTFA press manager Shaun Fuentes and Fenwick and other players.
Trinidad and Tobago take the field again from 5pm on Sunday when they play Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. At present, the Warriors lead the group on goal differential after St Kitts and Nevis edged Puerto Rico 1-0 on Wednesday.
The Warriors welcome midfielder Duane Muckette back into contention for the weekend’s game, after a scare due to a false positive Covid-19 result in Santo Domingo on Tuesday night.
Central defender Sheldon Bateau, who scored Trinidad and Tobago’s second goal yesterday, is in a race to be fit for the fixture, after suffering a muscle strain in the first half. Bateau was replaced at the interval.
The Warriors will also be without versatile flanker Noah Powder, who has returned to his MLS employers, Real Salt Lake, for treatment on a knock that existed prior to the national camp.
Powder featured as a late substitute in Fenwick’s both international outings against the United States and Guyana.