Guyana drops The Bahamas, 3-2

Wood Julmis scores both of the goals for The Bahamas

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The Bahamas played a strong first half against soccer powerhouse Guyana but after giving up two second half goals, in the first 15 minutes of the second half, and pulling one back, Guyana defended home field and won 3-2 at the National Track and Field Center in Leonora, Guyana, last night.

Playing under the lights, The Bahamas’ senior men’s national soccer team put up quite a fight in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Nations League match. Playing out of League B Group D, The Bahamas was a force to reckon with throughout the match. Wood Julmis scored a double to keep the game close.

Team captain Lesly St. Fleur was scratched the day before due to a groin injury and some key pieces from Saturday’s game against Puerto Rico were missing as well. Still, the Bahamian side rose to the occasion, matching the Guyanese side’s intensity.

Head Coach Nesly Jean said he was happy with the way the team played.

“I think defensively, there were one and two mistakes there. These are the type of things that we are trying to eliminate. Once we can eliminate that, we will do good going forward,” Jean said. “If another person cannot make it then it is next man up. Players have to show why they deserve to play and why they deserve to be on the team. I think the guys who played today (last night) showed that they can compete if someone gets injured.”

Julmis, who is usually Jean’s striker, was thrown in at the right wing position and made several runs at the Guyanese back line. His best run came in the 38th minute of the game that ended with him being fouled in the Guyanese penalty box to be awarded a penalty shot. He stepped up and took the penalty kick and sent the Guyanese goalkeeper Quillan Roberts to the wrong side. It put The Bahamas up 1-0 in the 39th minute. It was his first goal for the senior men’s national team.

Guyana responded with a goal of their own in the 44th minute of the game from none other than their top scorer this season, Omari Glasglow. The game was tied at a goal each heading into half-time.

It was a very defensive first half for the Bahamian side. They broke up several key passes that kept the game in check. Wearing the captain’s armband for the first time on the senior men’s team was Christopher Rahming. He made his debut as captain.

“I thought we had a very good showing today. We scored two goals and I think this is the most we scored on the road. The guys fought and tried their best,” Rahming said.

The first 15 minutes of the second half was not favorable to The Bahamas as Guyana turned up their offensive intensity and produced two goals. The first one was in the 54th minute when Stephen Duke-McKenna put one at the back of the net to put Guyana up 2-1. Kelsey Benjamin score the insurance goal in the 58th minute to put the Guyanese side up 3-1.

After that, both teams were attacking but no goals were being scored. The 85th minute came and the score was still 3-1 with the Guyanese fans looking on and cheering for their team. That quickly turned to nervousness as The Bahamas was awarded a penalty in the 86th minute. With no St. Fleur, Julmis stepped up and took the penalty. Like he did in the first half, Roberts dove the wrong way and Julmis got his second goal of his career and the game.

“It felt amazing to score two goals. After the first goal, I didn’t get to celebrate with my proverbial guitar. I needed my first goal. My teammate, Marcel Joseph, who did not make the trip, told me that I needed to get my first goal and that is what I did,” Julmis said. “I just took a deep breath and relaxed. I live for those moments where you make it and you celebrate or you miss it and cry. I am always confident knowing what is meant to happen always happen.”

The Bahamian side applied more pressure as the home fans became antsy but the score remained the same as the referee Shekiel Jokil blew the final whistle to end the game and the Guyana team breathed a sigh of relief.

The Bahamas plays Antigua and Barbuda on October 14. The time and location will be decided at a later date.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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