Guyana looks to past for Saturday’s Suriname clash

Guyana (pictured) gathers for a team photo ahead of a Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup match against visiting Anguilla on March 22, 2016.

PARAMARIBO, Suriname – An old rivalry between two fiercely competitive nations will be renewed Saturday, when host Suriname matches skills with Guyana in a third-round, 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup encounter.

Although both sides are naturally seeking to open Group 1 play on a positive note, Guyana head coach Jamaal Shabazz says that the match is especially important to him. He has never forgotten that Suriname defeated his Golden Jaguars twice in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including a 1-0 loss at Andre Kamperveen Stadium – the same venue as Saturday’s game. 

“Suriname made me cry in Suriname and I am not going to forget that so easily,” said Shabazz. “I hope that we could settle this score with them in this game.”

A training session in Suriname on Friday was Guyana’s fourth in this phase of the competition and it went well according to Shabazz, who was happy with the pitch’s condition and the players’ eagerness to get to work.

“The enthusiasm is there and we look forward to a good game,” the 52-year-old remarked. “The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried, so what is written for us will come to pass. What is in our hands is the type of effort that we make, so we want to make a good effort to try and get three points.” 

Barnet FC goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle is in line for his Guyana debut, while injured captain Christopher Nurse will sit out to rest a strain in order to be ready for visiting Jamaica on October 11.

Others in the starting XI are expected to be defenders Walter Moore, Colin Nelson, Jake Newton and Quincy Adams. Working the midfield will be Brandon Beresford, Samuel Cox, Trayon Bobb and Dwight Peters. Up front are Vurlon Mills and Marcel Barrington.

“You know, guys have pushed themselves, guys have made an effort to integrate, foreign, local within the team,” finished Shabazz. “It is one of the things that pleases a coach and increases his own motivation.”