(ABOVE) Guyana's Kris Camacho (right) comes under pressure from Hadan Holligan of Barbados during their international friendly on February 1, 2015, in Bridgetown, Barbados.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Two goals in as many minutes just before half-time saw host Barbados rebound spectacularly to earn a 2-2 draw with Guyana in a friendly international at the National Stadium on Sunday night.
Already behind 2-0 after 33 minutes thanks to goals from Sheldon Holder and Emery Welshman, the Barbadians roared back through superb strikes from Jomo Harris and captain Mario Harte, ensuring a deadlock in the entertaining encounter.
Despite a goalless second half that was not short of scoring opportunities, both head coaches were understandably pleased with the result, especially with the game being used as preparation for upcoming qualifying campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
“It is a result that gives us positive hopes,” said Barbados technical director Marcos Falopa. “I can say nothing [negative] about this group. We had a short preparation time. Some [players] only had a month with me, so it was difficult to put together the team to say we were ready. But I am very happy to see the result.
“As a technician, I saw the team play very well sometimes, but lost a bit of control at other times, but this is normal because this is the first game we have played.”
Guyana’s Jamaal Shabazz echoed similar sentiments.
“I thought the game was a good result, a fair result,” he noted. “Especially for a young Barbados team and Guyana team that is now regrouping, and getting our show on the road. It was a good enough result for us to start with.
“You could see the quality and we went ahead twice, but that lack of fitness, the inability to keep consistent and carry through. I thought we suffered from that.”
The match was even early on, before Guyana went ahead in the 12th minute through Holder, who collected a pass from the right side, turned a defender and beat goalkeeper Dario Weir from close range.
Guyana then doubled its lead in the 33rd minute, when Welshman fired home from 20-yards out after evading his marker.
Buoyed by vocal home support, Barbados rallied valiantly and pulled a goal back just three minutes later. Harris received a pass just outside the 18-yard box and controlled it well prior to firing a stunning volley past Guyana custodian Akel Clarke for his first international goal.
Harte completed Barbados’ comeback one minute later, beating a defender with a nice touch and firing a low drive beyond Clarke.
The contest remained an open affair in the second half with both teams creating chances, but neither able to land the critical blow.