Suriname outclass Guadeloupe
Published on 21 July 2021
Diego Biseswar jumps on the shoulders of his teammate Gleofilo Vlijter in celebration after Vlijter gave Suriname the lead in the 14th minute. (Photo: Concacaf Media)
HOUSTON, Texas (July 20, 2021)—Suriname produced a masterclass in attacking play to defeat Guadeloupe 2-1 in Group C play of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. The win at the BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas registered an historical first victory at the confederation championship.
With only pride on the line as both teams were unable to advance to the knockout round, the contest began with Suriname on the offensive early and often. Demitri Apai came close to putting Suriname on the board as early as the second minute but had his right-footed shot saved by Kevin Ajax in goal for Guadeloupe.
That initial encounter was a sign of things to come. It was Apai again, making a nuisance of himself as far as Guadeloupe was concerned, in the seventh minute, but he could not direct his header on goal.
Ridgeciano Haps thought he had given Suriname the lead in the match, but saw his curling left-footed free kick rebound off the crossbar, Ajax getting the slightest of touches on it. The writing was on the wall, however, and the opening goal for Suriname was soon to follow.
Gleofio Vlijter gave Suriname a deserved lead in the 14th minute with a right-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area that nestled nicely in the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Suriname continued the offensive, but were pulled back on level footing by a Matthias Phaeton goal much against the run of play. Guadeloupe’s Phaeton, after playing a pass to Raphael Mirval, continued his run and was rewarded with a return cross from Mirval to firmly slot the ball past Warner Hahn in the 20’.
Apai was on the move again and Ajax was again called into action, this time pulling off a diving save to his left to keep Apai off the scoreboard.
Guadeloupe was reduced to 10 men soon after, as Kelly Irep was shown a red card after a VAR review. With the numerical advantage, Suriname increased the all-out attack and continued to make inroads in the Guadeloupe defense. Guadeloupe was forced to play on the counter-attack and almost snatched a lead, but Mirval hit the cross bar in the 42’ much to his disappointment.
Suriname looked to cap off a superb first half performance late, but Ajax pulled off a flurry of saves in first-half stoppage time to ensure that the teams went into the break tied at one goal each.
The second half began much the same way the first half had ended. Ajax again came to the rescue off another Apai effort, this time from close range. As was the case in the first half, and more so being a man down, Guadeloupe looked to soak up the pressure and counter attack. Phaeton found some space in the penalty area in the 58th minute, but he couldn’t put his header on frame.
Nigel Hasselbaink, nephew of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, was introduced to the game and he scored Suriname’s third goal in the 79’. Hasselbaink received a pass in the penalty area and did amazingly well to keep his balance after being clipped from behind to seal the deal with a side-footed, close-range finish.
Suriname continued to press, and an 85th minute left-footed shot by Haps solicited another Ajax save to keep his team in the match. Damil Dankerlui thought he had surely extended his teams lead a minute before full time, but his well-place volley seemingly destined for the top corner was superbly saved by Ajax.
The match ended Suriname 2, Guadeloupe 1.