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Jaguars charmed hostile crowd - Shabazz

Published:Monday | September 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM

GUYANA, Georgetown (CMC):

Head coach Jamaal Shabazz says he was deeply touched by the reaction of spectators in Latin America's largest stadium to Guyana's die-hard performance against El Salvador in the semi-final round of the 2014 World Cup Qualifier on Friday night.

Twice the Golden Jaguars fought back to equalise as Guyana and El Salvador battled to two-all scoreline at the huge Estadio Cuscatlan stadia in San Salvador.

A standing ovation for the Guyanese footballers replaced hostility from the 40,000 capacity crowd as soon as the final whistle was blown, Shabazz said.

"That touched me deeply and it's a moment I will cherish in my football life," said Shabazz.

"Our boys bought into the tactics and we got a good result, tomorrow is another day."

Played courageously

In front of a typical hostile Central American crowd, the locals sought to intimidate the visiting Golden Jaguars. But the Guyanese played courageously to come back from a goal down, twice, to force a draw as a result of a double from Treyon Bobb.

"I was overwhelmed when at the end of the game the entire El Salvador stadium who were hostile to us during the encounter, gave us a standing ovation after the game," said Shabazz.

"We played as a strong united force and got some great individual performances from some guys," he added.

Home support will be a key factor in aiding Guyana in Georgetown tomorrow when both teams meet in the second leg of the qualifier.

Guyana must win their next game and could face elimination if they lose at home to El Salvador and Costa Rica topples Mexico.