The Guyana senior men’s football team was ranked 174th in the FIFA World Ranking as of late October 2019 and has an average ranking of 149th since the creation of the list in 1992. Its highest ranking was 91, which it achieved in 2011.
The nation’s ranking is determined by its recent results and past history, which includes CONCACAF Nations League B matches against Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, and Aruba, as well as Gold Cup matches against Panama, the United States of America, and Trinidad and Tobago. Guyana has several regional rivals in international football and other countries that it has played quite often. Below is a summary of its history with these five nations:
One of Guyana’s most recent games was a non-FIFA international friendly against Suriname, meaning it didn’t count toward the FIFA World Ranking. This was good news for Guyana, as the team lost the game by a score of 3-1, with Kelsey Benjamin scoring the lone goal for Guyana in the 60th minute of the game. It was the first game between the two nations since 2016, when Guyana lost 3-2 to Suriname in the Caribbean Cup. However, Guyana won the prior three meetings between the two nations—two of which were international friendlies and the other was in the 2010 Caribbean Cup—by a combined score of 5-0. Gregory Richardson scored both goals for Guyana in its most recent 2-0 victory over Suriname in 2016.
Overall, the two nations have played 25 matches since July 4, 1976, and Suriname has held a considerable advantage, despite recent victories by Guyana. Suriname has won 13 of those 25 matches compared to Guyana’s six victories. The other six matches resulted in a draw.
Guyana has had better results against Barbados. The two nations last played in 2018 in the CONCACAF Nations League and, while the match ended in a 2-2 draw, Guyana was awarded a 3-0 victory as a result of Barbados fielding Krystian Pearce and Hallam Hope, both of whom were ineligible to play. Hope scored both Barbados goals. The prior match between the two teams, an international friendly, also resulted in a 2-2 draw, while Guyana won the previous two FIFA World Cup qualifying games against Barbados. Overall, Guyana has a win-loss-draw record of 7-5-5 against Barbados and hasn’t lost to its Caribbean rival since 1999, when it was on the opposite end of a 2-0 result in the Caribbean Cup.
Although Aruba is in the same group (Group C) as Guyana in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League B, the two teams have only played twice before the start of the competition. Guyana defeated Aruba 4-0 and 3-0, respectively, in the 1991 and 1992 Caribbean Cup, and the two nations didn’t meet again until September 6, 2019, when Guyana won the first of two scheduled CONCACAF Nations League matches by a result of 1-0. Sheldon Holder scored the lone goal for Guyana in the 22nd minute, while goalkeeper Akel Clarke earned the clean sheet for Guyana. Through four games in CONCACAF Nations League B, Guyana ranked second of four teams behind Jamaica, while Aruba was in last place with four losses and a goal differential of minus-10.
Jamaica is also part of Group C in CONCACAF Nations League B, although Guyana has had considerably less success against this team compared to Aruba. In the first of the two scheduled matches between the teams (the second being November 18), Jamaica defeated Guyana by a score of 4-0. Overall, Jamaica has a perfect win-loss record of 5-0 against Guyana and has only given up two goals in those five games, which came during its 4-2 victory over Guyana in the 2016 Caribbean Cup. Those results aren’t entirely surprising, given Jamaica was ranked 45th in the most recent FIFA World Ranking and has averaged a ranking of 60th since 1992.
The United States was 23rd in the latest FIFA World Ranking, so it should be no surprise that it defeated Guyana 4-0 in the first and only meeting between the two nations this past June as part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Despite the loss, simply playing in the tournament was an accomplishment for Guyana, which had never qualified in the past. It qualified for the 2019 event by finishing seventh out of 34 nations in 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying. The top 10 teams advanced to the Gold Cup. In the past, Central American and Caribbean nations had to win regional tournaments to qualify.
“Back then there was little dreaming, very little belief that we could achieve, and what we have achieved is an unbelievable journey and one that lifted the country,” noted then-Guyana coach Michael Johnson. “Hopefully, our story will be an inspiration to many other small countries in the region who can start to think that if they can start to dream and believe and start to put things in place, they can also qualify and be at these major tournaments that bring so much exposure, so much hope, so much revitalisation of the country.”