Big win for Reggae Boyz
It wasn't a classic Reggae Boyz performance against Venezuela in their international friendly on Friday night at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, but goals from debutant Giles Barnes and Darren Mattocks made it a satisfying 2-1 win that pleased head coach Winfried Sch‰fer.
"I am happy for the victory. I think teamwork was good and it allowed Giles (Barnes) and Darren (Mattocks) to score," Sch‰fer said.
"Venezuela are a strong South American team but we played well and the players did as expected to give Jamaica the win," the coach said.
The Reggae Boyz fell behind from a spectacular strike in the 13th minute. Defender Gabriel Cichero curled a wicked shot past Jamaican goalkeeper Dwayne Kerr, from 35 yards out.
Cichero was given too much space by the back-pedalling Jamaican defenders and he made them pay the ultimate price.
Jamaica struck back almost immediately from a beautiful run through the middle of the Venezuelan defence by debutant Barnes, who lashed a low shot past Alain Baroja in the Venezuelan goal for the equaliser in the 15th minute.
Mattocks would score in the 60th minute as the Reggae Boyz grabbed the lead in front of a decent Montego Bay crowd, but could easily have scored a hat-trick had he been more decisive in front of goal.
"It's a great feeling scoring on debut for the Boyz, but while I am happy scoring goals, the most important thing is that we won," Barnes said.
"I am comfortable with the team, as I knew several of the players before. I am looking to have a good run in the team and, of course, score lots more goals for the country," added Barnes.
Jamaica will next play Cuba in another friendly tomorrow, starting at 8 p.m., also at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.