Thu | May 25, 2017

Burrell hails Reggae Boyz

Published:Monday | June 15, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Captain Horace Burrell

ANTOFAGASTA, Chile:

JAMAICA Football Federation (JFF) president, Captain Horace Burrell, has praised the Reggae Boyz for their outstanding performance against South American champions and two-time World Cup champions, Uruguay, for their debut showing at the Copa America.

The Jamaicans matched their opponents evenly and had enough chances to win in the match they lost 1-0 to the all-time high tournament champions, who have 15 titles. Cristian Rodriguez scored at the 52nd-minute in the Calvo y Bascunan Stadium.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't win the game," said Burrell. "But on the other hand, I think I'm pleased with the overall performance of the team.

highest levels

"One has to understand that this is possibly one of the highest levels that we'll play at right now and having gone in there and shown that we have the ability to match strides with the world's best is pleasing.

"Yes, we had our opportunities to put it away, but that is football. We really want to commend the staff. What I'm seeing here is something that probably I've not seen for a while and that is commitment from the players, the staff is committed and it's an overall team effort, and everybody's gunning to do their best.

"When you ask people to do their best and they have, you can't say anything bad about that," he said, ahead of his departure to catch a flight.

invited teams

Jamaica, the Caribbean champions, were invited as a guest team, along with fellow CONCACAF counterparts Mexico, to compete in the South American championship that includes some of the sport's biggest countries and players, such as five-time World Cup champions Brazil, two-time winners Argentina and Uruguay.

Burrell, a FIFA executive and CONCACAF vice-president, said the Jamaica's performance has surprised a lot of persons in the football world.

"What they've been saying is they never expected Jamaica to play at anywhere near this level. Indeed there were persons who were saying we don't belong here and it's for participation and just for making up numbers ... they thought we would have got a battering from Uruguay. That did not happen," Burrell stated. "Uruguay really had to dig really deep, being defending champions.

- A.B.