Barnes in the hunt for goals
WITH a snapshot from outside the box at open goal and a header that flashed wide of the post, Giles Barnes almost hit the target for Jamaica in their Copa America debut against defending champions Uruguay on Saturday.
The Reggae Boyz will return to action this afternoon at 6 p.m. (4 p.m. Jamaica time) at Calvo y BascuÒ·n stadium, and with his team chasing a win, Barnes will be looking to hit the net of Paraguay, the team that lost in the championship final last time.
"It was a different role for me on Saturday, at central midfield," the 26-year-old noted of his role playing off point striker Darren Mattocks in the 1-0 defeat against defending champions Uruguay.
Giles normally plays at centre forward and stated his intentions.
"I'm always looking to score goals. I came close with the header, but I wanna score, I wanna hit the back of the net and make my country proud," he affirmed.
He said team spirit in Chile is good.
"It's always high. There's great personalities all over," he admitted. "There's Rudi (Rodolph) Austin, he's one of the funniest guys I've ever met. He's our captain, he's our leader, there's never a dull moment (when he's around). He's a great leader, if you're ever feeling down or disappointed, he's there to pick you up. He keeps the team together, he keeps everyone pulling in the same direction, so that's fantastic."
full of optimism
Summing up their chances in an interview the Jamaican media yesterday, he was full of optimism.
"We came into this tournament as underdogs in everyone else's eyes. In our own eyes, we definitely weren't," he said.
"There's no team in this tournament that we don't think we can beat, and that says a lot. We've played against the current champions and gave them a run for their money, and if you ask them, they'll probably think they got a little bit lucky with the win. So we're looking to pick up all three points and get up on the table and get ready for the next round."
The Reggae Boyz went shoulder to shoulder in their opening match and got chances to win and Barnes, a former England Under-19 who now plays forward for Houston Dynamo, believes a similar performance could bring them victory against Paraguay.
"We need to keep the same work rate that we had the other day; the harder you work, the luckier you get. So you look at the chances the other day, maybe we had four, five half chances, one could've gone in, then you're looking at a completely different story, then it's 4-1."