Preparation was key for GK Miller
VINA DEL MAR, Chile:
KNOWLEDGE of an opponent and hard work in practice can make a match that much easier. The combination worked perfectly for Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Dwayne Miller who thwarted the scoring efforts of Manchester United striker Angel di Maria during their Copa AmÈrica football match.
"I know he is a good shooter, so I tried to have myself ready at all times in good positions," Miller explained after Jamaica's 1-0 loss in Group B encounter at Sausalito Stadium last Saturday.
Miller reacted superbly to block a powerhouse from di Maria in the first half and later advanced swiftly and forced the Argentina striker to chip a shot over his body. It lacked pace, and defender Kemar Lawrence got back in time to clear it as the ball headed goalwards. In the second half, di Maria crashed another shot against the bar, with Miller well beaten.
"I've been working well in training with coach Warren (Barrett) and fellow goalkeepers Duwayne (Kerr) and Ryan (Thompson)," Miller said.
"Out there, it didn't feel as difficult as I thought it would be because of the preparation I had with the group coming into this game."
Di Maria's individual play highlighted the level of dominance Argentina had, which forced Jamaica to virtually defend all first half.
"It was a difficult game tonight. Coming up against players like Messi (Lionel), di Maria (Angel), Tevez (Carlos), as a team we knew that the game would be difficult, but we had a plan and we stuck to it," he added.
"It's a loss and no one likes to lose ... but Argentina had the momentum. We had lost two games and they had something more to play for. We went into the game as underdogs, so the result is okay, something we can work on as a team and take confidence from."
Jamaica also lost 1-0 to the respective defending champions and runners-up Uruguay and Paraguay.