Mattocks' omission was tactical, says coach
ONE GOOD turn generally leads to another. That wasn't the case for Darren Mattocks in Sunday night's CONCACAF Gold Cup final between Jamaica and Mexico, when the 24-year-old striker was not handed a starting place.
Head coach Winfried Sch‰fer explained in the post-game press conference that "it was a tactical" decision, as he wanted Simon Dawkins - with whom he has been alternating the starting place - to press their midfielders for a tighter defensive system at the start of the game.
Mattocks had scored in the previous game when Jamaica hit a high, creating history with a 2-1 semi-final win against the United States at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, their first over the Americans on their turf.
However, he was left on the bench, and within a minute of entering the field at the 60th minute, Mexico scored their third goal enroute to a 3-1 win.
However, Mattocks came up trumps for the second game running by scoring at the 80th minute to hand the Reggae Boyz a consolation goal.
"A bit too late," he admitted.
Asked if he was disappointed at not being included in the starting eleven, the straight-talking player said: "As a striker, you're always going to be disappointed, especially after scoring in the last game, beating America for the first time in America.
"But it's a team game, a team effort, and I've got to respect the coach's decision and just come in the game and make an impact. Unfortunately, my impact was just a bit too late," said Mattocks.
"We need to move forward as a country, and we're gonna get back to the drawing board and not get too complacent about this because it's a great run into the final, but there are things that we can improve on and, hopefully, we'll move on to the future in the right direction," he added.
Mexico, meanwhile, were lifting an unprecedented seventh title. The United States (five) and Canada (one) are the other tournament winners.
"Hats off to the Mexican team," Mattocks said. "They did fantastic in this game, and they deserve to be champions."