Hold on to your destiny - Price encourages Reggae Girlz to make the most of World Cup opportunity
Andrew Price, assistant coach of Jamaica's Reggae Girlz, is imploring the team to make the most of their opportunity to qualify for the Women's World Cup, having played themselves in a position to do so at the ongoing Concacaf qualifiers in the US.
Jamaica senior women's team rebounded from their opening game 2-0 defeat to fifth ranked Canada, by beating Costa Rica 1-0 on Monday to join the latter on three points, though they trail on goal difference.
The result puts Jamaica in the driver's seat for a top-two finish in the group, which will essentially give them two bites at the cherry for a spot in next year's spectacle in France.
On paper, the Jamaicans have the much easier final group game against Cuba, who have conceded 20 goals in two fixtures, while Costa Rica will be up against group favourites Canada, who slammed Cuba 12-0 in their last encounter.
However, Price noted that coming into the tournament, they had earmarked six points as their target for the first round and now that they are on the verge of achieving that goal and advancing to the semi-finals, he does not want his team to get overconfident or complacent just because they defeated Cuba 6-1 a few weeks ago in the previous round of qualifying.
"After coming off the high of winning yesterday (Monday), we are now in recovery mood. But the battle isn't finished. We need to get ourselves prepared for Cuba, which is a massive and very important game," Price said.
"We will try to use some rotations so we can rest some players, but this continues to be a must-win game. Six points will take us into the next round, so it's very important (that) we get full points and score some goals against Cuba," he insisted.
No room for complacency
Price said that even though they were convincing against Cuba the last time they played, they have to be professionals and prevent complacency from creeping in.
"Definitely, we will not get complacent. We have to be professional against the Cubans. What happened in the Caribbean Championship is in the past. We are looking at the task at hand, as our goal coming into the tournament was to get six points. So to close the deal, we have to get the win and we want three points, plus we want to get among the goals to continue building the confidence of offensive players.
"We have put ourselves in the position, now we can't be complacent about this game. We will be professional and execute. Our fate is in our own hands and we need to ensure we move on, so now it's just to clear the hurdle," he said.
Jamaica play Cuba in their third and final group game today at 6:30 p.m. The top three teams from the CONCACAF tournament automatically qualify for the World Cup, while the fourth-place team will play off against Argentina.