Goal hunt... Jamaica U20s set World Cup target
Jamaica Under-20 team coach Jerome Waite says that the focus for the next two Concacaf World Cup qualifying games is to score as many goals as possible, to give themselves the best chance of advancing from the group.
Only the group winners will progress, and the Jamaicans are currently level on seven points with the Mexico, who enjoy a superior goal difference.
The junior Reggae Boyz played out a brilliant 2-2 draw with Mexico in the Concacaf qualifiers at IMG stadium in the United States on Tuesday, and Waite said that they want to give themselves the best possible chance of reaching the next round, starting with the first of their two remaining games, today against Aruba.
"Despite getting the draw, we really wanted the win," Waite told The Gleaner. "So although in the end it was a draw the mood in the camp is still good. Both teams are now on seven points and only the (group) winner advance.
"They have the better goal difference so we will have to work hard in the other two games to ensure we get as many goals to try qualify ahead of them for the next round, and we are looking forward to that," he said.
Mexico with 13 goals for and two against, have a +11 goal difference, while Jamaica has a +4 goal difference with six goals scored and two against. which means Mexico are seven goals better and Jamaica will have to overhaul that sum if both teams win their remaining two games and it comes down to goal difference.
Above and beyond expectation
Waite, said that the team performed above and beyond expectations and proved they were a match for Mexico to get only their third draw in 10 games against the Central Americans at the Under-20 level.
"We were up against the number -one team from the region and the best team in the tournament, but Jamaica rose above expectations and showed we can match them man for man as well as tactically," he said.
"They got the first goal through a lapse in the defensive concentration, but after we talked at the break and let them know to put the first half behind and target what we need to do the second-half, and it paid off.
"So although the Mexicans won the first-half, we won the second-half courtesy of two goals we scored through Leonardo Jibbison and (Tyreke) Magee. They (Mexico) ended up leading us after Jibbison scored his first international goal and then Magee scored the goal of the tournament. The game was very intense, but overall, it was a good showing for the Jamaicans, and we want to build on that," he said.
Mexico took the lead after 21 minute through Javain Brown's own goal. But Jibbison restored parity with a well struck goal in the 61st minute. However, Mexico went back in front on JosÈ Macias 66th-minute penalty before Macgee secured a point with a superb strike from 30 yards.