Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Girlz target perfect advancement

Published:Tuesday | October 8, 2019 | 12:26 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz celebrate their first-ever goal in a FIFA Women’s World Cup, scored against Australia at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
Donaldson
Matthews
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Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will look to consolidate Group B honours in the Concacaf women’s Olympic qualifiers when they take on last-placed US Virgin Islands (USVI) in their final game this evening at the National Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

The qualifiers have been a walk in the park for the hosts, who have netted 30 goals and conceded only one. They lead the group with maximum nine points. They are followed by Cuba and Barbados, on six points each, with St Lucia on three and USVI yet to get off the mark. However, coach Lorne Donaldson thinks that there are areas the team needs to improve on ahead of the next stage and believes that their toughest challenge for this match is making those improvement, especially with no physical practice scheduled.

“I am still not satisfied with our set pieces,” Donaldson said. “We won’t practise because it’s game after game, so all we can do is get our football IQ a little higher, and that is a challenge also,” he said.

“Can our football IQ be higher? If we switch formation, can we adapt and adjust? Can we switch formation in the middle of a game in the run of play? We are not used to doing that, and those are some of the challenges, and I want to challenge us in those areas.”

Khadija Shaw and Cheyna Matthews will continue to lead the charge up front. Matthews sits atop the scoring chart with seven goals, while Shaw has four to her name, like teammate Deneisha Blackwood.

The Reggae Girlz, who have defeated Cuba 12-1, Barbados 7-0, and St Lucia 11-0, should have another easy day at ‘The Office’ as they take on the weakest team in the group in USVI, who have scored just once and have conceded 13 goals in their three matches.

The first game of today’s double-header sees Cuba taking on St Lucia at 4 p.m.

The winners of the three Caribbean groups will advance to the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship final round, along with three teams from North America and two from Central America.