Austin wants maximum support for Boyz
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
They call him 'The Beast' at his new English Championship club Leeds United and Jamaican midfielder Rodolph Austin showed why, with a bossy performance in Friday's historic 2-1 victory over the US in their FIFA World Cup qualifier inside the National Stadium.
Never smiling and with expressions that mirrored a man charged with a huge undertaking, Austin ran from penalty box to penalty box; from touchline to touchline, as he strung passes all across the stadium turf, sent US bodies flying, and had US goalkeeper Tim Howard in misery for the entire 90 minutes with a barrage of long-range shots.
It was Austin's fierce 25-yard free kick that gave the hosts parity in the 23rd minute after Clint Dempsey had stunned the capacity stadium crowd with a 35-second goal. Reggae Boyz captain Luton Shelton secured the historic feat with another free kick, after a lengthy negotiation with specialist Austin, who reluctantly stepped aside and watched as the skipper lodged his first ever free kick for Jamaica in the right-hand corner of the US goal in the 64th minute.
In truth, Dempsey's goal seemed to have shot new life into the Jamaicans and particularly Austin, who became a new monster afterwards, charging his teammates with encouragement and taking the game by the scruff of the neck in a performance that will rank as one of his best ever in the Jamaican colours.
not getting carried away
Not a man of many words and still very humble, Austin focused all praise on his teammates and called for more support for the team.
"To God be the glory, the team is working hard and we are doing well. We stick together and we are a part of history now, but we are not going to get carried away," Austin told The Sunday Gleaner minutes after walking off the field.
"We showed heart and we, as Jamaicans, we are breaking a lot of barriers now and it's just for the public to stop killing the team and get behind us, because we are a strong nation and a strong team." He added. "There are a lot of negative people, but they need to get behind the team and stop come on the TV and hide behind a camera and talk."
"I am playing with a lot of confidence especially when I am shooting, and I am just enjoying life, enjoying playing the game, and this was a nice win for the people to celebrate," Austin pointed out before touching a bit on his own play and approach.
"I just keep my emotions the same way, I don't get carried away; win, lose or draw, it's just for the fans to celebrate and my friends and family," he said. "I work hard for everything in life and I am just enjoying it and making my family and the nation proud."
If Jamaica is to qualify to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, then Austin will have to show his beastly side a few more times.