"We have been saying that this team was going to get it done, we stood up to our words, it's a big accomplishment to finally beat the Americans and I think the jinx is finally broken, the monkey is finally off our backs."
Fast-rising Jamaican striker Darren Mattocks wore a big grin on his face as he stepped outside the locker room following Jamaica's big 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over the US on Friday evening inside the National Stadium.
It was the island's first-ever win over the Americans at the senior level after 19 tries and Mattocks, who impressed after he was brought on in the 64th minute to keep the creaking US backline on their toes with the Jamaicans already leading, is delighted to have played a role - even if he didn't give away too much when asked how the team celebrated the win.
'we deserved it'
"We were going crazy in there and I think we deserved it after so many encounters and tough battles with the US and finally coming out on top," said Mattocks, a knowing grin on his face. "We just have to keep focused and humble, enjoy tonight (Friday) but prepare for the hard work going forward."
This was only Mattock's second appearance for the Reggae Boyz but the 22-year-old is already sounding like a savvy veteran.
"As much as we are enjoying this victory, we have to remain humble and keep working hard because we have a return leg coming up and that's going to be tough," Mattocks noted. "Most importantly, this win will motivate us but we know that they (US) are a very good team. (US coach Jurgen) Klinsmann will regroup and come again but so will (Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore) Tappa and all of us."
"I think it's been a jinx on our back, the crowd turned out hoping for a victory and they were overjoyed when they got it. We all know that Kingston is a hostile environment to play in and the crowd knew how big an accomplishment it was and they went crazy at the end and, frankly, I don't wrong them," Mattocks stated in reference to the wild scenes that followed the final whistle as spectators rushed on to the field to congratulate the players.
The youngster, who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS after he was drafted second overall, has so far scored eight goals in his debut season and appears a shoo-in for the Rookie of the Year honours.
Mattocks could do no wrong on Friday, as the massive crowd inside the stadium cheered every touch.
"That just goes to show that what I have been doing overseas is being recognised by my own people and I am really proud. Every time I touched the ball, I heard a lot of applause and I am really humbled by this experience," Mattocks told The Sunday Gleaner.
Both teams will meet again in group action in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday.
- Andre Lowe