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Defender Morgan: 2-2 a good result

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica's British-based defender Wes Morgan.

CARSON, California:

The circumstances surrounding Jamaica's preparation may have affected the Reggae Boyz's chances of taking full points off group favourites Costa Rica in their opening game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at StubHub Center on Wednesday night.

This is the view of Wes Morgan, the Leicester City captain, who plays a key role in organising Jamaica's back four.

While Los Ticos have been together and played quality practice matches against Spain and Mexico, the Reggae Boyz have had a stop-start sequence heading into the regional championship.

Only last month, the Jamaicans participated in the Copa America, South America's quadrennial championship - as invited guests.

That tournament came almost right on the heels of the English football season, leagues from which the majority of Jamaica's squad is drawn. That means after a long season of 38 league matches for most, plus matches in other competitions, they had to forego their recovery period and fly to Chile straight into competition.

At the end of their participation in Copa America, there was only a two-week break between the competitions, which meant those same players only got another 10-day break.

"I thought it was very good," Morgan said of their 2-2 result. "We've not played often recently. We've come together on the pitch against a very good Costa Rican team and shown some character.

"Costa Rica have been together for awhile and are comfortable and trained together. Obviously, we've not been together so it's a bit more difficult. On the face of it, we shouldn't stand a chance," he reasoned about the 65th ranked Jamaica. "It just goes to show how good we are, how good our team is, our spirit, for us to come out and put a performance on and could've won had we not missed the chances."

Those misses came in the second half, when Jamaica dominated as the game opened up and squandered three excellent chances.

Garath McCleary (13th) and Joel (Jobi) McAnuff scored for Jamaica, while Costa Rica's conversions came from Roy Miller (33rd) and, what television replays appear to confirm, an own goal by Morgan, that was credited to David Ramirez (37th).

Morgan noted that the defence was caught out by a good pass on the opposing team's go-ahead goal.

"It was a good ball over my head and the guy's gone. He lobbed the keeper and I was trying my best to keep the ball out and I couldn't get there in time and it's gone in the net," Morgan explained.