Wed | Nov 30, 2022

Reggae Boyz have more to give - Whitmore

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment
Jamaica's Romario Williams (centre) celebrates with teammates Shaun Francis (left) and Owayne Gordon after Williams scored his team's second goal against Canada during a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal match, on Thursday in Glendale, Arizona. Jamaica won 2-1.

National senior men's football team head coach Theodore Whitmore said that he was pleased with the Reggae Boyz' 2-1 win over Canada in their CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-final match on Thursday night, but he wished they had made more of their chances in front of goal.

Shaun Francis and Romario Williams put Jamaica 2-0 up with goals in both halves but Junior Hoilett pulled one back for the Canadians in the 61st minute, to set up a tense finish to the game for the Reggae Boyz.

"Shaun just came off a hamstring injury in the Caribbean Cup," Whitmore said. "He came into the game and you could see that he was a bit match rusty. He gave us a good shift and then we pulled him out to put in Cory Burke, with much more energy on that left flank."

It is said by many that "two nil is a dangerous score in football" and Whitmore echoed these sentiments about this game. He said that he worried about the team losing focus when the match got to this score.


Bright start


"I think we started brightly," Whitmore said. "When you look at the other games we played, we were better in the second half, but I think in the game we created numerous opportunities. We were up 2-0, (which made me) a bit worried because any team that has a two goal cushion, it always poses a problem. You can never be too comfortable with two goals because I think complacency creeps in."

However, Whitmore credited his attackers for how they dealt with the Canadian backline, which he said lacked speed.

"The Canadian backline is a bit slow and I think we utilised (Darren) Mattocks, (Owayne) Gordon and Williams. Even Mattocks was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet but a win is a win. We did enough, and we're looking forward to the semi final."

The Reggae Boyz now turn their attention to tomorrow's semi-final game against Mexico, whom they met in their second group game in Denver Colorado last week, drawing 0-0.

Whitmore has urged his players to show more passion in this game.

"We need more," he said. "I think they have more in them. I think we need to be a bit hungrier and always demand more. We can't be too comfortable with where we are and I think we demand more from these players. We're looking forward to the semi final and hope we can keep improving as a team."

Tomorrow's game will be played at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California and kicks off at 8pm.